As the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, Indonesia is home to more than 800,000 mosques.
Some parts of Indonesia have strong coastal cultures, and people living in areas surrounding the country’s principal rivers are more than familiar with making a life close to the water or even on it. This includes practicing their religion, which has inspired a number of communities across the archipelago to build their mosque above the water.
Here are three of these unique places of worship, as compiled by kompas.com:
Oesman Al Khair Mosque, North Kayong officiated by President Joko Widodo in late 2016. The mosque is named after its founder, the politician and businessman Oesman Sapta Odang. It is located by the beach in North Kayong regency, West Kalimantan. Its design took inspiration from Saudi Arabia and is further complemented by Moroccan influences.
Oesman al Khair Mosque looks as if it is floating on the surface of the water, thanks to 23-meter-high poles supporting it from the bottom of the sea.
Amirul Mu'minin Mosque, Makassar was built to serve as the primary landmark of Makassar, South Sulawesi. The three-storey mosque is located east of Losari beach and is able to host 500 worshipers.
Amirul Mukminin Mosque has two domes, each measuring 9m in diameter. Worshipers praying and contemplating inside it can also enjoy the view of the sea and cool breeze coming through its windows.
Arkham Babu Rahman Mosque, Palu built in close proximity to Taman Ria Beach in Lere village, Central Sulawesi, features four towers and a dome. It is 121 square meters with the capacity up to 150 worshippers.
Perched above the waters about 30m away from the beach, the mosque is accessible from the coast via a bridge.
Unfortunately, Arkham Babu Rahman was among the many buildings affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami that hit Palu in October. An aerial photo of Hasanuddin International Airport shows the mosque disconnected from the shore, after the destruction of its bridge.