Bolghar to be renovated for 235 million rubles for 1100th anniversary of Islam adoption

Anniversary update

Large-scale renovation has been planned on the territory of the landmark settlement of Bolghar, the capital of medieval Volga Bulgaria, in the year of the 1100th anniversary of the official adoption of Islam by Volga Bulgaria in Tatarstan. The work will cost the republican budget almost 235 million rubles.

There are 20 names of works in the list, half of which will affect objects of cultural heritage that have a centuries-old history. The White Mosque erected ten years ago also will not be forgotten. A major overhaul is already planned there.

Another recently built object — the memorial sign dedicated to the adoption of Islam in Volga Bulgaria as the state religion — will also be put in order in the jubilee year. Like the White Mosque, it is going to be repaired thoroughly.

Memorial sign dedicated to the adoption of Islam in Volga Bulgaria as the state religion is going to be repaired thoroughly. Photo: realnoevremya.ru

For example, the following cultural heritage sites are planned to be repaired in Bolgar this year:

  1. Khan's tomb, 14th century;
  2. Black Chamber, 14th century;
  3. House with towers (Khan's Palace) (ruins) 1240s;
  4. Monastery cellar (tomb), 14th century;
  5. Ruins of the Quadrangle (former mosque) (Cathedral Mosque, Large Minaret);
  6. St. Nicholas Church (tomb), 14th century;
  7. Trading shop of the late 18th- early 19th centuries;
  8. Bukhtulovs' trading shop, 19th century;
  9. Assumption Church, 17th-18th centuries;
  10. Small minaret, 14th century.

It is planned to update the overall appearance of the settlement, so the repair will affect not only cultural heritage sites, but also other infrastructure, starting with the entrance gate and ending with the central part. The list of works also includes fencing the territory of the Bulgarian State Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve.

There are 20 names of works in the list, half of which will affect objects of cultural heritage that have a centuries-old history. Photo: vbolgar.ru

The following facilities will be overhauled:

  • buildings of the entrance group at the western gate on Smirnova str., 56;
  • entrance gates at the eastern, southern and western entrances of the Bulgarian State Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve;
  • Gabdrakhman's Well, located on the territory of the Bulgarian State Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve;
  • sanitary and hygienic buildings on Mukhamedyara Street, 27b and on Nazarovykh Street, 67a;
  • administrative building with a storage facility at 67 Nazarovykh St.;
  • canopy over the banya No. 2.

It is necessary to complete all works no later than December 1, 2022, according to the order of the Glavstroy of Tatarstan. For the most part, they will affect the facades of buildings.

White Mosque

The plans to renovate the recently built White Mosque in Bolgar became known at the end of last year. Glavgosexpertiza of Russia in December 2021 issued a positive conclusion to carry out the work.

25,8 million will be allocated for the overhaul of the White Mosque. Photo: Maksim Platonov

The White Mosque in Bolgar was opened only ten years ago — on June 10, 2012. It is the brainchild of the first president of Tatarstan, State Adviser Mintimer Shaimiev, his republican fund Vozrozhdenie which is engaged in the preservation and development of Bolgar and Sviyazhsk.

Out of all 235 million rubles allocated for the work in Bolgar, 25,8 million will be allocated for the overhaul of the White Mosque. Most of the money is needed for granite cladding — 20,7 million. Probably, we are talking about the square in front of the mosque.

The rest of the amount allocated directly to the White Mosque is planned to be spent on repairing 88 columns, roofs and openings. Part of the funds, 114 thousand, is provided for the cementation of the soil.

Celebration begins with Bolgar

It was from Bolgar that the 1100 anniversary of the adoption of Islam by Volga Bulgaria began to be celebrated — in early January, there was held the All-Russian Muslim Forum. It became the first event of the jubilee year not only in Tatarstan, but also in Russia. In Moscow, for example, the celebration began on January 13 with the 7th All-Russian annual conference “Readings named after Shigabutdin Mardzhani”.

Many other events dedicated to the anniversary date will be held in Bulgaria during the year of the 1100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by Volga Bulgaria. In January, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov said that one of the key events of the memorable date will be the festival Izge Bolgar Zhyeny.

One of the key events of the memorable date will be the festival Izge Bolgar Zhyeny. Photo: realnoevremya.ru

In turn, Deputy Prime Minister of Tatarstan Vasil Shaykhraziev added that among the major projects — the construction of a road to Bolgar and the repair of the local river station. The roads to Bolgar were discussed in the summer of 2021, when plans were just being made to celebrate the significant date. Then Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Marat Khusnullin said that roads leading to Bolgar from Kazan, Ulyanovsk and Samara need to be repaired. He also promised to find money for these purposes.

By the way, the road to the ancient city was taken care of last year — 900 million rubles were offered for the repair of sections of the highway that connects Kazan with Samara and Ulyanovsk, as well as with Bolgar. By the end of October 2021, the road was repaired along the villages of Yekaterinovka, Yardam, and Tukay. This section was in a very worn-out condition — it could even be called the worst in terms of the quality of the roadway on the way from Kazan to ancient Bolgar. At the same time, it accounts for quite a lot of traffic — numerous pilgrims and tourists often move on the road.

Tatyana Demina
Tatarstan