If you are a lover of religious architecture then Saint Petersburg Mosque is a must see where you visit Russia’s St Petersburg. Actually, not only St Petersburg Mosque but there are so many BEAUTIFUL churches in St Peterburg and all with simply gorgeous exteriors and interiors and the level of detail is just amazing. So, of course, I was not going to visit St Petersburg without checking out the mosque in St Petersburg.
St Petersburg Mosque
This beautiful mosque has been open since 1913 and at one point the largest mosque in Europe outside of Turkey holding 5000 worshipers. We now have mosques that can hold hundreds of thousands of worshippers. Decorated in beautifully tiled mosaics, you can find St Petersburg Mosque in downtown St Petersburg. The facades are decorated with sayings from the Koran in characteristic kufi and sulsscripts. Internal columns are made from green marble. Women pray on the first floor, above the western part of the hall. The mosque was covered in huge carpets, especially woven by Central Asian craftsmen. The dome and its minarets can be seen from many parts of the city. We could actually see it from our hotel as we were staying at the Marriot with is rive by the river with plenty of views of some of the city’s tourist spots in St Petersburg.
For those that have been to Uzbekistan, you will notice the design’s similarities to the Tomb of Tamerlane in Samarkand. St Petersburg Mosque was closed from 1940 to 1956 and if you know a little about some of Russia’s weird history with religion, you will know that this stemmed from the doctrine of state atheism in the Soviet Union, there was a “government-sponsored program of conversion to atheism” conducted by Communists. This caused problems for people having the freedom to practice their religion, whether you were Christian, Jewish or Muslim, to the point where in 1925 the government founded the League of Militant Atheists to intensify the persecution.
St Petersburg Mosque opening Times
St Petersburg Mosque was closed for a 16 years before opening at the request of the first Indonesian President, Sukarno, ten days after his visit to the city, the mosque was returned to the Muslim Religious community of St. Petersburg in 1956. After it had closed the Soviet authorities turned the building into a medical equipment storehouse. If you visit St Petersburg then a visit to this mosque should definitely be on your itinerary. St Petersburg opening times are from 7am to 9pm but it’s not usually open to tourists. If you want to visit the mosque and explore Saint Petersburg mosque interior, you need to pre-arrange a tour in advance. Sadly on this trip, we didn’t have our itinerary nailed down so missed the tour to explore the inside. To visit St Petersburg Mosque you need to send an email to the Mosque’s office. You can find the details on this website. You can convert the site to Arabic, Turkish, Russian and English on the top right.
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