Main mosque of Almetyevsk to become religious and educational centre after reconstruction

One of the projects provides for the complete transformation of the temple and the expansion of its functionality

Main mosque of Almetyevsk to become religious and educational centre after reconstruction
Photo: Arkanika architectural workshop

The Riza Fakhretdin Mosque in Almetyevsk may soon become a Muslim religious and educational centre and a new point of attraction in the city. Now the temple is being prepared for a serious transformation. As Realnoe Vremya found out in the mosque itself, various reconstruction options are being considered, but a final decision has not yet been made. Nevertheless, they hope that after the renovation, the mosque will become the major Islamic educational centre in the south-east of the republic.

New point of attraction will appear in Almetyevsk

In the oil capital of the republic, options for the reconstruction of the Central Mosque of the city are being discussed. One of the projects provides for the transformation of the Riza Fakhretdin Mosque into an Islamic religious and educational centre and the expansion of the functions of the building. According to the idea of the authors of the idea, with the consolidation of the cult and social components in Almetyevsk, a new point of attraction for residents, platform for discussions and interaction of citizens of different ages will appear.

The project provides for the division of the religious and educational centre into two levels. One will house a stylobate with public functions and a recreational area. The second — the mosque itself and a new square on the roof of the stylobate.

Calligraphy may appear on the main facade, and relief panels with Tatar ornaments may appear on the southern, western and eastern facades. According to the authors' idea, the geometric national ornament, then dissolving then appearing on the facade is a reference to the culture of the region, on the one hand, and a spectacular technique for interiors, on the other.

The calligraphic composition on the main facade is a text from the Tatar shamail (the religious sign based on Arabic calligraphy, decorated in the form of an easel painting) of the 19 th century, translated as “For those who seek knowledge, paradise will become certain”. Kazan calligrapher Nadzhip Nakkash (Nazip Fayzrakhmanovich Ismagilov) was invited to adapt Shamail's text. He developed several spelling variants in the techniques of kufi and naskh, taking into account the technical limitations set by the architects.

Instead of the usual beige, brick-red, golden and green, it is supposed to turn the facade into a modern white colour. According to the project, the facade will be made with light inserts that will illuminate the entire street at night. The new dome of the mosque will be 2 metres higher. A large walking area will appear around the temple, also illuminated by lanterns with warm yellow light, which will connect the object with another attraction of the city — the Cascade of Ponds park.

“The works on the project are still underway, now we are carrying out working documentation and preparing the concept of interiors. This is an incredibly interesting project, where the tasks of 'meaning' and the sensations that a person experiences while in space are solved. The architecture acts as a symbol, a metaphor for religion, traditions and culture of the region," said Nikita Vykhodtsev, an architect, the head of Arkanika workshop.

Tatneft will help with the reconstruction of the mosque, but the cost of the work and the timing of implementation have not yet been disclosed.

One of the best spiritual educational institutions in the south-east of Tatarstan

Imam-muhtasib of Almetyevsk district Ismagil khazrat Singatullin confirmed to Realnoe Vremya that the mosque is being prepared for reconstruction. But the city is exploring options for updating the temple so far, a final decision on the project has not yet been made.

“It is still too early to say what the mosque will be like. This is still just a project. Therefore, both the timing and the amount of reconstruction are still unknown," Ismagil khazrat explained.

At the same time, the mosque hopes that the renovation will really help it become a major religious and educational centre in the south-east of the republic. The Almetyevsk Islamic Madrasah, which works at the mosque, also relies on this very much.

“It is very important for me that our madrasah is one of the best educational institutions in the south-east of Tatarstan. Certainly, first of all, it is a creatively working, talented teaching staff! But the building also plays a great educational role. I really want our students to study in spacious, bright classrooms that meet the requirements of the Sanitary Rules and Norms, and the classrooms are equipped with modern appliances and furniture. Our madrasah will also become attractive externally, and we hope that this will contribute to our further prosperity," Gulfira Martynycheva, the deputy director of the Almetyevsk madrasah for academic affairs, shared her hopes with Realnoe Vremya.

History of Riza Fakhretdin Mosque

The central mosque of Almetyevsk was built in 1995, at the same time, it was decided to create an Islamic madrasah at the mosque — it was opened three years later. Previously, the temple was called the R.G. Galeev Mosque — in honour of the former chairman of the board of directors of Tatneft PJSC, who made a great contribution to the construction of the cult building. In 2002, it was renamed in honour of the writer, educator and religious figure Rizaitdin Fakhretdinov.

The mosque was built by the project of architects A.M. Zakirov and F.M. Mavlyutov, engineers S.S. Abdullin, A.A. Gareev, V.I. Maslova. The brick building is located on a plot with a relief drop of 10 metres. It belongs to the type of domed mosques with the main minaret on the roof.

The number of floors varies from three to four, in the southern half there is a prayer hall for 1,200 people, covered with a high dome. In the northern half, there is a conference hall and auxiliary rooms. Classrooms are located on the ground floor of both halves of the building. The main minaret with a height of 53,5 metres rises above the northern half of the building. Octagonal minarets with a height of 36,2 metres are placed at the corners of the hall volume, and a gilded dome rises above the flat roof. In the interior of the hall, the walls, ceiling, and the inner surface of the dome are ornamented with coloured tiles. The windows of the second level on the drum of the dome are decorated with stained glass.

Photo: yandex.ru

The building area is more than 3 thousand square metres. Muslim holidays, religious ceremonies are held here, and a Sunday school is open, where parishioners are taught about the basics of Islam. There is also a men's department of the Almetyevsk Islamic Madrasah, where about 50 students study. They study religious disciplines in the madrasah and get secular education in evening school.

Over time, the building required repairs. The possible reconstruction of the mosque has been actively discussed over the past four years.

Emil Ziyangirov. Images: Arkanika Architectural Workshop
Tatarstan