Haji Piyada Mosque is one of the oldest buildings in Afghanistan and it is the oldest mosque in the country. The mosque has built-in 794 according to Italian researchers. Since there were 9 domes of the building, it is also called as a Mosque of Nine Cupolas in the region. Haji Piyada Mosque is one of the first examples of Turkic-Islamic architecture.
History of Haji Piyada Mosque
Haji Piyada Mosque (also known as Mosque of Nine Cupolas) is one of the famous historical buildings in Balkh. The mosque was built by a Turkish Khanate in the 8th century. Balkh was one of the important cities of Afghans and Turks before Islam. After the 8th century, both nations accepted Islam in the region. Haji Piyada Mosque is one of the first examples of Turkish-Islamic architecture.
The building has replaced with a Buddhist monastery. After the research of some Italian scientists, approximately the building date of the mosque claimed as 794.
The Architecture of Mosque of Nine Cupolas
As we have already mentioned it was one of the first mosques in Afghanistan after acceptance of Islam. So you can see too many differences with the buildings which have built after the 11th century. The mosque has ruined because of wars and natural disasters in the region. However, restoration works are going on for the mosque.
Location and Travel
The location of the mosque is just south of the Balkh City center. If you are planning to visit this mosque, it will be better for you to visit Mazar-i Sharif first and then travel to Balkh through a bus. There is not any airport in Balkh city at the moment. You can also hire a taxi to drive between Mazar-i Sharif and Balkh. You will able to find plane tickets to Mazar-i Sharif from large cities of the country.
Alternatively, you can find a bus from Kabil to Balkh City. However, we recommend you to pick this option if you don’t like planes.