A Guide to the Mosques of Tatarstan

Islam began spreading around the territory of the future republic back in the 8th century, hence why tourists have a unique opportunity to discover an entire variety of mosques in Tatarstan - from classical buildings to contemporary ones with a combination of unusual elements. Here we talk about the most significant sites that boast a rich history and unique architecture.

Bolgar

The White Mosque

The White Mosque is considered the architectural pearl of modern Tatarstan and is often compared with the famous Taj Mahal of India. It was built in record time – just one and a half years, and opened its doors in 2012. The mosque is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and inside, it is home to the world's largest Quran - the holy book weighs 800 kilograms and is adorned with semi-precious stones.

The entire architectural ensemble includes a mosque, a prayer square, an arcade of eastern columns, buildings for the clergy and an artificial pond. The walls of the mosque are decorated with oriental ornaments and verses from the Quran, minarets are built in the classical style of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, and the main dome is decorated with very skillfully made stained glass. There are plans to make an orchard and flower gardens on the territory surrounding the mosque in future, however even now, the White Mosque amazes visitors with its elegance.

Entrance to the mosque is free for all from 8:00am to 6:00pm. We recommend setting aside a whole day for your trip to Bolgar so you have time to take in the sights, admire the mosque, relax by the pond, visit other sites nearby and take many beautiful photos. You can get to Bolgar from Kazan by car, bus from the central bus station or water transport from the main river port (from May to September).

Naberezhnye Chelny

Tauba Mosque

If you are planning a trip to the hometown of KAMAZ Autos, be sure to make a stop at the mosque situated on the bank of the Kama river on your way. This landmark situated in the old part of Naberezhnye Chelny was built in 1992 in time for the 1,100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by the Bulgarian state.

Unlike most mosques in the republic, Tauba Mosque was built in modernist style from silicate brick, as a result of which the building vividly stands out among other old buildings. Outside, the mosque is lined with light tiles and decorated with verses from the Quran, while the inside is filled with architectural medallions, white marble and carved floral ornaments.

Tauba Mosque is located in the most picturesque place of the city - it looks out to a beautiful view of the Kama River, and during both dawn and dusk, its beauty is only further emphasized by the sun's rays.

Location: 6 Centralnaya St

How to get there: Nearest Bus Stop — «Centralnaya»



Nizhnekamsk

Cathedral Mosque

The central Muslim temple of Nizhnekamsk was built in time for the 30th anniversary of the city and is another mosque which contains, given its purpose, unusual geometry elements in its architecture. It was built in 1996 as part of an entire religious complex which includes a Centre for Culture and History, its own library, hotel and a madrasa where young Muslim students from all over Russia come to study.

This is the only mosque in Tatarstan built in neoclassical style and with several minarets 66-metres high, which makes it one of the tallest in Russia. It is difficult to miss the Cathedral Mosque - during the day it is surrounded by a picturesque park that emphasizes its unusual shape, and in the evening, the area around the mosque is strategically illuminated, creating a stunning view of the building.

Location: 59 Prospekt Himikov

Chistopol

The First Cathedral Mosque

One of the oldest mosques in Tatarstan was built in 1859 on the site of a burnt temple. Since then, it has been destroyed by fires and rebuilt numerous times, due to the perseverance of the locals who despite everything managed to preserve this unique architectural monument.

The Cathedral Mosque is built in eclectic style of the national romantic trend and is a monument of popular Muslim architecture of the mid-19th century. Local clergymen Mukhametzakir Mukhametkamalov and Mukhametnazip Amirkhanov played an important role in religious education – as a result of their involvement, the idea of Muslim education became a conversation topic in the republic and the first schools for Tatar children appeared. A madrasa operates here, prayers are held on Fridays, and in summer there is a camp that is run on the grounds.

In summer, the bright green mosque with its openwork fence harmoniously blends in with the pine trees, and in winter it stands out against the white snow, due to which it always attracts the attention of visitors traveling by.

Location: 39 Vakhitova St

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