Blue Mosque Yerevan is the only Muslim Shia mosque in Yerevan. The Blue Mosque is one of the institutions that symbolize the history of Armenia.
Throughout its history, Armenia has been under the rules of multiple Muslim empires. That is because of Armenia’s distinctive and specific geographical position. Many people call Armenia a Christian island in the region.
Armenian history under the Muslim rule was when the Persians were in charge until the rise of the Russian Empire in 1828.
It’s no surprise that there used to be a certain number of Muslim population and institutions in Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia.
Basic Information about Blue Mosque Yerevan
- The Blue Mosque (“Kapuyt mzkit” in Armenian) is an 18th century Shia mosque. It is also known as the only active mosque in Armenia today.
- Shia and Sunni Muslim architecture have different styles. Shia mosques are always modest, lacking luxurious elements, which are widespread in Sunni mosques.
- After Armenia fell under the rule of Russian Empire, 8 functioning mosques remained and the Blue Mosque was the largest among them.
Location & Working Hours of Blue Mosque Yerevan
Finding the Blue Mosque is easy. Since this is the only mosque in Yerevan, you can definitely find it by asking passers-by.
The Blue Mosque is situated in the central part of Yerevan city, on Mashtots Avenue, which is opposite to the Yerevan City Supermarket, which is often called “Pak Shuka”.
The overall structure makes up a circle organized around the courtyard and the complex occupies 7000 sq. m. space altogether.
This vast and large building can be seen once you come really close to this building.
- 10am – 1pm
- 3pm – 6pm
Rules You Need to Know Before Visiting Blue Mosque Yerevan
- There are certain rules to follow before visiting.
- First, you should be dressed appropriately: no bare legs or shoulders
- As for women:
- They should wear a headscarf when entering the prayer hall.
- The guards, besides being very friendly and open to your questions, tell you certain strict instructions:
- You are told where you can and cannot wander in the territory of the Mosque complex.
Modern History of Blue Mosque Yerevan
The Soviet Union Was Intolerant Towards Religion
Religion was forbidden by the Soviet Union. Many religious institutions just stopped working during those times, including mosques and churches.
Just like all Armenian churches, the Mosque, as well, suffered greatly and appeared in quite pitiful conditions under pressure.
In 1931, religious services were completely halted and the only function the mosque performed then was that it served as the Museum of the City of Yerevan.
Only in 1999, the building was totally restored, renovated and started to operate as a Shia mosque again after Armenia gained independence. It received significant support from the Iranian government for its purpose.
The restoration was done due to the Iranian population residing in Armenia.
Controversy Over the Renovation
It’s safe to say that some people think the Blue Mosque Yerevan has lost its initial spirit. When the renovation was completed in 1999, some critics argued that it did not preserve its initial spirit and meaning.
Nowadays, Islamic religious services are concentrated here. However, Armenian authorities have not blessed the consecration of this complex as a mosque yet suggesting that it should serve rather as a cultural center.
Architecture of Blue Mosque Yerevan
The Mosque Isn’t Noticed Immediately
The mosque is presently encircled in a rather bizarre way that makes it less possible for a passerby to notice it from the outside. The explanation is hidden in the urban plan of Yerevan city, which was undergone during the Soviet era.
The central part of Yerevan was thoroughly redesigned and a great number of popular architects, among them Alexandr Tamanian, a famous architect of the modern Yerevan City, took the responsibility of modernizing Yerevan. In this regard, the Blue Mosque appeared in the middle part of the new block surrounded by new buildings and sections.
What If We Compare Blue Mosque Yerevan To Other Shia Mosques?
Blue Mosque in Yerevan features Persian architectural forms. However, because of lack of architectural richness, it can hardly be compared with the Blue Mosques in Istanbul, Sultanahmet and of course, in Tabriz, Iran.
As to the interior, just like in case of outside architecture, minimalistic approach dominates, although it does not make the mosque less impressive or beautiful.
The interior does not comprise any interior tiles and does not feature typical Islamic calligraphy. You can see that simplicity prevails on every corner of the Shia mosque.
Facts To Know About Blue Mosque In Yerevan City
On weekdays, you can come and see the “Old Yerevan” photo exhibitions which are held there.
Don’t Judge The Book By Its Cover
When first visiting the Blue mosque Yerevan, people think of it as a “hidden place”, but it is simply a matter of location.
The Blue Mosque seems hidden from view because it is surrounded by other buildings and apartments from all sides. There is only one thing that hints at the presence of a mosque here, which is the very modest entrance from the side of Mashtots Avenue.
At first sight, it may seem that Armenian authorities have deliberately neutralized the Shia mosque, but it is a common misconception.
On the contrary, they have demonstrated ultimate care toward the mosque complex by including the building in the new block without any architectural destruction.
Blue Mosque Yerevan As A Symbol of Multiculturalism In Armenia
Blue Mosque in Yerevan City may not be the biggest and most luxurious Persian Islamic Mosque, but without any doubt, it decorates Yerevan.
The Shia Mosque makes Yerevan richer in multicultural points of interest.
It’s a historical place that is worth visiting when coming to Yerevan.
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