During the prosperous Tang Dynasty (618 – 907) large number of Moslems traveled the world famous Silk Road to Chang'an (former Xian) bringing Islam to China. With the support of Tang Emperor Xuanzong (685-762, reigned 712-756), they established the Great Mosque in 742. It is well-preserved example of cultural merging, having been renovated several times and preserved by the Chinese Government.
The Mosque exhibits the signification of overseas architecture. From the carvings and furniture inside to the eaved pagoda for the minaret, Chinese influence is apparent. However, Arabic and West Asian styles prevail in the Great Hall of the Mosque, which was built mainly in the 14th century. Inscriptions are in Arabic, but the characters are sometimes arranged like Chinese styles. The library includes many books in the Arabic style, which were actually written in China. It is the largest of the four mosques still in operation in the city of Xian. Encompassing approximately 4,000 square meters, it is still an active Moslem temple