Moscow Cathedral Mosque

Moscow Cathedral Mosque

Moscow Cathedral Mosque

Moscow is famed for its beautiful and ornate religious architecture, and the Moscow Cathedral Mosque [Московская Соборная Мечеть] is no exception. The city’s skyline is decorated with gilded golden onion domes with the Orthodox Cross stood proudly on top. Nevertheless Moscow Cathedral Mosque, with crescent moon hoisted towards the heavens, fits in perfectly. With elements drawn from Turkish mosques, it is an incredible marriage of traditional Russian Orthodox and Islamic architecture.

Background

The mosque that stands today at Prospekt Mira is the result of a ten-year renovation. It was finally completed last year and inaugurated on 23rd September by President Vladimir Putin. The original structure, built in 1904 by Nikolai Zhukhov, was demolished in 2011 as part of a reconstruction that started in 2005. The current structure is twenty times the size the original, and can accommodate up to 10,000 people. Its minarets stand at 72 meters tall and the central dome, which is covered in 12 kg of gold leaf, is 46 meters high and 27 meters in diameter.

The Moscow Cathedral Mosque is located in Prospekt Mira directly opposite Olympic Stadium [Олимпииский Стадион]- which hosted several events during the 1980 Summer Olympic Games. The azure blue of the stain glass windows and the sheer decadence of the mosque is somewhat incongruous with the grey Soviet stadium. However, it is representative Moscow architecture- nothing really goes together but everything tells a story. Both are an important part of Moscow’s history and identity.

How to visit

On the day I visited, I was unfortunately unable to go inside. However if the exterior is anything to go by, a second trip is definitely on the cards. Possibly even a third. The mosque has a museum which is home to an array of historical Islamic artefacts. Additionally, according to the mosque website, they offer hour-long guided tours. These tours are in Russian and are open to both individual and groups. I would definitely recommend going, so check out the Mosque’s website for more information www.mihrab.ru/muzej.

Lola, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz Moscow

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