Saparmurat Hajji Mosque
|Saparmurat Hajji Mosque|
|Geographic coordinates||N 38.16212|
The Saparmurat Hajji Mosque (Turkmen: Saparmyrat Hajy metjidi) is a mosque in Gökdepe, Turkmenistan. It was built between 1994 and 1995, during the rule of President Saparmurat Niyazov. It was erected in memory of defenders of the adjacent Gökdepe Fortress (see Battle of Geok Tepe). It is a prominent landmark in Gökdepe with its blue dome and four minarets.
Ashgabat architect Kakajan Durdyyev designed the structure. The mosque was opened in 1995 and named in honor of President of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov's pilgrimage to Mecca during the Hajj in 1992. The French company Bouygues built the mosque in one year.
In 2008, Turkish firm SUR Turizm Inşaat Ticaret ve sanayi LTD STI renovated the mosque, and additionally designed and built ritual banquet facilities with capacity of 1,000 guests plus the Gökdepe National Museum located on the mosque's grounds. The contract included landscaping of the surrounding territory. The cost of reconstruction plus building the banquet hall and museum was cited as $34 million.
The mosque has capacity for 8,000 worshipers. Its main characteristics are its sky-blue dome surrounded by four lower blue half domes. Its four minarets are 63 meters high to represent the age at which the Prophet Muhammad died.
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