Visit the Simferopol Mosque (Kebir-Jami)

Tourists always wonder, where to go in Simferopol. What to see in Simferopol and its fascinating places. Visiting the Simferopol Mosque is an ideal option to learn a little more about the history.


The Juma-Jami mosque in Yevpatoriya is the main mosque in the city and the largest mosque in Crimea. Built in the 16th century. It also has the name of “Cathedral Friday Mosque”. It was erected under the khan Devlet-Girey by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Khoji Sinan ibn Abdulmennan (1489-1588).

The mosque was originally called Khan-Jami (the Khan mosque), and later it was renamed Juma-Jami (Friday Mosque) in honor of Good Friday as a cathedral church in which all the Crimean khanes announced the sign, obtaining the right to the Khanate of Crimea from the Turkish sultan. Over the years, the mosque has suffered repeated alterations, but it still resembles the silhouette of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. In 1962-1985, the restoration was carried out and two minarets were restored, one of which collapsed before 1665 and the other in 1836.

During the years of Soviet rule, the mosque was closed as a religious institution and used as a monument of architecture and museum, and in the 1990s it was returned to believers.

The composition of the building is based on the principle of “increasing volumes”. The famous St. Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople could serve as a model for this and other mosques of Khoja Sinan. The carrier parts of the cathedral are made of limestone, but the main material used in the construction is shell rock. The mosque is the central building of the dome, in a plane that approaches a square, from the west and from the east to which two minarets are joined. Two levels of rarely planted windows illuminate the two-story side galleries, covered by flat three-row domes. The central hall, about 22 meters high, is covered by a powerful dome with 16 windows. Inside, the Khan Jami mosque is divided into two colonnades, consisting of double Byzantine-style arches, in three parts, of which the center is wider than the side.

The south side (qibla) in the center has a mihrab altar. This is a shallow pentahedral niche with a height of 4.5 meters. On the outer sides of the mihrab there are two half columns. The arch of the mihrab consists of eight rows of “stalactites.” Near to the right there is a mimbar, a high pulpit half open. The conical wooden roof of the mimbar is decorated with a beam of light. The beginning is steep, in 12 steps of a staircase that leads to a wicker bar, made in the form of a U-shaped arch.

Choirs: the mafilos are linked to the east, north and west walls of the mosque, which can be reached by a spiral staircase located to the left of the main entrance and through an external passage to the balcony of the khan, which originally It was smaller. Later, the balcony extended to the north and east walls.

There are four entrances to the mosque: the main one from the north, two lateral ones, the western one and the eastern one, next to which there is an entrance to the balcony for the khan. Recently, the Juma-Jami mosque has been completely restored: the minarets and the main entrance gallery have been completely restored, replaced by preserved samples, the architectural details that have become unusable inside and out.

What to see in Simferopol

The Kebir-Jami Mosque is a brighter place of interest, the oldest building in Simferopol. It is believed that due to the color of the walls of the facade of the monument of architecture Simferopol received its first name “The White Mosque”.

The Kebir-Jami in the Russian translation of de is translated as “The Cathedral”. This name is justified by the entire main mosque in Crimea.

According to what has been preserved until today, according to the inscription of the entrance of the building; The mosque was built in 1508 by Hadzhi Abdurahim-Beck. But in the early 90s, during the reconstruction of the board; It was found that there is another opening date of the mosque made in 1502 (or 914 according to the chronology of the Muslims). Arabic writing is written on the label; “This mosque was built for the glory of the power of Khan Mengli I Giray, Allah who forgives all the sins of himself and his children in the month of Muharram in the year 914.” Scientists are still discussing the exact date of the construction of the Kebir-Jami.

Kebir-Jami decoration is very simple. The facade of the building is made with clean lines that have no luxury, there is a small balcony and the roof is covered with tiles. From the beginning the mosque was only a dome, but during one of the reconstructions it was removed. The mosque has a short minaret made of limestone more or less worked. It is crowned by a minaret with a crescent cone. The whole mosque is painted with white lime.

The Kebir-Jami was rebuilt and repaired many times due to the fires, its appearance changed a bit. One thing has remained constant: the Kebir-Jami was always the center of the Muslim community of Crimea. After the revolution, the mosque has continued to function.

After World War II, the Kebir-Jami was closed for political reasons and was in ruins for many years. Later the building was used as a binding workshop. Only after the expulsion of the Crimean Tatars; The peninsula’s mosque was renovated, the same returned to the Muslim community. However, an important restoration began in 1991, the Kebir-Jami, literally; It had to be rebuilt from the ruins; which have remained intact only two meters high from the wall. The work continued for a long time. Only in 2009 it was restored.

For tourists the Kebir-Jami is open on a given day, but during the reading of the prayer it is not necessary to introduce curiosity, so as not to interfere with the faithful. At the entrance you have to take off your shoes, and women should wear a headscarf. Before taking pictures at home, it is necessary to ask the Imam for permission, which he probably refuses.

Today, the Kebir-Jami is the main Friday mosque of the entire peninsula; It is where the residence of the Mufti and the Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Crimea are located. Nearby is the madrasa and the library, which stores a large amount of literature in the Crimean Tatar language.

But the mosque that is the largest in Europe is located in Moscow and can be visited with guided excursion or independently.

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