The Aitida Mosque, a grand Islamic structure located in the center of the city of Kashgar, has a history of more than five hundred years. Shakesimirzha, the ruler of Kashgar, had the mosque built here first in1442, where he would say prayers to the souls of his deceased relatives. Extended and renovated time and again through the ages, it has finally reached its present shape and size. The mosque, 140 meters long from south to north and 120 meters from east to west, covers an area of 16,800 square meters and consists of the Hall of Prayer, the Doctrine-Teaching Hall, the gate tower, a pond and some other auxiliary structures. The gate of the mosque, built of yellow bricks with the joints of the brickwork pointed with gypsum, has distinct lines. On both sides of the gate are eighteen-meter high round brick columns half embedded in the wall. On top of the columns stands a tower where the imam would call out loudly at dawn every day to wake up the Muslims and summon them to attend service in the mosque. In the tree-graced courtyard, there is a pond, and on its bank many pottery pots are placed, which are to be used by the Islam believers to clean their bodies. The main hall with wide eaves is 160 meters long and 16 meters wide. The hall's ceiling, with fine wooden carvings and colorful flower-and-plant painting patterns, is supported by one hundred carved wooden columns. In the middle part of the wall in the main hall, there is a deep shrine in which a stepped throne is placed. During service, the First Maola stands in the shrine to lead the prayer. And on Fridays or Corban, the First Maola conducts "Wa'z", standing on the steps of the throne. After entering the main hall, the followers would seat themselves facing west both inside and out, in proper lines.