Russia is a state where peoples profess different religions. Many mosques, both Sunni and Shiite, have been built in different regions of Russia. In this review on the online travel guide Geomerid you can read about the Mosques of Russia:
1. Juma Mosque (Derbent) – 733
2. The Great Khan Mosque (Bakhchisarai) – 1532
3. Juma Jami Mosque (Yevpatoria) – 1552
4. Mufti-Jami Mosque (Feodosia) – 1632
5. Cathedral Mosque of St. Petersburg - 1913
6. Qolsarif Mosque (Kazan) – 2005
7. White Mosque (Bolgar) – 2012
8. Moscow Cathedral Mosque (Moscow) – 2015
The Juma Mosque in the center of the old city of Derbent is the oldest mosque in Russia. It was built by the Arabs in 733. Islam as a religion was adopted in 610, and a century later Arab conquerors built a Juma mosque in Derbent. Thus, it is also one of the oldest mosques in the world.
The Juma Mosque is located in the older building dating back to the Persian or Byzantine era. This explains the fact that the entrance to the Juma Mosque is from the south, although all canonical mosques have it from the north. Plane trees grow in front of the entrance to the Juma Mosque. According to legend, they were planted in the 9th century by the imam of Derbent, Abul-Qasim al-Junaid al-Baghdadi. Now they are more than 1000 years old.
In 1930, the Juma Mosque was closed, and in 1938 a prison was organized here. In 1943, the mosque was returned to the clergy again. Both Shiite and Sunni Muslims can pray in the Juma Mosque of Derbent. Above the dome there is not a crescent moon, as on Sunni mosques, but a hand.
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The Great Khan Mosque (Biyuk Khan Jami) is located to the right of the Northern Gate, which is the main entrance to the territory of the Khan`s Palace. It is the oldest building in Bakhchisarai. On its wall there is a plaque with the name of Khan Sahib Giray, who in 1532 began the construction of the new capital of the Crimean Khanate.
The Great Khan Mosque was built in the architectural style of the Crimean Tatars. The mosque building is covered with a four-pitched roof with red tiles, although at first, domes towered over the mosque. On the walls of the Great Khan Mosque you can see beautiful panels with majolica, where sayings from the Koran are written. The window portals are also very beautifully decorated.
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The Juma Jami Mosque is the largest mosque in Crimea and one of the most interesting sights of Yevpatoria. It was built in 1552 by the great Turkish architect Hoja Mimar Sinan Aga, who was more often called Sinan. The mosque is located in the historical center of Yevpatoria, next to temples of other religions.
The first mosque, by order of the Turkish Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, was built in the Crimea by the architect Sinan, was the Biyuk-Jami Mosque in Feodosia. Sinan built the second mosque in Crimea 30 years later in Yevpatoria. In 1552, the Crimean khan Devlet-Giray received the right to the khanate in Istanbul and ordered the construction of a large mosque in Gezlev (Yevpatoria), which was called the Juma-Jami Mosque, which means the Cathedral Friday Mosque. The Juma-Jami Mosque in Yevpatoria was built in the Ottoman style. This style, with a large dome in the center and cascades of domes and semi-domes on the sides, was first used in the construction of the Byzantine Hagia Sophia.
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The Mufti-Jami Mosque in Feodosia is located near the Morsad Park. The construction of the mosque began in 1632, and was completed in 1630. It was the heyday of the Crimean Khanate with its capital in Bakhchisarai. The Turks seized Crimea in 1475, 20 years after the fall of Constantinople. After that, they actively converted people to Islam in the Christian territories of Crimea.
After the conquest of Feodosia, by order of the Turkish Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, in 1520 a large Biyuk-Jami Mosque was built in the city. It has not survived to this day. The Mufti-Jami Mosque was built a century later, and it became the second most important in Feodosia. The Mufti-Jami Mosque was built in the architectural style of the mosques of Istanbul, which in turn copied the design of Byzantine temples, in particular the Hagia Sophia Cathedral. The mosque has a cubic structure, and a wide dome rests on supporting pillars.
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One could see quite well the dome and minarets of the Cathedral Mosque of St. Petersburg, which is near the Trinity Bridge, from the Neva embankment. The mosque, which was built in 1914, strongly resembles those of Bukhara and Samarkand. For nearly two centuries after the foundation of St. Petersburg there was no mosque in the city, although by the second half of 19 century a rather big Muslim community had been formed there.
The emir of Bukhara assigned 312 thousand roubles for purchase of land and creation of the project. The laying of the foundation stone took place on February 10, 1910 and was timed to the 25th anniversary of the emir enthronement. The first religious service was held during the celebration of 300th anniversary of the House of Romanov in the unfinished building of the mosque in 1913. The construction was finished a year later and regular religious services began only in 1920.
Architecturally, the Petersburg mosque looks very much like the famous Gur-Emir Mosque of Samarkand. The ribbed dome of 39 meters covered by turquoise majolica is dominated by two 48-meter minarets. The entrance portal of the mosque strongly resembles that of the Shah-i-Zinda mausoleum in Samarkand.
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The Qolsarif Mosque located in the western part of the Kazan Kremlin is quite rightly considered a symbol of Kazan. It is the main Muslim temple of the city and the whole Tatarstan. The mosque was reconstructed by the thousandth anniversary of Kazan in 2005. The original mosque was destroyed during the storm of the city in 1552. The mosque was named after Imam Qolsarif, one of the leaders of Kazan`s defense from the Russian troops of Ivan the Terrible.
The new Qolsarif Mosque was built on the former drill ground of the military school. The Urals marble was used in the construction of the mosque. The carpets were a gift of the government of Iran and the crystal chandelier was made in Czechia. The Qolsarif Mosque is surrounded by 8 minarets. The mosque is closed for public and one can see the prayer hall only from two balconies intended for tourists. One should visit the Museum of Islam located on the ground floor of the mosque.
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The White Mosque was built in the ancient Tatar city of Bolgar in 2012. It is one of the most beautiful mosques in Russia. The White Mosque got its name thanks to the white marble. All surfaces of the mosque are lined with it. The Bulgarian Islamic Academy is located next to the mosque. Pilgrims from different regions of Russia constantly come here.
The White Mosque was built on the initiative of the former President of Tatarstan, Mentimir Shaimiev. It cannot be called a big mosque, but all people admire its beauty. Depending on the lighting, white marble takes on pink or yellow shades. The height of the central dome is 27 meters, and the height of the two minarets reaches 46.5 meters. The minarets of the White Mosque are made in the form of reduced copies of the minarets of the Masjid al-Nabawi Mosque in Medina (Saudi Arabia).
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The Moscow Cathedral Mosque is the main mosque of the city and one of the most important mosques in Russia. Here is the residence of the Mufti of Russia (head of the spiritual administration of Muslims). Up to 15 thousand people can pray at the same time in the Moscow mosque. In terms of capacity, this mosque is the largest in Europe.
The Moscow Cathedral Mosque is located on Olympic Avenue, in the northern part of the Garden Ring. It is built in the style of Sunni mosques typical of the Persian Gulf countries. A golden dome rises above the main hall of the mosque. Its height is 46 meters, and the height of the two minarets reaches 72 meters. The diameter of the dome is 27 meters.
The first mosque on this site was founded in 1904. The building of the first mosque was small. This mosque was not closed even in the 1930s, when many Christian churches and Muslim mosques were closed, and some were destroyed. Divine services continued in the Moscow Mosque, and it was given the status of a Main Mosque of Russia. It has become the only functioning mosque in Central Russia.
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