(QHA) -

National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has introduced 5 and 10 hryvna coins dedicated to Crimean mosque of Uzbek Khan and Madrassa built in Crimea in 1314.

The 10 hryvna coin is made of silver, while 5 hryvna coin made of German silver-- a copper alloy with nickel and often zinc. 2000 copies of each coin were issued.

The design of two coins is the same. There is small coat of arms of Ukraine at the obverse and an inscription “Natsional'niy bank Ukrainy” (National Bank of Ukraine), nominal value of the coin and the year: 2014. At the reverse of the coin there is the mosque of Öz Beg Khan and Crimean Tatar “ESKI QIRIM. ÖZBEK HAN CAMISI VE MEDRESE” and Ukrainian “MECHET' KHANA UZBEKA I MEDRESE” inscriptions.

Note: The mosque was built by Khan Uzbek, an adherent of Islam. This mosque is, in fact, the oldest mosque in the Crimea. Nowadays it looks like a basilica-type rectangular building with a built-in minaret in the north-east corner and an entrance from the north.

The construction started in 1314; two years after Khan Uzbek ascended the throne of Golden Horde. A Turkish traveler Evliya Celebi mentioned in his notes that under the ruling of Menli Giray in 1512-1513 there used to be a cathedral mosque.

All that is left from the initial architecture group is fragments of the northern wall decorated with a portal, and pillars with arches in the interior. The mosque has a rectangular shape with the longer side stretching from north to south. East and west walls were made of quarry stone layered with wood, and the north-east corner, which is the foundation for an ancient minaret, was made of treated light stone.

In the south Khan Uzbek Mosque had a madrasah – the most important Islamic seminary. The rectangular building of the XIV century is now ruined. People entered madrasah from the south through a carved lancet portal. The large open yard of the mosque was covered with tiles, and in the center there was a small beautiful fountain. In the north-east corner of the madrasah there was an area with a crypt. Madrasah was built of rubble stone, bonded with limestone solution. The facade was covered with a monumental arched portal, decorated with intricate carved ornamentation.

QHA