Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lyalya Tulpan

The Lyalya Tulpan mosque in Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia, is one of the most unique mosques I've seen. Built about 20 years ago, this was made to resemble a tulip (lyalya tulpan means "tulip in bloom") - the main building is meant to resemble a blooming tulip and the twin minarets are meant to resemble tulip buds. While I would have associated tulips with the Netherlands, some research into this was very enlightening. It turns out that tulips were originally native to areas including today's Turkey and Iran. Commercial cultivation began in the Ottoman Empire, where they became very popular. From there they were brought to Germany and then the Netherlands. Within Islam tulips are significant in that Shia legend holds that they spring up where martyrs die. One reference I found said that the first tulips supposedly grew when the blood of Hussein ibn Ali (Muhammad's grandson) was spilled at the Battle of Karbala. The symbol in the center of Iran's flag is the name of Allah shaped like a tulip. Viracocha built this micro rendtion of Lyalya Tulpan as an entry in the Eurobricks Architecture contest.

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