Türkmenbaşy Ruhy Mosque, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
The mosque in Turkmenistan’s capital was commissioned by the first president of independent Turkmenistan, Niyazov, following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The mosque was completed in 2004 with a mausoleum for the president and his close family constructed alongside. Niyazov was to be interred only two years later following his death in 2006.
The stunning mosque is actually hugely controversial as Niyazov gave equal credence to Ruhnama, his own spiritual guide to life, to the Quran. The walls of Türkmenbaşy Ruhy are therefore inscribed with both.
The largest mosque in Central Asia really is a sight to behold both inside and out. The vast prayer room can hold 10,000 pilgrims, with 7,000 men on the main floor and 3,000 women on the second level.
Why not join the Monday Morning Blues Group over on Twitter @wilburstravels? Our aim is to post a photo from our travels featuring the colour blue each Monday morning to help dispel those start of week blues.
I am also delighted to announce our first online meeting that will be held on 6th July at 8pm. Details below.