The Jami Mosque or, as it is also called, the Koshkar-Ata Mosque is one of the bright sights of the 19th century in Shymkent.
This is the only building in Kazakhstan built in the style of classical Ferghana architecture. Most likely, it was designed by Uzbek masters. The mosque is located in the old city (territorially in the center of Shymkent), popularly referred to as "mahalla". The “Old Town” is a quarter with adobe one-story houses, in which the windows are hidden in the courtyards, and only carved wooden doors are visible in the narrow labyrinth streets. It is like an ancient city frozen in time with its own traditions, acoustics, silence and orchards.
The river Koshkar-ata flows near the mosque, hence its second name. A mosque was erected in order to serve the population of the quarter, the same mahalla that has remained here today. Presumably, the building of the mosque appeared between 1850 and 1856. The first building was made of mud brick and collapsed from flooding by the waters of the Koshkar-ata river. A new building of baked bricks was built between 1891 and 1893. The mosque in this form has survived to this day, except that the height of the duval has risen, and in the 80s of the last century the facade with arcades was renovated. This architectural ensemble corresponds to the Fergana classics in that it is a mosque-aivan of a frontal construction. Ivan - open terraces where gardens are grown so that their shade allows you to hide from the heat and the scorching sun. And in the Jami mosque, gardens are fragrant, there is a gazebo and benches, sitting on which you can have quiet conversations.
The main facade of the mosque has a composition of three arches with projecting portals and two minarets at the corners, completed with domed lanterns. In the center of the western wall of the winter hall there is an impressive mihrab niche decorated with bright colored mosaics. On the walls and on the spotlights of the arches one can see Arabic script and painting with floral ornaments. Tourists can also observe this beauty, which is a living oasis in the hot climate of the southern city. By the way, the entrance to Jami has always been free.
Useful Tips 2021-2022
How to get there?
The Jami Mosque is located in the very center Shymkent, in the area of the old city, right at the foot of the settlement of Shymkent. You can get there either by taxi or by bus to the stop "Ordabasy Square", and then walk a little on foot, checking the direction with the locals, or guided by the 2GIS map.
Meals and accommodation
Since the architectural monument is located in the center of the city, and Shymkent is famous for its excellent cuisine and its affordability, you can easily choose a place to eat. A chain of cafes and street fast food along with restaurants is everywhere.
There are also plenty of accommodation options. For example, on the Ordabasy square, which is located near the old city, there is an inexpensive and cozy hotel of the same name. By the way, Vladimir Vysotsky once stayed in it, as evidenced by a memorial plaque. The same hotel has an excellent restaurant and disco hall, as well as a currency exchange office. Not far from the hotel is the largest oriental bazaar in the country, which will also be interesting to visit.