Verkhiya Mosque

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Verkhiya Mosque during renovation May 29, 2007 by Arevik Avedian

Verkhiya Mosque, also known as Mets Meched Mosque. It was built in 1883 by architect Kerbelay Sefi. Fully repaired by the Soviets, it became Shushi town's history museum, but was subsequently damaged during the Karabakh war. There has been recent talk of Iran funding a new restoration. The walls are built from simple and roughly-trimmed stone, finished with lime-mortar plaster. Two minarets rise from southern and northern sides, which are covered with red, white, blue resin bricks. Climb up the minarets for a great view of the town and area, including the valley which Stepanakert lies in. Stepanakert and surrounding areas were barraged with bombs from this vantage above the surrounding plains until it was finally captured. The damage to Stepanakert during the war is mostly repaired, but the extensive damage to Shushi is mostly still apparent and you can explore these ruins which are so odd to see interspersed among occupied homes and businesses. Most of the buildings are of white stone, in the traditional architecture of the region, and much more attractive than the newer, soviet constructions.

In 1874-1875 the bottom mosque was built by architect Kerbali Sefi-khan thanks to a donation by Shushi landowner Gevkhar Aghi. The bottom mosque has architecture similar to Mets Meched in size, layout and materials. There is also a third mosque which can be seen still standing.