Yukhari Govhar Agha Mosque
|Yukhari Govhar Agha Mosque|
|Location||de jure Shusha, Azerbaijan
de facto Shushi, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
|Architect(s)||Karbalayi Safikhan Karabakhi|
Yukhari Govhar Agha Mosque (Azerbaijani: Yuxarı Gövhar Ağa məscidi) is an Azerbaijani mosque located in Shusha, Nagorno-Karabakh. It is currently under the control of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic since the capture of Shusha on 8 May 1992. The mosque also bears the name Boyuk Juma Mosque of Govhar Agha (Azerbaijani: Gövhər Ağanın Cümə məscidi; Great Cathedral).
The Yukhari Govhar Agha means The Upper Govhar Agha Mosque in Azerbaijani language referring to location of the mosque in the upper section of Shusha town and to distinguish it from the Ashaghi Govhar Agha Mosque, the same-name mosque located in lower section of the town. Both mosques are considered symbols of Shusha and masterpiece of Eastern architecture. The Yukhari Govhar Agha Mosque is located on Shusha's main square, Yusif Vazir Chamanzaminli street and makes up a big part of architectural complex including madrasa, shops and houses built by the same architect. According to historian and author of "Karabakh-name", Mirza Jamal Karabakhi, construction of the mosque was started with orders of Ibrahim Khalil Khan in 1768 (1182 according to Islamic calendar) but was stopped for a long time. The construction was then restarted and completed in 1883–1885 by the architect Karbalayi Safikhan Karabakhi ordered by Govhar Agha, daughter of Ibrahim Khalil Khan.
The exterior and interior
The prayer hall of Yukhari Govhar Agha Mosque is a three-nave in a square shape (190–185 meters) split by 6 stone columns. The three-beam veranda in the northern section of the mosque gives it a rectangular form (26.5 × 21.5 meters). The mosque has two minarets. The balconies used to host women’s premises of the prayer hall. The interior of the prayer hall gets light from dual windows. The two minarets by the facade make up the veranda. The building of the mosque was constructed out of stone while the two minarets are made of bricks. The minarets have cylindric forms with horizontal belts with each section laid in distinguishing brick patterns. The same construction pattern can be viewed in most of the mosques throughout Karabakh built by Kerbalayi Safi Khan Karabakhi.
After capture of Shusha by Karabakhi-Armenian forces, the mosque stopped functioning. The Karabakh Armenian officials have stated that the Upper mosque is under their protection. The government of Nagorno-Karabakh has done major renovation works to the mosque since 2008. However, members of an Azerbaijani visiting delegation to Nagorno-Karabakh claim that the mosque is still in a destructive state and no renovation works are being done.
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