Formerly known as Jesselton during the British occupation of North Borneo, Kota Kinabalu in the state of Sabah has become one of Malaysia’s fastest growing tourist destinations. Like the rest of Muslim-majority Malaysia–with its grand mosques–KK is also home to two breathtaking architectural landmarks that incorporate Islamic architecture in its design.
1. Kota Kinabalu City Mosque
Surrounded by a man-made lagoon, Kota Kinabalu City Mosque was given the nickname “The Floating Mosque” because of the illusion it makes. It is currently the second main mosque in Kota Kinabalu after Sabah State Mosque located just 15 minutes away.
Construction of the city mosque started in 1989 and was finally opened to the public in February 2000. With its iconic gold and blue dome, its design incorporates Islamic and modern architecture and was made to resemble the Prophet’s Mosque (Nabawi Mosque) in the city of Medina in Saudi Arabia.
It is now considered the largest mosque in Kota Kinabalu and can house up to 12,000 people.
Read in full: Kota Kinabalu’s Floating Mosque: 8 Things To Know
2. Sabah State Mosque
Designed by Malaysian architect Dato Baharuddin Abu Kassim in the 70s, Sabah State Mosque incorporates a combination of Islamic architecture and contemporary design. With its slender sculptural minaret and onion-shaped dome known for its unique honeycomb cladding, this architectural beauty is not as widely visited by tourists compared to the floating mosque.
Like most places in Kota Kinabalu, it is also home to hundreds of doves that you can feed if you happen to have a piece of bread in hand.
The Manila Project
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