The architecture of Indonesia reflects the diversity of cultural,historical and geographic influences that has shaped Indonesia as a whole.Invaders,colonizers,missionaries and traders brought cultural changes that had profound effect on building styles and techniques.Traditionally the most significant influence is Indian.However Chinese,Arab—and since the 18th and 19th centuries —European influence have played significant roles in shaping Indonesian architecture
Istiqlal Mosque or Masjid is in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is the largest Mosque in Southeast Asia in terms of capacity to accommodate people and building structure. This national Mosque of Indonesia was built to commemorate Indonesian independence ,as nations gratitude for God’s blessings.The name Istiqlal is an Arabic word for independence. After the independence of Indonesia from the Netherlands in 1949, the idea became popular to build a Mosque for a country with the largest Muslim population in the world.
There are seven gates to enter the mosque,each named after Al-Asmaul-Husna the names of God in Islam. The number 7 represents 7 Heavens in Islamic Cosmology. The ablution fountains are located on the ground floor.The main prayer hall and the main courtyard are on the elevated first floor. The main rectangular prayer hall is covered by 45 metre diameter central spherical dome. The number “45” symbolizes the year of proclamation of independence 1945.the main dome is adorned with stainless steel ornamental pinnacle that took form of a crescent and star,the symbol of Islam. The smaller secondary dome is also adorned with stainless steel pinnacle with Arabic calligraphy Allah.
The dome is supported by twelve round columns and the prayer hall is surrounded by rectangular piers carrying four levels of balcony. Twelve columns represent the birthday of Prophet Muhammad on twelfth Rabi-al- Awwal. The main building of Istiqlal consists of five floors,’5′ represents the Five Pillars of Islam .It also represents Pancasila ,the five principles of Philosophical foundation of the Indonesian nationhood.
On the main wall on qibla there is a mihrab and minbar in the center. On the main wall there is also a large metal work of Arabic calligraphy of Surah Taha 14th verse in the center.