Brilliant colour and intricate detail, lush foliage and scented flowers.  All these details add up to a harmonious whole and a very peaceful garden. The azure blue tiles prompt memories of sunlit water, even when the fountains are dry.

(Click on any photo for a larger image).

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The Grande Mosquée de Paris was built after the First World War in the Islamic tradition of North Africa and Andalusia.  The mosque is the home of the Muslim Institute of Paris, a spiritual, philanthropic and cultural association with strong humanitarian principles.  Since it opened its doors in 1922, the mosque has welcomed visitors of all faiths into its halls, courtyards and gardens.

Walking through the shady arcades into the sunlit, enclosed garden is to step out of the city for a while.   To prolong the experience, whatever the weather, the mosque café offers the chance to linger over mint tea and sweet pastries, in the café garden or under cover.   Its the perfect place for a pause.