The Mosque in St Petersburg Russia

St Petersburg Mosque. (Source: Wikipedia)
Amidst all the church spires in central St. Petersburg in Russia stood two minarets belonging to a mosque. Unusually enough, the mosque was unnamed and many described it as the Saint Petersburg Mosque. I found the mosque accidentally when I was studying the map of St Petersburg.

The mosque was built in 1913 and at that time, there were about 8,000 Muslims living there. The mosque was built to accomodate all these people. Its architect wanted to copy the Gure Amir in Samarkand in Uzbekistan. Gure Amir was not a mosque but rather a tomb of Tamerlane. Tamerlane was recognised as a military genius wwas the most powerful ruler in the Muslim World in the 15th century.

Work began in 1910 when Emperor Nicholas II gave the permission to purchase the site. The site was opposite the Peter and Paul's Fortress, said to be where the first fort was built in St Petersburg. Skilled craftsmen from Central Asia worked on the mosque.

A Closer View of the St Petersburg Mosque which I took when I visited it on 29th June 2012. (Source: Rozan Yunos, 2012)
During the Second World War, the mosque was closed and was not used. It was not until 1956 that the mosque was reopened. The betautifully ornate architecure of the mosque was restored in 1980.
Even though it does not claim to be a tourist spot, many tourists ended up there nevertheless. When I visited it, there was a number of tourists there as well.

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