Muslims have lived in St Petersburg since the times of Catherine II, but for a long time they did not have their own temple. As the country expanded and new territories joined Russian Empire, the Islam community of the Russian capital enlarged.
The first request to build the own mosque from the Muslim community was sent to the Emperor in 1881. The project was not approved and started till 1904. The actual construction works started in 1910. The first stone was laid in the memory of the 25th anniversary of the reign of Abdul Ahat Khan in Bukhara who donated the biggest part of money.
The Mosque was created by the architect Nikolay Vasiliev with the help of the engineer S. Krichinsky and the architect A. von Gauguin. The architects were inspired by the mosques and tombs of Central Asia dating back to Tamerlane’s epoch.
Speaking of its location, it was chosen right in the city center, not far from Troitskaya Square in front of the Hare Island. Already in the XIX century, the land prices in this area were high and there were no free spaces. This highlights the importance of the Mosque. In fact, it was placed in the historical part of the city, in the close proximity to Peter and Paul’s Fortress and Cathedral.
The opening of the Mosque took place in 1913, the year of 300th anniversary of Romanovs. Only 7 years later it was externally lined and got the view close to what we can see these days – having a blue 39-meter-tall dome and two minarets 48 meters each.
In 1931 the Mosque was closed and turned into a storage. It stayed so till 1956. At that time the former president of Indonesia Akhmed Sukarno visited Leningrad. Being fascinated by the beauty of the Mosque he wanted to worship there. His request was not satisfied, but soon the Mosque was returned to Muslims.
Alex ‘Florstein’ Fedorov, CC BY-SA 4.0
By the way, the St Petersburg Mosque is considered one of the largest in Europe. It can accommodate up to 5 000 people. Worshipers are separated by gender – women worship on the first floor, while men worship on the ground floor. There is a school on the third floor of the building, where Arabic and Tatar languages, as well as the basics of Islam are taught.
It is possible to view the Mosque during the majority of bus tours, but to see it better and learn more interesting facts, it’s advised to take a private guided tour.
|10:00 am - 5:00 pm|
|Kronverkskiy Propekt 7|
|Metro / Subway|
|Metro Station "Gorkovskaya"||2, 2MБ, 46|
|Troitskaya Ploshchad'||3, 6, 40|
|Metro Station "Gorkovskaya"||K-30, K-76|
St Petersburg Mosque is a part of my private tour:
Also, you can customize a tour and book an inside visit to the Mosque.