Every Muslim is obliged at least once in their lifetime, of course, if the physical and financial opportunity allow, to visit the sacred mosque, Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. This ritual is known as the annual Hajj and welcomes every year millions of Muslims gathered in the courtyard of the Great Mosque.
Mecca is one of the three most important centers of Islam - Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. This city is located in the central eastern part of Saudi Arabia, as is the capital of the province of Mecca, which is located in the historic place of the Hejaz region. Mecca is surrounded by hills that define the modern city limits with the red sea being 80 km away. The area around the Grand Mosque is known as the Old City of Mecca.
Mecca is considered the birthplace of Mohammed. For the first time Mohamammed emerged the islamic religion and began to spread word among the Arab ethnic groups. The Prophet Mohammed migrated from Hajri in Mecca and moved to Medina in 622, from there Medina in Mecca only allowed entry to Muslims.
Also, Muslims worship Allah facing towards the Kaaba in Mecca. Kaaba is actually a large sacred stone, centrally located in the courtyard of the most sacred place, Masjid al-Haram. This stone is considered the most important subject throughout Mecca. Some Muslims visit the tomb of the Prophet Mohammed, which is located in the Masjid al-Nabaui (Mosque of the Prophet) in Medina. Each year during the Hajj in Mecca about three million Muslims from around the world visit to pray and worship in the Grand Mosque.
Residents of Saudi Arabia decided to raise their most sacred shrine right in the center of Mecca, which had previously been located hundreds of homes and houses. Today this area of the Old Town in Mecca was replaced by wide boulevards and large squares. Mecca is not only a religious center. It is today the modern face of offices of world famous companies. For centuries, Mecca was very important for the transport trade between the East and West.
Modern building in Mecca today is at a large scale. Still underway is the construction of the highest building in the town, Abraj Al Bait Towers. This giant tower is located in an area opposite the Holy Mosque and is scheduled to reach a height of 577 meters. According to the plans for this huge building in Mecca, it must be completed in 2010, which means it will be upgraded to the highest buildings in the world.
Opposite the Great Mosque, Masjid al-Haram in Mecca was located and an ancient palace, reminiscent of years of the slavery region. Once the fortress (The Qishla of Mecca) was erected to protect the town and its inhabitants from enemy attacks. Despite this great historic significance of the fortress in Mecca, the Saudi government decided to abolish the historic building to find space for the construction of modern hotels and office buildings near to the Grand Mosque. Itself the most holy temple for the Muslims is spread over an area of 400, 800 square meters and is able to accommodate nearly 4 million pilgrims
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