Saturday, November 25, 2017

Ertugrul Gazi Mosque - Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

Ertugrul Gazi Mosque was built in the 1990s (dedicated in 1998), shortly after Turkmenistan declared independence from the Soviet Union (in 1990), on Azadi Street. So it is also known as the Azadi Mosque. 
This view is only obtained after walking through a gate in a tall wall. The outside looks yellowish to peach, but it is made out of white marble and I have seen pictures where it looks white. 
The entry into the courtyard.
Writing above the entry and an inset that is reminiscent of the mihrab. 
It is named after Ertugrul, father of Osman I, founder of the Ottoman Empire. It looks similar to the Blue Mosque in Istanbul and can hold 5,000 people. It is built in Islamic and Byzantine architectural styles. The mosque has a large courtyard with a fountain and the prayer hall has paintings, gilding and stained glass. 
Inside the entry is the courtyard and the fountain is in the middle of it. 
The striped arches remind me very much of Cordoba in Spain. 
Our guide in Ashgabat took us on a detour to the Azadi Mosque to show us the side of Ashgabat that is other than white marble buildings. Where most of Ashgabat felt fake, this mosque seemed genuine and was perhaps my favorite visit in Ashgabat. 
The blue and white stripes in the courtyard switched to red and white inside. 
We arrived shortly after the call to prayer had finished and the mosque had quite a few visitors. 
Very beautiful inside decoration and inner domes. 

1 comment:

  1. It's significant that this was built just after Turkmenistan declared their independence. Prior to that time, the Soviet government would not allow Muslims to practice their religion, right? This beautiful mosque must be very significant for them--a return to worship