12 March 2007

Religious pluralism on Lake Issyk Kul

This Muslim mosque in Karakol, Kyrgyzstan, was designed by a Chinese architect and was reportedly built without the use of a single nail. Beneath the upturned pagoda-style roof is some remarkable woodwork. Not far from the mosque is a run-down but still impressive Russian Orthodox Church. Russians settled in and around Karakol in the 19th century but their numbers have steadily declined, along with the local economy, since Kyrgyzstan gained independence in 1991. Today Karakol is largely dependent on the tourists who visit Lake Issyk Kul in the summer and ski the nearby mountains in the winter.

1 comment:

  1. I was always told that the Chinese mosque administration does not let the tourists to take a picture of it. :) Probably, they are not doing it anymore. Great photo. How long have you been in Karakol?