Muslim Petersburg at the turn of the century

Before the opening of the St Petersburg Mosque, the Muslims of Russia’s imperial capital prayed in the apartments of imams. Only in 1904, after meeting with the emir of Bukhara, Nicholas II allowed Muslims to purchase a piece of land to build a mosque.

Tatars made up most of the Muslim population of St Petersburg from city’s founding. To find out more about this community, look at the course “A Brief History of the Tatars” – five short lectures about the complex history of the Tatars, a guide to cities with Tatar populations, the most important Tatar table traditions and the most important Tatar words. The guide contains 21 cities, from St Petersburg and Tver to Kasimov and Orenburg, from Finland to Northern Kazakhstan.

The article has an outstanding selection of visual materials: Tatars at the skating rink in Petrograd, the ceremony of laying the Cathedral Mosque, delegates of the Second All-Russian Muslim Congress and other unique shots capturing everyday Muslim life in Petersburg. Photos are one of the few sources that can be used to look back at the Muslim community in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
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