Quarter mosques - religious places of worship of Shusha

Baku, March 28, AZERTAC

Medieval Azerbaijan cities were divided into quarters called mahalla with the central quarter square, where a cathedral mosque with madrasa, a bath and sometimes a bazaar were situated. Right-angled Shusha quarter mosques were notable for their simplicity and resembled more a dwelling house, rather than a religious construction. The only difference from houses consisted in small hip boxes for muezzins called guldasta installed on roofs of mosques and decorated with half-moons. The interior of the mosques, on the contrary, was decorated completely in accordance with the highest requirements of Muslim traditions. In all the quarter mosques, just like in big cathedral mosques, opposite to mihrab in the second circle there were galleries for praying women. The room was decorated with stucco moulding onaments, various Quran inscriptions and sometimes with polychromatic paintings.

There were two types of facades of the quarter mosques of Old Shusha. The first type consisted in an eyvan with arches of various designs (mosques of Merdinli, Guyulug, Haji Mirjanli, Kecharli) and the second type resembled a flat wall with modest asymmetric entrance. These mosques also differed with overhead covers. The mosques of Chukhur, Julfalar, Guyuluq, Haji Yusifli had flat wooden ceilings, and the mosques of Chel Qala Taza, Saatli, Mamayi had halls with three naves that were made with the usage of arches supported by octahedral columns. Both types of mosques had separate entrances for women. The majority of quarter mosques were constructed by Kerbelayi Safi Khan Garabaghli.

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