Shamakhi, July 18, AZERTAC
As part of a working trip to Azerbaijan, President of the European Council Charles Michel has visited Shamakhi.
President of the European Council visited the Shamakhi Juma Mosque, one of the oldest Muslim temples in the South Caucasus and the Middle East.
Assistant to the Azerbaijani President Anar Alakbarov welcomed President of the European Council Charles Michel.
Imam of the mosque Marhamat Mustafayev informed the President of the European Council about the religious temple. It was stated that the mosque was built in 743. The Shamakhi Juma Mosque, one of the oldest Muslim temples in Azerbaijan, the South Caucasus and the Middle East, was built during the reign of Khalifa Khalid bin Waliyad in honor of his brother Muslim bin Waliyad.
The European Council President also visited the museum in the courtyard of the mosque. During familiarization with the museum, the visitor was informed that an act of genocide had been committed in Shamakhi in March 1918, which was part of the massacres committed by armed Armenian Dashnak groups. The worst massacre was perpetrated in the Juma Mosque. Seeing that the people of Shamakhi had taken refuge in the mosque as the house of God, the Armenians set fire to it and killed about 1,700 innocent people. The mosque, which was not used for its intended purpose during the Soviet era, was facing the threat of destruction.
It was noted that in 1980 this historical monument was renovated on the instructions and initiative of great leader Heydar Aliyev, who paid great attention to the development of Azerbaijan in all areas, including the protection of national and spiritual values. The overhaul of the Shamakhi Juma Mosque was part of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation's “Address of Tolerance – Azerbaijan” project. The madrassas, cells and graves discovered during the restoration in the 1970s and 1980s were preserved. The ancient cells around the Shamakhi Juma Mosque State Historical-Architectural Monument have been restored and major landscaping work has been carried out. In 2013, the mosque was inaugurated after restoration with the participation of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
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