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Religious temples

Historically, there were great mosques in their time in all regions of Azerbaijan, and they are preserved to this day. From this point of view, we can name Bibiheybat and Tazapir in Baku, as well as Jame Mosques in Nakhchivan and Ordubad, Imamzade Complexes in the autonomous republic. These monuments in our country contain the religious and spiritual outlook of our people.

Consistent measures are being taken in our autonomous republic to preserve our religious values ​​today. Historic monuments, religious sanctuaries are being restored, new mosques are built. Mosques are places of worship, and places where our spiritual values ​​are kept alive.

One of these places is the Saltag village mosque in the Saltag village of Julfa region. This mosque that is eye-brightening with its historic-architectural structure was built in 1410. The height of its minaret is 12 meters. Its dome has eight windows and these windows lighten the mosque. The images of moon and an octagonal star were engraved on the dome and the minaret.

In the yard of the mosque consisting of three entrance doors, there is an ancient mulberry tree and a well. Prayers were written on the walls of the door to its yard. The mosque built of mortar was restored with the help of the villagers in 1991 and construction and restoration dates were written on the minaret. The columns of entrance are dome-shaped. The patterns also used in the Momina Khatun mausoleum are also amazing on the walls of the mosque, and the place in where ancient religious books kept were used as a library. The second floor of the two-storey temple is balcony and is designed for women. The height of the mosque from ground to ceiling is 5 meters and the ceiling stands on 7 columns. The mosque, which has a total area of ​​600 square meters, can serve 400 people at the same time.

The mosque in Bananiyar village of Julfa region belongs to the 19th century. This two-storey mosque was repaired in 1987. Its height from ground to ceiling is 9 meters and its height from ground to the dome is 15 meters. The first floor is for men, and the second floor is for women. This place of worship located on the highest point of the village is a place that become more beautiful with its architectural structure. The Bananiyar village mosque is also important as a historical monument.

Ordubad, one of the most beautiful corners of Nakhchivan, has always been in the spotlight with its many historical monuments. Among such monuments, mosques also have a special place. The mosques here mainly differ by their antiquity. Most of these places of worship are historically significant. The Jame mosque in the Vanand village of this region is also a religious place that has attracted the interest of researchers and visitors.

It was noted in the "Encyclopedia of Nakhchivan Monuments" that Jame Mosque, which is located on the central square of Vanand and differ by its architectural features, was built in 1324-1325. The area of this rectangular mosque is approximately 375 square meters and its height is 7 meters. The mosque has been restored several times. An inscription in the Persian and Arabic languages ​​on the northern side of the arc provides information on economic life of Vanand and Nakhchivan in the first half of the eighteenth century. The book was translated into French for the first time by a Russian orientalist, historian, ethnographer N.V.Khanikov. The two-storey mosque has a minaret. There are stairs leading to the minaret inside the mosque. The first floor is for men, and the second floor is for women's worship. A thousand people can pray here at the same time. The mosque, which stands on three large columns, is lightening by one large and 10 other chandeliers. Books are placed in the shelves arranged inside of the mosque which its doors were prepared in network style by the local craftsmen.

Three older plane trees reaching to heaven in the courtyard of the mosque have been witnessing the history of this ancient mosque for centuries. In general, from ancient times, special attention was paid to the fact that there were springs and plane trees in the mosque yards of Ordubad.  

In addition to Jame mosque, there are three block mosques in Vanand village which are mainly mosques without minarets and they are called with the names of the blocks they located. Typically, the minaret is replaced by a pavement located on the roof of the mosque. For example, since Burchunlu mosque, one of the block mosques of Vanand, is located in Burchunlu block of the village was called so and its constructivist structure dates back to the XVII century.

Heydar mosque constructed last century is an architectural monument located in Aralig village of Sharur region. The mosque building located in 420 square meters area was constructed in modern style reflecting Eastern architectural elements. On the dome of the mosque, which is in rectangular form inside and outside “Heydar Mosque” words were written with green glazed tiles and an inscription with “Koran” sentence was placed over the main door entrance. The mosque walls were painted with a red brick colour from outside giving it a monumental appearance, the doors and windows sides also corners of the building were painted with white colour, the mosque yard was surrounded with iron lattices decorated with botanic and geometric designs, religious symbols.

Mosques, the main holy places of Islam are the worship places of the world Muslims, their spiritual unity place. In these holy places, people are united for spiritual purity. In this regard, residents who use mosques in cities, regions and villages also enrich their spiritual world. It should be noted that the sacred Islamic religion has always been an inexhaustible love for God, its sacred books, sacred places, mosques. Today, this love, respect, belief says about the spiritual world, religious values of people. Sacred places, tombs, domes, mosques turned into worship places, sanctuaries. At present, these places are surrounded with state care. There are sanctuaries and mosques almost in the every region of the autonomous republic.

Unfortunately, once, there were the cases to close the mosques, the belief places of people for worship, used as warehouses. This kind of unpleasant attitude towards the mosques was met with great sadness by the people who had   the love of God in their hearts. But these obstacles could not weaken the will of the Azerbaijani people, our people did not refuse their religion but on the contrary, they were closer to it. Today, our religious values are protected at the state level in independent Azerbaijan, and people's freedom of belief is fully guaranteed. Today, our state provides great support for our religion, Islam enlightenment. All the people of our nation feel the yield of the state's care for the religious places. As a result of these efforts at the state level, dozens of mosques have been restored and turned into places of national visits. In recent years, reconstruction of Heydar mosque in Cheshmabasar village of Babek region, Nehram, Abragunus and other village mosques in national architectural style, and the construction of a place of worship in the city of Nakhchivan, where 2500 people can worship at one time, one of the largest mosques in the South Caucasus, proves this. These holy places, sanctuaries distinguished for their antiquity, architectural style will be of great interest for foreign guests during the spectacular events coming to Nakhchivan city which is the capital of Islamic culture in 2018. Because Islam is the national and spiritual wealth of our people, and mosques are sacred places representing Islam.                                                                      

                                                                                         Turkana AMOYEVA

                                                             Collaborator of Nakhchivan State Radio

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Date: 16-01-2018
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