Wednesday, 5 December 2012


This card I've got from Elena.

Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. With a population of 1,143,535, it is the eighth most populous city in Russia. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia.

 The Qolşärif mosque located in Kazan Kremlin, was reputed to be -at the time of its construction- the largest mosque in Russia, and in Europe outside of Istanbul. Originally, the mosque was built in the Kazan Kremlin in the 16th century. It was named after Qolşärif who served there. Qolsharif died with his numerous students while defending Kazan from Russian forces in 1552. It is believed that the building featured minarets, both in the form of cupolas and tents. Its design was traditional for Volga Bulgaria, although elements of early Renaissance and Ottoman architecture could have been used as well. In 1552, during the storming of Kazan it was destroyed by Ivan The Terrible.
Tatar scholars speculate as to whether some elements of Qolşärif mosque can be seen in Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow (8 minarets, a central cupola, not typical for Russian architecture). Since 1996 the mosque has been rebuilt in Kazan Kremlin, although its look is decisively modern. Its inauguration on July 24, 2005 marked the beginning of celebrations dedicated to the Millennium of Kazan. It can accommodate 6,000 worshipers.
Several countries contributed to the fund that was set up to build Qolsharif mosque, namely Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. Qolsharif is considered to be one of the most important symbols of Tatar aspirations. Nowadays the mosque predominantly serves as a Museum of Islam. At the same time during the major Muslim celebrations thousands of people gather there to pray.
The Qolsharif complex was envisioned to be an important cornerstone of Kazan’s architectural landscape. Besides the main mosque building it includes a library, publishing house and Imam's office.
The Kazan is the chief historic citadel of Tatarstan, situated in the city of Kazan. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 2000. (from wikipedia)

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