By Laman Ismayilova
The Shah Abbas Mosque is considered one of the most famous architectural landmarks not only in Ganja, but throughout Azerbaijan.
The largest mosque in Ganja dates back to the 17th century. The Shah Abbas Mosque was designed by Sheikh Bahauddin, a descendant of prominent poet and thinker Nizami Ganjavi.
Sheikh Bahauddin was also known as a natural scientist and philosopher. He was one of the first to formulate the theory of atoms.
The Shah Abbas Mosque is laid out in the form of a cube made of red brick, traditional for Ganja. The thickness of the walls reaches three meters.
The mosque consists of a prayer hall, divided into two halves (for men and women) by a large screen, and small adjoining rooms.
The windows of the mosque are decorated with patterned lattices - shebeke.
The mosque has a unique minbar made of different types of wood but without a single nail. It is decorated with picturesque miniatures. The mosque is crowned with a dome with a diameter of 17 meters.
Later, the Chokyak Hamam was built near the mosque, known as one of the best caravanserais in Azerbaijan.
There was once a market square in front of the mosque.
It is known that Sheikh Bahauddin was an excellent astronomer.
He applied his knowledge in the construction of the mosque: at noon, the shadow falling on the western wall disappeared, which indicated to the Muslims the time of midday prayer.
Until now, Ganja residents check the time by the disappearing shadow - the accuracy is absolute.
During the construction, the architect was guided by an accurate calculation and a good knowledge of physics.
With its complex air channel, the Juma Mosque in Ganja was heated only by one small stove.
This heating system operated until the first decades of the 20th century.
In 1776, two minarets were added to the building of the mosque.
There is the Javad Khan tomb, belonging to the last ruler of the Ganja Khanate on the territory of the mosque.
Prominent cultural figures
A madrasah functioned at the mosque for a long time. Azerbaijani poet Mirza Shafi Vazeh taught calligraphy there.
One of his students was a writer-educator, poet, philosopher, one of the founders of national drama and literary criticism Mirza Fatali Akhundov.
The mosque and madrasah were restored in Ganja.
The Culture Ministry has recently released a video dedicated to the Shah Abbas Mosque as part of the project "Let's know our Islamic heritage".
Through the video, the Culture Ministry provided insight into the Shah Abbas Mosque history.
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