Juma Mosque, Ganja
|Juma Mosque of Ganja (Shah Abbas)|
|Architectural style||Iranian architecture (Safavid style), Arran architectural school|
Juma Mosque of Ganja or Friday Mosque of Ganja – is a mosque located in the centre of Ganja. The mosque was built in 1606, according to a project of Sheykh Baheddin Mohammad Amil. The mosque is also often called “Shah Abbas Mosque”, because it was built on the instructions of Shah Abbas the Great during his reign.
In 1776, two minarets were attached to the mosque. The mosque was built of red brick, which was traditional for Ganja. There was functioned a madrasah at the mosque for a long time, where the eminent Azerbaijani poet and scientist Mirza Shafi Vazeh taught at that time.
In 2008, the building of the mosque was totally reconstructed. Old Russian bonds put into an envelope had been found during the reconstruction. This finding helped to draw out a conclusion that the last construction works had been held in 1910, but not in the end of the 18th century, during the Javad Khan’s reign, as it was considered earlier.
Main building of the complex is a mosque construction of 1606. C. Aleksandrovic writes: "... the inscription on the gate of the mosque, states its construction date is Kilidi-Shamakhi, which means that it is the year of 1015 according to the Hijra 1015, which is the year 1606 of our era. 
According to other information, the construction of the mosque is related to a later period. Although the construction of the mosque in the inscription kept in the Ganja History and Ethnography Museum is related to 1620, M. Aliyev states that the first date is more convincing. The complex was built by Sheikh Baha'I - the famous scholar and architect in all eastern countries. Sheikh Baha'i is also considered to be the architect of Shah Abbas caravanserai and Chökek hamam, located near the Shah Abbas Mosque. 
The 1885 Caucasian calendar provides information on the looting and destruction of the Ganja Juma mosque complex by the army of Karabakh khanate: "Restoration of this mosque destroyed by Garabagh khan started in 1209 according to Hijra calendar.
The mosque is composed of 25.30x25x28 meter centered model hall and its side niches with square shape. The whole composition of the structure is merged with a central hall with 204 square meters and a height of 13 meters. The square hall form, with deep niches on each side, is the most commonly encountered in the 17th century Azerbaijani architecture, accurately identifying the main axes of the building, with entrances and surrounding structures. 
The main entrance to the building is on the northern wall, and the mehrab is located on the south wall. Mehrab is located in the depth of the southern niche of the hall. The western and eastern walls of the hall have two more doors. According to the plan, these entries are considered to be fundamental. However, there are additional doors passing through smaller beams. They are placed on both sides of the highlighted key entries. 
Six external niches were for sectarian members with 12m2 space. Visitors could enter these niches both through the yard and through the door to the central hall. In addition, smaller rooms are located in four corners of the building. Each of these rooms has 12 m2 area. These rooms, which have a height of 4.4 meters, were placed in a mosque building so that the building was square shaped. Visitors can enter this room form the yard. Nevertheless, these rooms were interconnected with each other, including the central square, through the doors opened at the depths of the walls. There are also windows on each of the doors.
The building has many entrances, providing a continuous connection between all parts of the hall. It is also remarkable that entrances have a height up to the wall. The height of the entrances creates the impression that the building is built on pillars-columns. From this point of view, Ganja Juma Mosque is different from other mosques of Azerbaijan.
Ganja Juma mosque was built of bricks and gravel mortar with dimensions of 20x20x4.5 cm. In some places, the thickness of the walls is about 3 meters. This kind of thickness is only found on the walls of the central hall. Portals, niches and corner rooms have a thickness of 1-1.3 meters. All rooms have a bricks arched cover. In this regard, the dome cover of the central hall is exception. The arched frames of the doors and windows are also made of brick. 
It is generally acceptable that Juma Mosque has simple and clear architectural composition. The contour of large niches and small entrances, as well as light and shadow effects are reflected in the building. The rectangular prism is complemented by a dome with an eight-meter-high polygon, then a hexagonal profile and a flat brick surface. As a result, the composition gradually passing from one geometric form to another is completed with a dome. 
All portals of Ganja Juma Mosque, as well as portals-dome buildings, have been solved in laconic forms. Their symmetry stems from the center axis stresses. In the architecture of the facades (except for the southern facade), the main portals are placed in the center of the wall. The simplest forms of facades - the contrast of the large entrance ports of the main entrances and the small entry points placed at the depths of the portals create a great impression.
The central hall has been completed in a three-tiered form. In the third tier, its square footpath moves to eight-sided trompets. On top of the eight-inch section, it moves to the circular section, which is the foundation of the large geyser. The interior of the smaller rooms has a fairly simple appearance. No decorative element has been used in them. The arched ceiling and the walls of the rooms are whitewash.
Particular attention was paid to the decoration of the interior of the central hall. On the four walls of the hall, niches with a height of 6.5 meters were placed. The niches were completed with a simple solved oxidizer. The arches that support the trompoes at this height are joined to the arches of the niche. The niches were also halved in three-tier form, and two windows were placed in the first half and one in the other two. In this respect, the southern niche is an exception. The windows on the southern wall are symmetrically arranged on the sides of the ceiling. The vertical location of the doors and windows is repeated in other rooms of the mosque. 
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