Masjid Agung Demak

Posted on January 6, 2018
LocationDemak Regency

Demak Regency Demak is a main town in Central Java, Demak is known as central to the development of Islam in Java. Known as a city guardian of Wali Songo, is the first and greatest islamic empire Kasultanan Demak on the north coast of Java.
Demak is a main town in Central Java, Demak is known as central to the development of Islam in Java. Known as a city guardian of Wali Songo, is the first and greatest islamic empire Kasultanan Demak on the north coast of Java .
Demak is a bustling little town, with a population of approximately 100,000 people and has totaled the most popular tourist destination on the north coast of Java, Demak name itself comes from the word Dimak derived from the word Edge, Edge Mara and Jumpara who became *Jepara, which means a place of settlement of the traders who trade to regions. Demak is constitute a the first islamic kingdom at Java Island.

Masjid Agung Demak (or Demak Great Mosque) is one of the oldest mosques in Indonesia, located in the center town of Demak, Central Java Indonesia. The mosque is believed to be built by the Nine Muslim Saints (Wali Songo) with the most prominent figure Sunan Kalijaga, during the first Demak Sultanate ruler, Raden Patah during the 15th century.

Although it has had a number of renovations, it is thought to be largely in its original form. The mosque is a classic example of a traditional Javanese mosque. Unlike mosques in the Middle East it is built from timber. Rather than a dome, which did not appear on Indonesian mosques until the 19th century, the roof is tiered and supported by four saka guru teak pillars. The tiered roof shows many similarities with wooden religious structures from the Hindu-Buddhist civilizations of Java and Bali. The main entrance of Masjid Agung Demak consists of two doors carved with motifs of plants, vases, crowns and an animal head with an open wide-toothed mouth. It is said that picture depicts the manifested thunder caught by Ki Ageng Selo, hence their name “Lawang Bledheg” (the doors of thunder).
Like other mosques of its era, its orientation towards Mecca is only approximate ( source


Photo: Sally Arnold

Mesjid Agung Demak is Java’s oldest mosque, at the heart of Java’s first Islamic kingdom established in the late 15th century, and instrumental in the spread of Islam throughout the nation.
Demak’s history is rich with legends of nine Islamic saints, known as the wali songo—one tale recounts that the mosque was magically built in one night. Although little is known of their origin, the mystical form of Islam they evangelised was more akin to Sufism, an easy move from the former Hindu and Animist traditions, and along with the new beliefs a fresh wave of creativity in literature, the arts and architecture followed. The wali songo’s graves form important pilgrimage sites for Javanese.

Mesjid Agung Demak has undergone several renovations, but in its present guise is not far removed from the original: constructed from wood with a triple-tiered pyramid shaped roof supported by four principal pillars known as the soko guru, influenced by earlier Hindu architectural forms. Some historians speculate that the architects were indeed Hindu, the predominating religion at the time of its construction. In front of the mosque, a 22-metre minaret with metal open stairways added in 1932 looks strangely like a telephone signal tower.


A small onsite museum documents the history of the mosque with miniature models, some original pillars and beautiful elaborately carved teak doors along with other architectural elements. Also on display are large drums used for the call to prayer and huge Ming Dynasty jars in the past filled with water to perform ablutions as well as some hand inscribed Korans. All labels are in Indonesian, but the artefacts themselves are still interesting to view.

Behind the museum, to the side of the mosque a graveyard that includes tombs of the Sultan of Demak is the main reason, not just for pilgrims, but for travellers to visit the mosque. This holy site is considered so sacred that some Javanese believe seven “ziarah” or pilgrimages here are equivalent to a pilgrimage to Mecca and it’s quite moving to watch the faithful chanting and meditating in front of the mausoleum.

The mosque is the only real reason the visit Demak, some 30 kilometres northeast of Semarang and unless you have a particular interest in Islam or Islamic architecture in these parts is probably not worth a standalone trip, however if you are travelling towards Jepara, it’s defiantly worth a stop on the way, along with the fascinating mosque in Kudus. Respectful dress is required—long pants and sleeves, and headscarfs for women (menstruating women are not permitted).

No admission and entrance fee here, but visitors normally give donations in the charity box.

Daily open ( 7/7) Monday –Sunday : 24 hours

Museum Masjid Demak
Jl. Sultan Patah No. 57 Kec. Bintaro, Kab. Demak
Telp. (0291) 685532
Faks. (0291) 685532
Website #NA

Buses from Terboyo terminal in Semarang will drop you near the mosque (10,000 rupiah, 40 mins). For travel between Semarang and Jepara, consider hiring a car and driver (around 650,000 rupiah) to visit the sights at Demak and Kudus along the way.

Get direction :

Rumah Makan Rahayu, Jl. Sultan Fatah No. 41
Sarwo Eco, Jln. Sultan Fatah (Depan terminal bus)
Es Teler Junior (Mak Nyeees), Jln. Sultan Fatah A.1 Demak, ☎ 02916904090

Hotel Wijayakusuma.
Hotel Amantis, Jl.Lingkar Demak – Kudus Km 24 Demak. ☎(0291) 6905000
Hotel Citra Alam, Jl.Bhayangkara No 11 Demak. ☎(0291) 681813
Hotel Wisma Mustika, Jl.Raden Sahid. ☎(0291) 681245

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