Namazgah Mosque – The Great Mosque in the Albanian capital Tirana

by | Feb 18, 2023 | Culture | 0 comments

The Albanian capital of Tirana is undergoing a major transformation with the construction of the Great Mosque of Tirana. This magnificent mosque, also known as the Namazgah Mosque, will be the largest in the Balkans once it is completed.

The need for a central mosque in Tirana was highlighted after the fall of communism in Albania in 1991. While two cathedrals were constructed, Muslim Albanians had no central mosque and had to pray in the streets. The issue was addressed in 1992 when then president, Sali Berisha, laid the first stone of the mosque’s foundation near Namazgja square, close to the parliament.

However, construction was delayed after the speaker of parliament, Pjetër Arbnori, contested the plans. It was only in 2010, when then mayor of Tirana, Edi Rama, took the decision to build the mosque, that construction finally began.

The Great Mosque of Tirana is being built on a 10,000-square-meter parcel of land near Albania’s parliament building. It will have a capacity for up to 4,500 people to pray at one time within the mosque. The mosque’s exterior will be stunning, featuring four minarets, each 50 meters high, and a central dome with a height of 30 meters. The first floor of the mosque will include a cultural center and other facilities.

One of the primary reasons for building the Great Mosque of Tirana is that there are currently only 8 mosques in the city, down from 28 in 1967. This lack of adequate facilities has meant that during Islamic holidays, the Skanderbeg Square is filled with Muslim worshipers. The Ottoman-era Ethem Bey mosque, currently Tirana’s principal mosque, has a capacity of only 60 persons, and Friday sermons are often cancelled due to rain.

The funding for the mosque’s construction is being provided by the main state-run Turkish Muslim organization, Diyanet. In 2015, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Albania for the inauguration ceremony of the mosque, highlighting the importance of the project for the Muslim community in Albania.

In conclusion, the Great Mosque of Tirana is an important project that will provide a much-needed central mosque for the Muslim community in Albania. Its impressive size and beautiful design make it a significant landmark in the city and the Balkans region. Once completed, it will be a symbol of Albania’s commitment to promoting religious diversity and tolerance.


Share this...