The Blue Mosque in Yerevan
The Blue Mosque is a well-preserved Twelver Shia mosque in Yerevan, Armenia, returns to the 18th century and was commissioned by Huseyn Ali Khan, the khan of the Iranian Erivan Khanate, and built in the #Persian style.
It is one of the oldest remaining structures in central Yerevan and the most significant structure from the city’s Iranian period and was the largest of the eight mosques of Yerevan in the 19th century. Today, it is the only active mosque in Armenia. It is located at 12 Mashtots Avenue, Yerevan, Armenia.
Glimpses of the History
In the 1920s, the mosque was secularized and housed the History Museum of Yerevan for more than five decades. Following Armenia’s independence, the mosque was renewed with support from the Iranian government and again started operating as a mosque, serving the Iranians residing in Yerevan.
The Armenian government listed the mosque as a monument of national significance. It is "one of the oldest buildings in central Yerevan" and the "only existing building of the Iranian period in Yerevan."
It has become a religious and cultural center for the Iranians residing in Armenia and Iranian tourists visiting Armenia. The Iranian cultural center inside the mosque complex attracts young Armenians seeking to learn Persian. The Persian library of over 8,000 items, named after the poet Hafez, was opened inside the complex in October 2014.
On December 10, 2015, the government of Armenia leased the mosque complex to the embassy of Iran in Armenia for 99 years to use it as a cultural center.
The historian of Islamic art Markus Ritter described it as the "main model for the early Qajar mosque architecture of the Iranian period." The mosque complex covers an area of 7,000 square meters.
Armenian efforts in the UNESCO
In October 2007 Armenian Foreign Affairs Minister Vartan Oskanian stated during his speech at the 34th session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris that the Blue Mosque and other sites are on the waiting list for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In January 2013 Armenian Minister of Culture Hasmik Poghosyan stated that Armenia will take all possible steps for including the mosque in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. She reaffirmed this in a meeting with Iranian Culture Minister Mohammad Hosseini in April 2013.