Bibi Heybat Mosque
The Bibi-Heybat Masjid is a historic masjid in the city of Baku. Originally built in the 13th century, the masjid was restored in 1997. Featuring a blend of Islamic and Shirvan style architecture, the masjid has 2 minarets and three do mes. The masjid has maintained its old structure and shape with the domes adorned with green and turquoise mirrors bordered with inscriptions of the Quran. The existing structure, built in the 1990s, is a recreation of the mosque with the same name built in the 13th century by Shirvanshah Farrukhzad II Ibn Ahsitan II, which was completely destroyed by the Bolsheviks in 1936. The Bibi-Heybat Mosque includes the tomb of Ukeyma Khanum (a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad), and today is the spiritual centre for the Muslims of the region and one of the major monuments of Islamic architecture in Azerbaijan. There are two prayer halls separated by the mausoleum of daughter of the Shiite Imam — Musa al-Kazim. The men’s prayer hall is on the southern side of the complex whereas the women’s payer hall is on the northern side. The inner walls of the masjid have calligraphic inscriptions and the prayer hall is adorned with beautiful ornaments. It is locally known as «the mosque of Fatima», which is what Alexandre Dumas called it when he described the mosque during his visit in the 1840s. In 1994, after Azerbaijan gained its independence, former president Heydar Aliyev ordered the construction of a new building for the Bibi-Heybat Mosque at the same place where it was destroyed. The modern restored mosque is a classic example of the Shirvan architectural school having three domes, folowing the traditional corrugated, galvanised iron shape of the old mosque and two minarets. The domes are decorated with green and turquoise mirrors, which are bordered with gilded inscriptions from the Qur’an.