Friday Mosque - Atlas Obscura

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Friday Mosque

Next to a newer mosque in Khujand’s main square lies the city’s oldest mosque, whose interiors are spectacularly intricate.  


In Khujand, located at the mouth of Tajikistan’s Fergana valley, you can explore one of the oldest cities in central Asia, full of rich cultural contrasts. Take a walk through the city’s center, where you’ll find a pair of mosques next to a large Soviet memorial, across the square from the expansive Panjshanbe Bazaar. Khujand embraces these visual contrasts, which are testaments to the city’s rich Islamic history, and its importance to the erstwhile Soviet empire.

The Friday Mosque, or Masjidi Jami, is one of the most fascinating structures in the city, with its domes and minarets standing out against the mountains in the distance. Dating back to the 16th century, the Friday Mosque contains a main hall with a wildly intricate ceiling and carved-wood columns.

Divided into recessed squares, each section of the ceiling contains its own technicolor landscape: densely patterned beams, star-shaped wood inlays, and endless interlocking shapes that create something like an encyclopedia of Islamic geometric design.

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January 1, 2024

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