Tatarstan is famous not only for the Kul Sharif mosque, but also for the White Mosque in the city of Bolgar (the ancient name is Bulgar).It is inferior to the Kazan prayer building in size, but not in grandeur and beauty. It is not for nothing that the White Mosque is called the Tatarstan Taj Mahal. Anyone can visit it, even a person far from Islam.
Architectural features of the mosque
The White Mosque in Bolgar was built in 2012 at the initiative of the President of Tatarstan as part of one of the republican programs. Many well-known philanthropists took part in financing the project.
In terms of the mosque is a square, when the main architectural objects are arranged along the perimeter of a square or rectangular space.
The building attracts attention with two 46.5 m high minarets and three domes. The inner height of the central dome is 17 m, and the diameter is 10 m. It is cut through by beautiful stained-glass windows along the perimeter.
Courtyard – prayer area of 1500 sq. m, paved with granite and framed by an arcade of 88 columns. In its center there is an artificial reservoir, in the surface of which a snow-white structure is reflected.
Interesting fact! The main decoration material of the mosque is Italian white marble. Its consumption during the construction of the building was about 1200 tons.
The architectural complex includes:
- a mosque with prayer halls;
- the seat of the clergy.
All entrances are decorated with columns topped with crescents. At night, the building is illuminated with white light, which gives it an amazing fairytale look.
Interiors of the White Mosque
The main dome of the White Mosque is located above a large prayer hall with an area of 180 sq. m. Its snow-white walls are decorated with sayings from the Koran, traditional Muslim ornaments – tulips, arabesques.
The prayer hall is two-level. On the first level, men pray, on the second, where there are balconies with carved wooden parapets, women. Sometimes tourists are also allowed on these balconies.
Indoors soft diffused lighting. It is provided not only by stained glass windows, but also by a large ceiling chandelier with a diameter of 25 m!
Visit to the White Mosque in Bolgar
You can visit the White Mosque in Bolgar at any time of the year at certain times. However, during major Muslim holidays, it is difficult for tourists to get inside. On other days, they have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the amazing atmosphere of the East, appreciate the interiors and architectural splendor of the building.
The most convenient way to get to Bolgar is from Kazan. To do this, you can use river transport, car, bus.
Standard rules for visiting mosques :
- women should not enter premises with their heads uncovered;
- you need to take off your shoes at the entrance;
- Muslims should not be prevented from praying;
- clothing must be covered.
There are many other interesting buildings near the White Mosque. One of them is the “Memorable Sign”. This is a museum dedicated to the adoption of Islam on the territory of the Volga Bulgaria. Today it houses the largest printed edition of the Qur’an . Its dimensions are 1.5×2 m, the paper is reinforced in a special way, and semi-precious stones, gold leaf, and malachite are used for the decoration of the cover. The weight of the edition is 800 kg.
Thus, Bolgar is interesting not only for Muslims, but also for tourists of other faiths. A visit to this city is an amazing opportunity to touch not only the culture and religion of another people, but also the rich history of the region.