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Bibi-Heybat among world's most beautiful mosques

18 December 2017 [18:13] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

Bu Aygul Salmanova

Bibi-Heybat Mosque, one of the most beautiful modern buildings in Baku, very quickly entered the list of monuments that invariably attract tourists.

The Architectural Digest, American monthly magazine featuring the work of top architects and designers, has listed Azerbaijan's Bibi-Heybat mosque among the most beautiful mosques in the world.

The magazine has drafted a rating based on the ‘Mosques: Splendors of Islam’ book by Azerbaijani interior designer Leyla Uluhanli. The book explores places of both historic and contemporary places of worship from the Great Mosque of Co?rdoba in Spain to the minimalist Sancaklar Mosque in Istanbul.

The magnificent sight of Baku, Bibi-Eybat Mosque, unfortunately, has not survived to these days in its pristine appearance. The building that can be seen today is only its reconstructed in the 1990s of the last century version.

A real mosque erected in the 13th century was destroyed by the Bolsheviks at a time when the struggle against religion was going on throughout the Soviet Union. The mosque is a complex, which includes the graves and tombs of revered people. Also here is the grave of Ukema khanum, which is considered as a significant monument of Islamic architecture of Azerbaijan.

According to the inscription, which is carved on the stone, the mosque was erected over the tomb of the daughter of the Shiite imam Moussa al-Qazim, who fled to these parts from the caliphs. Here, according to the same inscription, the burial place of the nurse Ukeyma khanum and many noblemen who aware bequeathed to bury them in the Bibi-Heybat mosque are located.

In the 1920s, after the Soviet regime was established in the country, a fierce war with religion started, as a result of which together with the Orthodox Church of Alexander Nevsky, the Catholic Polish church, this mosque, which has a special influence on Muslims, also became the main target for the new government.

In 1936, under the decree of the Presidium of the Baku Council, the complex was blown up. Almost all the buildings collapsed, and only the minaret had to be blown three times. However, after the demolition of the greatest monument of history and people's shrine from the face of the earth, a resolution was adopted on the preservation of monuments of historical significance in the same year.

The mosque was so important for the Islamic world that it was constantly maintained in an ideal state and repeatedly restored. Thus, from the annals of the Safavid rulers Tahmasib I and Abbas I, we learn that in the middle of the 16th century, in the Bibi-Eybat mosque and around it, construction and restoration work was conducted.

The last known construction and restoration work was completed in 1911.

The magnificent landmark of Azerbaijan is a model of classical Shirvan architecture. The best architects have tried to use all the canonical foundations of this direction: its chequered light and shade, scale and so on.

The building of the mosque with two minarets is crowned with three domes, the inner side of the domes is decorated with a mirror mosaic. There are two chapels in the mosque: on the southern side of the mosque for males, on the north side for females, which are connected with a mausoleum.


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