07/26/2014 08:43 am ET Updated Jul 29, 2014

Here's How Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Was Built (PHOTOS)

Abu Dhabi's most iconic landmark is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which features eighty-two white domes. Built between 1996 and 2007, it was designed to be an architectural wonder that incorporated both modern and classic Islamic artistic styles. Greek and Italian white marble covers the exterior, while Islamic calligraphy decorates the inside.

Photographer Beno Saradzic, originally from Slovenia, has created a series of images which show the dramatic difference between the way the mosque looked while under construction and the finished space. He entered some of them in the Grand Mosque's annual photography competition, "Spaces of Light," which encourages participants to "express their own relationship to this monumental place and convey it through their own eyes."

Seeing the mosque in its unfinished state is a rare treat for visitors who may only know it in its current incarnation. The photos from 2002 and 2003 are simply a hint of the grandeur to come.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Before / After

See Saradzic's Facebook page, Flickr site, or 500px profile for more of his work



Amazing Mosques