Nur-Astana mosque in Nur-Sultan city the Capital of Kazakhstan
The Nur-Astana mosque appeared in Nur-Sultan city (Astana) thanks to Lebanese architect Charles Hazif and the government of Qatar, who financially supported the construction. Opened on March 22, 2005, on the day of the spring holiday of Navruz, it was for some time the largest mosque in Kazakhstan, until in 2012 it was surpassed by the congregational mosque Hazrat Sultan. That, however, did not prevent her from remaining one of the architectural gems of the capital.
Construction of the Nur-Astana mosque was carried out from 2002 to 2005. Almost $ 7 million was spent on its construction. It is noteworthy that the state did not participate in the project, since according to the constitution Kazakhstan is a secular state, which excludes the financing of any religious institutions.
The area of the mosque is almost 4 thousand square meters. 5 thousand believers can fit in its main hall at the same time, and another 2 thousand can fit on the women's balcony located above the central prayer hall. The snow-white building with gilded domes, made of glass, concrete, granite and composite panels, attracts attention from a distance. It revives modern buildings located around, shining like a gem against the background of the prevailing gray cityscape and bringing a touch of oriental color to the high-tech architecture of the City of the Future, as Astana is often called.
The mosque is located in the new business center of Astana, on the left bank of the Ishim between the Baitereki monument and the largest shopping complex Khan Shatyr. It not only plays the role of an important religious center, but is also one of the popular holiday destinations and, of course, the tourist attraction of the capital. There is a park around which the locals enjoy visiting - they rest here, sitting on the green grass, or have picnics. Especially good park in the spring during the flowering of apple trees. The square in front of the entrance to the mosque is decorated with a fountain with a rotating ball. Nearby there are swings for children and figures of camels, with which you can take pictures. In the yurt located right there they sell fresh koumiss. Behind the mosque is a madrasah, where you can buy delicious cakes, baked in tandoor.
The Nur-Astana mosque was built in the architectural traditions of the East - it is like an illustration descended from a book page to an oriental tale. A massive 43-meter golden dome sits on a squat building, around which smaller domes are attached, also covered with gilding. On four sides are slender 63-meter minarets.
The architecture of the mosque is laconic and at the same time majestic, without unnecessary decoration and pompous pomp. The main color is snow white. In architectural form can be traced lines. The building rhythm is set by alternating domes and windows that have the same shape. If you catch the right angle, all these elements are arranged in geometrically regular rows. This game, invented by the Lebanese architects, also includes arched doorways surrounding the inner courtyard, which was attached to the mosque from the entrance.
The entrance is through the three arches of the courtyard. Side arches are located opposite each other. The central arch, the largest, is decorated with a metal socket.
The Nur-Astana mosque project was developed taking into account the specifics of the new area of the left bank of Nur-Sultan city (Astana). Large buildings freely stretched in a new business center should emphasize the status acquired by the city - the young capital of a flourishing state.
The interior of the mosque Nur-Astana
In the interior of Nur-Astana, the same principles can be traced as in appearance - style and consistency. The interior does not put pressure on visitors. Inside there is a calm, peaceful atmosphere. The mosque is very bright, which is ensured by both the light that comes through the arched windows and the choice of color - turquoise and sandy tones with a slight addition of gold dominate the design. Despite the fact that the temple was built as the largest mosque in its decoration there is no luxury. The main task is not to hit with wealth, but to awaken the spiritual beginning in man.
The inner space of the mosque echoes the composition of the building - the same regular geometric rows of archways. The main room is a prayer hall under the central dome, which rests on 8 pillars. They are decorated with suras - excerpts of texts from the Koran. The walls are covered with national Kazakh ornaments, which at one time was quite unusual. Traditionally in Islam, mosques have been decorated with geometric and floral patterns.
The main relic of the Nur-Astana mosque is a fragment of Kisva. Kisva is a black silk blanket embroidered with gold threads, which is placed on a Muslim shrine - the Kaaba cube in Mecca. By tradition, this veil is cut into many small parts in order to give them honored guests who have gathered for the feast of the annual sacrifice. One of these fragments was presented to the first president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who handed it over to the mosque. It is noteworthy that Nazarbayev was the first of the leaders of the CIS and Central Asia who was honored to receive such a valuable relic for Muslims.
Another revered artifact that is stored in the Nur-Astana mosque is the Koran, printed in the printing house of the Sheikh Saudi Arabia.
Visit the mosque
Nur-Astana mosque can be visited by everyone. Entry there is free. Even if you do not profess Islam and generally are far from religion, you can not be afraid to look inside. All visitors are welcome here. The employee at the entrance will tell about the peculiarities of behavior in the mosque. You can also read the set of rules posted on the wall.
According to Islamic traditions, going to the mosque, you need to remove shoes. In addition to this, faithful Muslims are still washing their feet. There are special rooms for this - separately for men and women.
Both women and men should enter the mosque only in chaste clothing covering all forbidden places. In men, this place is considered to be part of the body from the navel to the knees, while women can only leave open their face, hands and feet to the ankle. If you decide to drop into the mosque during a tour of the city, not scary. Especially for such guests are provided capes.
Entry into the mosque is not prohibited for women (except for certain days for physiological reasons), but they are not allowed into the central hall. For them, only the second floor is open.
In the mosque and on the territory adjacent to it, one should not speak loudly, smoke and litter, in general, should behave decently.