Tatar Mosque, Urumqi

Tatar mosque in Urumqi - an important Islamic center in the city

Urumqi is the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and one of the youngest cities in East Turkestan. Urumqi is more modern metropolis than Kashgar, Hotan. However, there can be also seen the influence of Uighur culture, despite the fact that 50 percent of the city’s population is the Hans.

Although Urumqi can be called more a modern city rather than a traditional Uighur one, there is also a number of interesting cultural and natural attractions. The Heaven Lake Tianchi, Red Mountain in the center of the city, as well as the Grand Bazaar Erdaoqiao and of course, the famous Tatar Mosque is worth noting among them.

The Tatar Mosque is considered one of the oldest in Urumqi. It was built in the XIX century, in 1897 on funds raised by the local Tatar diaspora. By the beginning of XX century the mosque became a religious complex with a total area of 3,000 square meters. This is one of the largest mosques in the city, which can accommodate over a thousand worshipers.

The Tatar Mosque was built in traditional style. All the walls, doors and windows of the mosque are decorated with various carvings and traditional ornaments in the form of plants and geometric shapes. The central tower of the mosque is covered with gold, which is typical for Tatar religious monuments. In addition to the mosque the complex territory includes rooms for Quran study, the private rooms of the Imam, as well as the reception hall and utility rooms.

The Tatar Mosque is one of the most visited places in the city. There, in addition to tourists you can meet the faithful every day, so while visiting the mosque you should strictly adhere to the rules: no short hot pants, skirts or other revealing clothes, no shoes when entering the prayer hall, and no loud talks and laugh in order not to disturb the peace of the believers.

Today, the major part of the Urumqi population goes to the Tatar Mosque, they are not only the Uyghurs, but also other representatives of the national minorities who live in the city: the Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Tatars, Dungans. The Tatar Mosque is an important Islamic center, playing a significant role in the lives of local people.