ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s President Nurslultan Nazarbayev laid on Monday a foundation stone for new mega mosque in the capital Astana designed to be the largest in Central Asia and the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States.
“Here we will erect a mosque, which will be the largest in Central Asia,” Nazarbayev said.
The Presidential Palace of Akorda later confirmed to the EFE correspondent in Astana that the Main Mosque of Astana, with enough room for 30,000 worshipers, would also be the largest in the CIS.
“This mosque will serve both as a house of worship and as sightseeing for our guests, for tourists,” Nazarbayev said, adding that he would personally oversee the construction process.
He said funding for the project would come from the state budget and through a special fund “to which all Kazakhs can contribute.”
“I am grateful to all the successful entrepreneurs who are now participating in this noble cause,” he said.
The mosque is to occupy an area of 57,000 square meters (614,000 square feet) near the grounds where the international exhibition Expo 2017 was held.
Plans call for the central dome to measure 63 meters (207 feet) high with the minarets rising to a height of 130 meters (427 feet).
The surface of the main prayer room is to be 15,000 square meters (162,000 square feet), while the hall of female prayers will be 3,000 square meters (33,000 square feet).