Constructed in the 17th century, the Huskuru Miskiiy or Friday
Mosque served the people of Male as their major mosque for nearly
4 centuries, until 1984 when the the Islamic Centre and Grand
Friday Mosque took over the function. Built in 1656 by Sultan
Ibrahim Iskandhar, the mosque is a masterpiece of traditional
workmanship and coral curving- most likely the best feature of coral
curving anywhere in the world.
The mosque walls are engraved with blocks of filigree-curved
coral blocks. Heavy wooden doors slide open to the internal sanctums
containing lamp hangings of wood and panels meticulously curved
with Arabic printings. The surrounding area of the mosque is a
many elaborately curved coral
tombstones. The Munnaaru or
minaret in front of the mosque, was constructed in 1675 by the same
Mulee-aage, directly in front of the Hukuru Miskiiy is a palace
constructed in 1906 by Sultan Mohamed Shamsuddeen III, which replaced
a house dating back to the mid-17th century. The palace with its
wrought iron gates and fretwork friezes on its roof fringes and well-maintained
garden was built for his son; however, the Sultan was deposed.
Vegetables were grown in Mulee-aage's garden to help
alleviate food shortages during World War II. When the Maldives was made a republic in 1953
it became the Presidents' official residence until 1994, when the
new Presidential Palace was constructed; however, the President's
Office is recently kept here.
It is located within the only leftover structure of
the former Sultan's Palace, which is presently the Sultan's
Park. The 3-story building National Museum is designed in an Edwardian colonial-style,
fairly low key from the outside in contrast to the fabulous collection
inside. The items on show vary from thrones and palanquins
used by sultans to the 1st printing press ever used in the country,
the rifle used by Mohamed Thakurufaanu in his battle against
the Portuguese in the 16th century, ceremonial robes, headdress and
umbrellas used by Sultans to figures and statues dating back to
the 11th century, discovered from former temples.
Many artifacts from the past gives an idea of the history and unique
and rich culture of this country. A trip to the museum gives
to the scale of history most travellers have never known
existed. You will no longer think of the Maldives only terms of
a tourist haven. Opening hours are everyday except Friday
and public holidays from 9.00 - 11.40 am and 3.00 - 5.40 pm. A small
fee is charged for admission.
The Islamic Centre is the most brilliant architectural
landmark of Male. You would see the majestic golden dome in
all its glory dominating the skyline, as you approach Male, from
any direction. The building represents the importance of Islamic
religion, which had ruled all aspects of life in maldives for centuries.
Finished in 1984, the Centre boasts a mosque large enough to hold
5,000 people, an Islamic library, conference hall, offices and classrooms.
Male Fish Market
The major financial region of Male is situated on the northern
of Male. This trading centre has a variety of activities
throughout the day. The waterside and the by-lanes in this part of the country, have many shops well stocked with various of goods.
The Male Fish Market as well as the Local Market
sells a good range of local products. While some 'dhonis' from all
over the Maldives disburden fresh fruits, vegetables and
dried fish from the atolls, others can be seen
burdening everything from
construction materials to foodstuffs.
The pace picks up in mid-afternoon when fishing 'dhonis' begin returning
with the daily catch. The catch, primarily tuna are hauled across
the road into the open-sided market and laid out on the tiled floors.
As fast as the fish are delivered they are purchased and taken away
by men from all walks of life. The market is kept meticulously clean,
disinfected and washed down daily.
The Local Market just is only one block away and is divided into
The pace here is slower and the atmosphere is peaceful. The ambience
is enhanced by the dim green light filtering through the fine green
mesh that decorates all its windows and doors. Every stall stocks
a variety of local products mainly from the atolls.
Here you will see various kinds of local vegetables, fruits and
yams, packets of sweetmeat, breadfruit chips, nuts and bottles of
home made sweets and pickles and bananas hanging from coir ropes
from the ceiling beams. Another building right next-door sells smoked
and dried fish.