Shamakhy Juma Mosque
Shamakhy Juma Mosque has been basically repaired within the project of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation “Address of Tolerance: Azerbaijan”. Restoration and reconstruction works started here in March 2010. On 17 May 2013, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the inauguration of the Mosque.
In order to restore the previous view of the Mosque located in an area of one hectare, the traditions of the Shirvan architecture school were paid maximum attention during the restoration and reconstruction works. The domes have been decorated with ornaments in an old architectural style. The middle hall has been rebuilt in a national style. 1500 people may pray here at a time.
The Madrasah, cells, and graves discovered during the excavation work carried out here in the 70s and 80s of the last century have been kept intact. Due to Shamakhy being located in a seismic zone, the Mosque’s foundation has been basically strengthened using reinforced concrete.
Improvement works have been done to the Mosque’s yard, two basins built and 6 galleries created.
The two-storied administrative building occupies 804 square meters of area. A conference hall and other subsidiary rooms have been created at the Mosque.
The 520-sq.m. domestic building accommodates a 250-person ceremonies hall and a kitchen provided with state-of-the-art equipment.
Ancient cells around the Shamakhy State History and Architecture monument have been restored and major improvement works carried out.
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Being one of the oldest Muslim praying-houses in the territory of Azerbaijan and in the South Caucasus and Near East in general, the Shamakhy Juma Mosque was built in 743, during Khalifa Khalid ibn Valiahd in honor of his brother Muslum ibn Valiahd’s arrival in Azerbaijan. According to some sources, Khazar’s Khagan, who had been defeated by the Caliphate, accepted Islam in this Mosque.
A devastating earthquake, which occurred in Shamakhy, one of the biggest provinces of the Caucasus, in 1859 razed the city to the ground, therefore the center of the province was moved to Baku. Qasym bey Hajibababeyov, of a Shamakhy descent, was entrusted with the restoration of the Mosque after the earthquake. During the following earthquake in 1902, the Mosque was not destroyed. Thereafter, a decision was taken to perform restoration of the Mosque on the previous foundation. Restoration works were first performed by architect Ziverbey Ahmadbeyov, then Polish architect and engineer Josef Ploshko. The restoration works performed based on Ploshko’s little different and original design were not completed. Even in its incomplete form, the Mosque could preserve its greatness. During the March killings committed by Armenian armed forces in 1918, a genocide act was committed also in Shamakhy. The biggest killings were committed in the Juma Mosque. Seeing people finding shelter in the Mosque as God’s home, Armenians killed about 1700 people here. Not used for the designed purpose during the Soviet period for known reasons, the Mosque had faced the peril of being destroyed. In 1980, this historical monument was repaired following the initiative and instruction of national leader Heydar Aliyev, who had approached the development of Azerbaijan in all spheres, including preservation of national and moral values, with great attention and care.