Travel BlogJune 21, 2023
Top 5 Cultural Sites You Can Visit in Male’
Located in the Maldives, the captivating capital city of Malé invites travellers to delve into a world where history and culture intertwine to showcase the essence of the Maldivian identity. Despite its small size, Malé is a vibrant metropolis that holds within its bounds a plethora of cultural sites, each offering a fascinating glimpse into the country’s past and present.
With its ancient mosques, distinct architectural marvels, and vibrant markets, this bustling city provides an immersive experience that unveils the rich heritage and traditions of the Maldivian people. Embark on a journey through Malé’s top five cultural sites, where the captivating stories of the past and the vibrant pulse of the present seamlessly converge, leaving visitors spellbound and eager to explore further.
Hukuru Miskiy (Grand Friday Mosque)
As the largest and most significant mosque in the Maldives, the Grand Friday Mosque stands proudly in the heart of Male’. Its breathtaking Islamic architecture, adorned with intricate carvings and vibrant tiles, creates a mesmerizing sight.
In addition to its stunning architecture, the Grand Friday Mosque also has a rich history. It was built in 1656 during the reign of Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar, and it has played an important role in the religious and cultural life of the Maldives ever since.
National Museum of the Maldives
The National Museum boasts a vast collection of artefacts that paint a vivid picture of the Maldives’ rich cultural heritage. Among the most notable items in the collection are Buddhist statues that date back centuries, Islamic manuscripts that provide a glimpse into the Maldives’ religious history, and a range of fascinating artefacts from the colonial era.
In addition to its impressive collection, the National Museum of the Maldives offers a wealth of information about the country’s history and culture. Visitors can learn about the Maldives’ origins as a Buddhist kingdom, its conversion to Islam, and the impact of colonialism on the islands.
Muliaage (The Palace)
Step into the historical Muliaage, once the official residence of Maldivian sultans and now serving as the office of the President of the Maldives. This architectural marvel showcases the splendour of colonial design and is surrounded by lush gardens that exude tranquillity. Inside, a captivating collection of paintings, photographs, and documents provides a glimpse into the lives of the Maldivian sultans and the palace’s occupants throughout history.
National Art Gallery
National Art Gallery provides an intimate setting to celebrate Maldivian arts and culture. Established in 2005, this gallery has emerged as a platform for local artists to showcase their talents. The National Art Gallery’s Permanent Collection is a tangible representation of the artistic heritage of the country. It includes over fifty works of art and is the most extensive collection of Maldivian art in the country. The collection comprises works from all the prominent Maldivian artists, who have contributed to the development and growth of arts in the country. It showcases, uniquely Maldivian works, that have been imbued with various historical and contemporary artistic influences from around the world.
Situated in Male’, the Tsunami Monument holds immense cultural significance as a poignant memorial honouring the victims of the catastrophic 2004 tsunami. Nestled in Boduthakurufaanu Magu, southeast of Malé, this site provides a tranquil space for reflection, drawing in history enthusiasts and grieving relatives seeking solace.
The monument’s design is adorned with 20 steel spheres, symbolizing the atolls of the Maldives, gracefully encircling the central structure. Towering pillars represent the relentless force of the tsunami waves. Notably, the monument pays heartfelt tribute to the 74 individuals who tragically lost their lives in the disaster, with their names meticulously engraved on the rod-like elements.