The Great Mosque of Ramla is the largest original and complete crusader church in Israel. Masjid al Omari means that a previous building was transformed into this mosque. The cathedral of John the Baptist was here built in the 12th century. After the conquest of Ramla in the Judean Lowland by the Mamluks led by Baybars (1260), the cathedral was turned into a mosque with a minbar and mihrab (to the South). However the architecture is crusader. It has and apse (to the East ), three halls, a nave and two aisles. This is a classic Basilica. Why did Baybars convert it into a mosque instead of destroying it?
According to an inscription of Baybars it serves as a mosque from 1268. This inscription probably came from the White Mosque and it describes the occupation of Jaffa by the Mamluk ruler Baybars
An inscription dates the present minaret to 1314.
Note the interesting signs:
Note the classic Mamluk striped red-white-black stonework in above photo.
The Basilica Mosque
The Al-Omari Mosque is an active mosque and can be visited.
Address: Shlomo Hamelech Blvd., Ramla
Admission fee: Free
Download the free audio tour application (Android/iPhone) for “Ramla Tour”: