Heart of Chechnya mosque in Grozny, Chechnya. Source: timag82.livejournal.com
One of the biggest mosques in Europe and world
The Heart of Chechnya Mosque, named after Akhmad Kadyrov, the first President of the Chechen Republic, is one of the largest mosques in Europe. It is able to accommodate more than 10,000 people. The total area of the Islamic complex is 14 acres. An additional 10,000 believers can also pray in the adjoining summer galleries and square. The height of the four (the highest in Russia) minarets, surrounding the Heart of Chechnya, is 63 meters.
The exterior and interior walls of the mosque are decorated with marble. The Turkish masters, who painted patterns from the Quran on the walls of the mosque, used gold of the highest quality. In the mosque, there are eight chandeliers made of Swarovski crystals. In order to create this collection, they used several tons of bronze, and 2.5 kg of the highest quality gold.
One of the most impressive mosques in the world
In the mid-16th century, the Russian army, led by Ivan Grozny (Ivan the Terrible), conquered Kazan, the capital of Islamic Kazan Khanate, on the third attempt. According to one version, Ivan Grozny’s troops took from Kazan to Moscow the “Kazan Cap” – the crown of the Kazan khans. According to a second version, jewelers of the conquered Khanate made this “Cap” intentionally for the Russian Tsar.
The shape of the “Kazan Cap” inspired the main architects of the Kul Sharif mosque of Kazan, built on the place of the legendary minaret temple, which was destroyed by Ivan Grozny during his campaigns. The mosque was opened for the 1,000th anniversary of the city of Kazan, and it is one of the most spectacular mosques in the world, according to the Huffington Post, The Wondrous and many others.
The mosque can accommodate 1,500 believers, while more than 10,000 can be accommodated in the adjacent square. The temple was built entirely by donations, with the cost being estimated at 400 million rubles. In the main hall of the mosque, there are books where the names of 40,000 people and organizations, who donated money for its construction, are inscribed.
Kul Sharif mosque in Kazan. Source: Lori Images
The oldest mosque in the territory of Russia and CIS
Derbent, one of the oldest “living” world cities, is situated in Russia and was founded in 438 A.D. Here the oldest mosque in Russia, built in 773, is situated as well It was designed for the performance of general Friday prayers. After its construction, this mosque was considered one of the largest buildings in the city, having been restored after a late 14th century earthquake. In the 1930s, the mosque was closed during an atheistic campaign launched by Soviet authorities, and then was used as the city jail. In the middle of the 20th century, the mosque was returned to the clergy of the city, and now the Juma Mosque is listed in the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Register.
Derbent Museum in Dagestan. Source: Lori Images
The most northern mosque in the world
Noorda Kamal Mosque is one of the most beautiful sites in the Arctic city of Norilsk. This mosque is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most northerly-situated mosque in the world. The architecture of the mosque, built according to a custom design, is different from traditional mosques. This is explained by the special climatic conditions of the Far North. For example, Norilsk’s minaret tower, which is generally supposed to have a round shape, has a square base. This is explained by that fact that in such walls, the bricks do not freeze and they are more resistant to wind loads. The mosque was built by the businessman Mithada Bikmeyeva, an ethnic Tatar, who was born in Norilsk. The mosque was named Noorda Kamal, in honor of his father Nuritdin and mother Gaynikamal.
Noorda Kamal mosque in Norilsk. Source: wikipedia.org
The Great Mosque-Madrasa Lala-Tulip is the main Muslim center of the republic of Bashkortostan. Its construction was made possible by donations of the faithful people and government of the republic.
The mosque is interesting for its unusual appearance; the shape and color of the main building are similar to the shape of a blossoming tulip and the minarets resemble two buds. This similarity is not accidental – the tulip is the symbol of the Turkic peoples from ancient times. According to a Bashkir legend, happiness is located inside the unopened tulip bud.
Lala-Tulip can accommodate up to 1,000 worshipers, and its 53-meter high minarets make it the third tallest in Russia, after the Heart of Chechnya Mosque (62 m) and the Kul Sharif (57 m).
Lala-Tulip mosque in Ufa. Source: Lori Images
The Sunni mosque (or Mukhtarov Mosque), situated on the left bank of the Terek River, is one of the symbols of Vladikavkaz, the capital of the Caucasus Republic of North Ossetia-Alania. The mosque was built from 1905 to 1908. Murtaza Agha Mukhtarov, Baku oil millionaire, financed the construction of the mosque, as his wife came from Vladikavkaz. The mosque was built in the Egyptian style, resembling the famous Al-Azhar University. It was built from white limestone brought from the suburbs of Baku.
In 1934, the Soviet city council decided to destroy the Sunni mosque, and in response, Y.I. Betkenev, the commander of the 25th Tatar Company, ordered his men to protect the mosque. Authorities had to give in, and gave the mosque the status of an architectural monument.
Mukhtarov mosque in Vladikavkaz, Caucasus. Source: timag82.livejournal.com
Saint Petersburg Mosque was founded in 1910 in honor of the Emir of Bukhara, as a result of Central Asia joining Russia. This happened under Alexander III, when the court was trying to respect the interests of the Muslim community, in which there were more than 8,000 people. When built in 1913, the mosque was the largest church in Russia. It can accommodate up to 5,000 worshipers. Two minarets reach 49 meters, and the dome rises 39 meters high.
The dome of the St. Petersburg Mosque is almost an exact copy of the Gur Emir Mausoleum in Samarkand (15th century), where Tamerlane’s ashes, the Central Asian conqueror, are kept.
St. Petersburg's "blue" mosque. Source: Lori Images
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