Blue Mosque Yerevan is the only Muslim Shia mosque in Yerevan. This Blue Mosque is one of the institutions that symbolize this history of Armenia.
Throughout its history, Armenia has been under the rules of various Muslim empires. That is because of a very specific geographical position of Armenia. Many people call Armenia a Christian island in the region.
One of those pages of Armenian history when it was under Muslim rule was Persian rule until the rise of the Russian Empire in 1828.
So, you won’t be surprised to know that there used to be a certain number of Muslim population as well as their religious institutions in Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia.
Basic Information about Blue Mosque Yerevan
- The Blue Mosque (in Armenian sounding as “Kapuyt mzkit”) is an 18th century Shia mosque. It is also known as the only active mosque in Armenia today.
- There is often style difference between Shia and Sunni Muslim architecture. Shia mosques are always modest, lacking luxury elements, which are widely spread in Sunni mosques.
- After Armenia fell under the rule of Russian Empire, 8 functioning mosques were remained and this Blue Mosque was actually the largest among them.
Location & Working Hours of Blue Mosque Yerevan
Not let us help to find the location of Blue mosque. First of all, 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; must be 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 as well.
- As to where you can and cannot wander in the territory of the Mosque complex.
Modern History of Blue Mosque Yerevan
Soviet Union Couldn’t Stand Religion!
It won’t be an a huge surprise if we say that during the Soviet rule any religion was forbidden. So, many religious institution just stopped working those times, including mosques and churches.
Just like all Armenian churches, the Mosque, as well, greatly suffered and appeared in quite pitiful conditions under the pressure was put on it.
In 1931, the religious services were completely stopped 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 and received significant support from the Iranian government for that purpose.
It was done mostly considering the Iranian population residing in Armenia.
Controversy Over the Renovation
It’s safe to say that some people think 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.
Although the truth is not really known, this Shia mosque may not represent the true spirit, but at the same time, it can be interesting to imagine how it looked like when it was initially built in 1800s.
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
You May Not Notice the Mosque 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 was Alexandr Tamanian, a famous architect of the modern Yerevan City, took the responsibility of making Yerevan more modern. 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 this Shia mosque.
3 Facts You May Want to Know about Blue Mosque in Yerevan City
On weekdays, you can come and see “old Yerevan” photo exhibitions which are held there.
Don’t Judge The Book By Its Cover
When first visiting the Blue mosque Yerevan, people could think of it as some sort of “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 not really true.
On the contrary, they have demonstrated ultimate care toward the mosque complex by including the building in the new block without any kind of architectural destruction.
Blue Mosque Yerevan as The 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, decorates Yerevan.
This Shia Mosque makes Yerevan richer in multicultural points of interest.
It’s a historical place that is worth visiting if you come to Yerevan. Just see and appreciate this unique piece of beautiful architecture.
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