Blue Mosque of Yerevan

One of the oldest extant structures in Central Yerevan and the most significant structure of the Iranian period

Yerevan, Armenia

Coordinates: 40.178100, 44.505600

The Blue Mosque is an 18th-century Shia mosque in Yerevan, Armenia. It was commissioned by Huseyn Ali Khan, the khan of Erivan.

It is one of the oldest extant structures in central Yerevan and the most significant structure from the city’s Iranian period.

It was the largest of the eight mosques of Yerevan in the 19th century and is today the only active mosque in Armenia.

The mosque was secularized in the 1920s and housed the History Museum of Yerevan for more than five decades.

Following Armenia’s independence, the mosque was renovated with the support from the Iranian government and again started operating as a mosque, serving the Iranians residing in Yerevan.

In the 1930s first the Anti-Religious Museum and subsequently the Museum of Antifascism were housed at the mosque. From 1936 until the collapse of the Soviet Union, the mosque housed the Museum of Natural Sciences, which included a planetarium inside the main prayer hall and the Yerevan History Museum.

Built by Azarbaijan Shia Community

“Of course this mosque was built in Persian era of the region but it’s not Persian. This is a trick to erase Azeri history.” Thomas de Waal writes in Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War page 80

“That the Armenians could erase an Azerbaijani mosque inside their capital city was made easier by a linguistic sleight of hand: the Azerbaijanis of Armenia can be more easily written out of history because the name “Azeri” or “Azerbaijani” was not in common usage before the twentieth century. In the premodern era, these people were generally referred to as “Tartars,” “Turks,” or simply “Muslims.”

Yet they were neither Persians nor Turks; they were Turkic-speaking Shiite subjects of the Safavid Dynasty of the Iranian Empire—in other words, the ancestors of people whom we would now call “Azerbaijanis.” So when the Armenians refer to the “Persian mosque” in Yerevan, that name obscures the fact that most of the worshippers there, when it was built in the 1760s, would have been, in effect, Azerbaijanis.”

Azerbaijan and Iran (Persia) are two separate political identities. And this mosque was built by Azeris of Yerevan for Azeris of Yerevan.

The same way Saint Gregory the Illuminator Church in Baku which was built in 1869 (Russian era) is not a Russian church but an Armenian church because it was built by Armenians of Baku for Armenians of Baku and Armenia and Russia are two separate political identities.