Synyk-Kala
Baku, Azerbaijan
The Mohammed Mosque stands on a hillside inside the fortified old city of Baku known as Icheri-Shehr. Its minaret is also known as Sinik-Gala. An inscriptive plaque to the left of the mosque entrance indicates that the mosque and minaret were erected by master builder Muhammed bin Abu Bakr in 1078-1079. As such, it is the oldest remaining Islamic monument In Azerbaijan.

Oriented north-south with qibla, the mosque is a vaulted rectangular prayer hall measuring seven by nine meters, covered with a flat roof on the exterior. It is entered from an enclosed one-bay portico at the eastern end of its north façade, which is vaulted at a lower height than the prayer hall. A large cylindrical minaret with a single balcony rises to the west of the mosque, almost touching its western wall. Its narrow spiraling staircase is entered from the southeast. It leads up to the mosque terrace, and to the muqarnas balcony, which is protected by a stone balustrade carved with geometric motifs. An inscriptive band composed in Kufic style encircles the minaret shaft below the balcony. The minaret is capped with a shallow, ribbed dome.

Inside, the prayer hall is covered with transverse vault resting on walls that are one meter thick. Light comes in through two slits on the east and west walls, and two arched windows on the qibla wall. The interior is devoid of decoration, except for the muqarnas hood of mihrab and the carved hoods of the slit windows. Both the mosque and the minaret are constructed of cut-stone.

The Mohammed Mosque and Minaret were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000 as part of the Walled City of Baku, which was amended to the World Heritage in Danger list in 2003.

Sources:

Aslanapa, Oktay. 1979. Kirim ve Azerbaycan'da Türk Eserleri. Istanbul: Baha Matbaasi, 33-39.

Fatullayev, S.S. and R.S. Babasov. 2005. "Memarliq". Maison d'Azerbaidjan Website. http://www.azmaison.fr/az/index_az.shtml?language=2;section=4;section2=4. [Accessed November 2, 2005]

Gink, Kalory and Ilona Turanszky. 1979. Azerbaijan: Mosques, Turrets, Palaces. Budapest: Corvina Kiado, 27-28.

"Baku (Azerbaijan)". 1999. UNESCO World Heritage Center. http://whc.unesco.org/archive/advisory_body_evaluation/958.pdf. [Accessed February 13, 2005]

"The Map of Monuments in Ichari Shahar". Window to Baku Website. http://www.window2baku.com/eng/9ichshehermap.htm. [Accessed February 24, 2005]

"The Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Place and Maiden Tower". 2003. UNESCO World Heritage Center. http://whc.unesco.org/sites/958.htm. [Accessed February 13, 2005]
Location
42 M. Mansour Street, Icheri-Sheher, Baku, Azerbaijan
Images & Videos
Associated Names
Part of Site
Events
1078-79/471 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Synyk-Kala
Mohammed Mosque and Minaret
Variant
Masjid Mohammed ibn Abu Bakr
Variant
Mosque and Minaret of Muhammad
Variant
Siniggala Mosque
Variant
Building Usages
minaret
religious
mosque
religious