As the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, the Istiqlal Mosque is an impressive sight. Named after the Arabic word for independence, the mosque was built to commemorate Indonesian independence and it is located at the northeastern corner of Merdeka Square. Designed by Frederich Silaban, a Christian architect from North Sumatra, the mosque’s foundation stone was laid by President Soekarno in 1961. The building, which took 17 years to complete, is topped with two striking domes supported by 12 mighty columns. Featuring four levels of balconies, the mosque can accommodate a congregation of up to 120,000 people.