The mosque was built in 1778 by Prince Suleiman in honor of his father, Prince Emin, one of the few rulers of Turpan to have made the pilgrimage to Mecca. One of the first Western visitors was Francis Younghusband, who was less than overawed: "Some 3 miles from Turfan we passed a mosque with a curious tower, which looked as much like a very fat factory chimney as anything else. It was about 80 feet high, circular, and built of mud bricks, and it was ornamented by placing the bricks at different angles, forming patterns." On a deep blue-sky day, the mosque's graceful combination of adobe curves and angles are beautifully softened by the surrounding grapevines and it's hard not to be drawn to the "chimney," which is actually 40m (132 ft.) tall. The style is neither Han nor Hui, but similar to those found farther west on the Silk Routes. The mosque is not the oldest in Turpan, but it's the best preserved. It's open for worship at 2:30pm on Friday, when entry for non-Muslims is restricted.