The Temple of All Religions is a landmark of Tatarstan. Not far from Kazan, on the banks of the Volga, in the village of Old Arakchino, there is a building that resembles a fantastic mini-town with unusual architecture that combines the most unthinkable directions. Here, in the Ecumenical Temple – the temple of the unity of souls – all strife are forgotten and only goodness and love are thought of.
The architectural symbol of all religions is not a religious building, but an international cultural center, a kind of museum that unites followers of different faiths. The temple combines the Catholic and Orthodox churches, a Muslim mosque, a Buddhist temple, a Jewish synagogue and a Chinese pagoda.
Architect Ildar Khanov and his plan
The author and creator of the Temple of All Religions is the artist and architect Ildar Mansaveevich Khanov, a public figure and folk healer. He traveled a lot, visited India and Tibet, studied the cultural heritage of the East and was interested in Buddhism, the practice of yogis, as well as the secrets of Tibetan and ancient Chinese medicine.
The idea of creating a temple
In 1989, Ildar Khanov met Svyatoslav Roerich, the founder of his own religious philosophy, and they discussed the plan for the future construction. Ildar dreamed of building a temple in his homeland, in Tatarstan. Here, in the village of Old Arakchino, he was born and raised, his parents lived here.
Ildar Khanov saw his creation as 16-domed, each dome of which would symbolize a separate religion. It was planned to create halls in the temple dedicated to different religions, including those that disappeared. According to the author, the following religions should be represented :
- Indian Vedic religion;
- Zen Buddhism;
- Tibetan religion;
- Indonesian religion;
- Egyptian religion;
- Maya religion;
- Iranian religion;
- Rosicrucians and Freemasons;
- alien intelligence.
Ildar Khanov began to build the temple in 1992 . The temple began to be built on the site where the father’s house stood. A brother, who graduated from a higher art-industrial school in Moscow, helped in the construction.
The work was carried out at the own money of the author of the project and the help of sponsors, the state did not allocate funds and did not support the construction in any way. One day in the middle of the night, Ildar heard a noise in the yard and saw that someone had brought three cars of bricks. Who brought the brick remains a mystery.
Khanov doubted whether he and his brother would be able to build an original temple, because similar structures have already been built in several countries. The temple was not erected by professional builders. To the surprise of many, construction did not stop for a single day. Ildar Mansaveevich devoted his whole life to the realization of his idea.
Patrons and caring people who worked unselfishly helped to build the temple. People came from different countries, sent donations and items for furnishing the interior of each of the domes in strict accordance with the canons. The temple was being built at a rapid pace, but on February 9, 2013, at 72, the author of the project died. The work on the project was picked up by the brother and sister, but not all of the plans were implemented.
Architectural features of the Temple of all religions
The building is monumental, cumbersome, pretentious, with numerous stained-glass windows and signs of various religious beliefs. The facades of the building are decorated with lancet and stained glass windows with bright frames and symbolic color schemes. Niches and belts are decorated with mosaics. The attention is drawn to the iridescent design and exquisite mosaic elements.
The domes of religious buildings of various world beliefs: churches, mosques, synagogues, pagodas are painted with Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Buddhist symbols. The towers of the temple complement each other, creating a harmonious composition of the moon with a star, a Masonic eye, a Jewish seven-branched candlestick and fantasy animals. Structures made in various architectural styles look harmoniously on a single foundation.
At first, fanatical representatives of religions were offended by the very possibility of building a minaret next to the synagogue, and a Christian church near the pagan walls. There are no services and no rituals performed here, you will not meet a priest or mullah.
The temple of all religions is a museum and a symbol of the common spiritual heritage of mankind. With its bright and unusual decor, it unites the Orthodox cross, the Star of David and the Muslim crescent. This neighborhood awakens bright feelings in the souls of people. Not only tourists from Russia come here, but also guests from Canada, India, Israel and Japan.
Plans and achieved reality
The unique temple combines the best that has been accumulated in the religions of the whole world. Today, 12 domes have been erected, symbolizing the symbiosis of cultures and civilizations. And personifying the equality of all people and religions.
There are four halls in the temple : Catholic, Egyptian, the hall of Jesus Christ and the theater. There is also a museum, a tea room and an art gallery. There are also papal chambers here in case the pontiff decides to visit.
Initially, the ensemble planned to equip an observatory for observing the stars, a school for children with hobby groups, an orphanage, as well as open a healing and rehabilitation center for drug addicts and a House of Mercy for the elderly, an icon painting school and a theater.
The plans have not been fully implemented. The construction of the temple has not been completed, finishing works are in progress. They plan to open a stained glass and pottery workshops. Creative evenings and art exhibitions, charity concerts are held. There are no excursions . In 2017, a fire broke out, the halls are being restored and stables for equestrian sports are being set up – the horses have already been donated by patrons of the arts.
The Ecumenical Temple is the abode of truth and culture, designed to reflect all the best that man has created. The temple is a symbol of the fact that humanity no longer wants to submit itself to religious strife, but is ready to unite and create, instead of destroying. People flock to the temple, for some reason they decided that it is possible to be healed in it.