Tatar mosque, Bohoniki
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The building is a unique example of Islamic religious buildings made of wood on a national scale. It is still in use today. It has been granted the status of a monument of history for its outstanding historical values (related to the history and culture of Polish Tatars).

History

It is difficult to precisely determine the time at which the mosque in Bohoniki was built. This happened soon after Tatars settled there and a religious community was organised. Archival records confirm the existence of the mosque in this village in 1717. Most researchers estimate that the current building dates back to the second half or around the 19th century, while others believe that it was erected in the 18th century. Perhaps expert on the history of the Sokółka County Walerian Bujnowski is right. Before the Second World War he wrote that the mosque underwent alterations after 1863 and was restored in 1929. During the recent renovation and conservation works carried out in 2006 the date 1873 was discovered on one of the beams. The date indicates the period of time when the building was erected or underwent alterations. It is known that in the 20th century it was thoroughly renovated several times. During the Second World War it was partially destroyed by the explosion of a missile. It served as a field hospital during wartime.

Description

The mosque in Bohoniki is located in the centre of the village, on the southern side of a road running through the village. It stands on a plot enclosed by a wire fencing with a gateway on the axis of the entrance to the monument. It was built using wooden logs; the peripheral walls are covered with horizontal boards on both sides and strengthened with clamps. The pavilion roof, gabled roofs over the mihrab and porch are covered with shingles. The turret erected on a hexagonal floor plan with a dome is covered with a copper sheet metal and crowned with a spire with three balls and a crescent moon. The turret features six casements with decorative window heads with a motif of the crescent moon. The mosque which is characterised by its narrow front part was built on a rectangular floor plan, with a small rectangular mihrab in the southern facade. According to Muslim tradition, the interior of the mosque is decorated with muhirs (quotations from the Qur'an) and representations of Mecca made using different techniques. The floor is covered with carpets. The mosque in Bohoniki has retained its original arrangement and body and, most of all, its function. The renovations were aimed at replacing the fittings that were damaged as a result of natural corrosion of wood. Natural materials (wooden logs, boarding, shingles, copper sheet metal, woodwork) were used in conservation work.

The monument is open to visitors.

Compiled by Grzegorz Ryżewski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Białystok, 15.09.2014 r.

Bibliography

  • Górska I., Meczety i mizary w Bohonikach i Kruszynianach pomnikami historii,  “Biuletyn Konserwatorski Województwa Podlaskiego” 2013, issue 19, pp. 263-286.
  • Cybulko Z., Bohoniki. Meczet, Karta zabytków architektury i budownictwa, 1995.

General information

  • Type: mosque
  • Chronology: 2. poł. XIX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Bohoniki
  • Location: Voivodeship podlaskie, district sokólski, commune Sokółka - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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