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First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva

President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva Inaugurate Zangilan Mosque

Zangilan, May 18, 2024, The Europe Today: Today President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attended the inauguration of the newly constructed Zangilan Mosque. Anar Alakbarov, assistant to the President, provided an update on the completed work during the ceremony.

The foundation for the new mosque was laid by President Aliyev on April 26, 2021, following the liberation of Zangilan from occupation. The construction was managed by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation with support from PASHA Holding LLC.

During the 30-year occupation, Armenian forces committed extensive damage to Azerbaijan’s religious monuments. In Zangilan, many historical, religious, and cultural sites were destroyed or severely vandalized. The original 19th-century Zangilan Mosque was desecrated and used as a stable, losing up to 70 percent of its original structure.

After regaining control, Azerbaijan initiated extensive restoration and construction projects for historical, religious, and cultural monuments in the Karabakh region. A team of local and international experts assessed the remains of the old mosque, leading to its conservation and the construction of a new mosque adjacent to it.

The newly built mosque features a rectangular structure with two minarets and three naves, accommodating prayer halls for 220 and 100 people respectively. The minarets and dome are crafted from tiles and bricks, while the interior showcases intricate carving and an altar decorated with tile-based vegetal patterns. The pulpit and lattice elements are made from natural wood.

An open-air exhibition has also been established at the site of the historical Zangilan city mosque. This exhibition documents the widespread vandalism of religious monuments in Karabakh and Eastern Zangezur, highlighting the destruction of Muslim cemeteries and the repurposing of mosques and tombs as stables during the occupation.

President Aliyev’s initiative reflects a commitment to preserving and restoring Azerbaijan’s cultural and religious heritage, emphasizing the country’s resilience and dedication to honoring its history.