The famous Temple of All Religions, or the Universal Temple, is an interesting attraction of modern times. This is the only place in the world where you can see the Orthodox and Catholic churches, the Jewish synagogue, the Muslim mosque and the Buddhist temple harmoniously coexisting all as one building. There are iconic elements of 16 of world religions, including the symbols of extinct civilizations. Bright colors of domes and minarets, an incredible combination of architectural styles causes a storm of emotions among visitors.
The architectural monument works like a museum, no religious rites are held in the temple, no altar and no minaret are set up. The complex bears symbolic significance. This beautiful Temple is definitely worth visiting while your travel to Tatarstan Republic.
In 1994, an unusual by all means architectural construction – the Temple of All Religions began to be built in Kazan. Its author is an artist, architect, sculptor, healer and public figure – Ildar Khanov. The idea to build such an unusual Temple came to him after traveling to Tibet and India, during which he was imbued with ideas of humanism, faiths and equality of people.
The architectural project was developed by Khanov himself. According to Ildar, during meditation, Jesus came to him and said: “Ildar! You have a barn where cows were sleeping before. There are three shovels and a metal crowbar there now. Today, you will get up at 6 am and start the construction of a universal temple near your father’s old house.” And he began to build it. For the construction of the temple, he used his own savings. Also his friends and everyone who was interested helped him. The village of Old Arakchino, the author’s homeland, was chosen as the location of the temple.
According to the original plan, the shrine was supposed to act as a union of 16 cathedrals that are related to different faiths. The plans also included the construction of a theater for performances in a wide variety of languages, the organization of an environmental and art school, a conservatory and a rehabilitation center.
Khanov was able to successfully implement the main idea of the construction – the consolidation of all cultures and religions of the globe in one place. When the master was alive, the construction of the unique temple did not stop for a single day. Unfortunately, in 2013, Ildar Khanov died. Today, the Temple of All Religions was being continued by the author’s close relatives, like-minded people and philanthropists.
A truly unique attraction consists of several buildings, combining various styles of different cultures and religions into one. The architectural complex includes all major religions: the Orthodox and Catholic churches, the Muslim mosque, the Jewish synagogue, Buddhist monastery, Chinese pagoda, as well as other religious elements that are now non-existent.
All buildings are monumental. The structures are bulky, pretentious, supplemented by numerous stained glass windows and signs of different religious beliefs. The overall picture looks harmonious. The walls are decorated with mosaic compositions of smalt. The subjects of the compositions are the most diverse: here you can see the Masonic eye, the moon with the stars and even some unknown animals. On the domes of the temple, there are Muslim, Jewish and Christian symbols.
In total, according to the project, the master planned to erect 16 domes, which represent the major religions of the world: Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, the religions of China and Japan. Currently, visitors are invited to see Egyptian and Catholic halls, a tea room, the Hall of Jesus Christ, a theater hall, as well as an art gallery, which hosts exhibitions of artists.
Ildar Khanov never wanted to merge all religions in one, because they all have their own history and their own cultural necessity. His goal was to bring them together, give them a meeting and communication place. Temple of All Religions is not a place of worship, but of culture.
– When building the Temple of all religions, the author Ildar Khanov had an idea about building a rehabilitation center for drug and alcohol addicts.
-While visiting the temple, you have a chance to visit a museum dedicated to the master. Here you can see a room of the architect Ildar Khanov, where he spent his childhood, portraits of his parents, created with his own hand, some unfinished works.
– The son of the famous artist Nicholas Roerich, Svetoslav, actively participated in the design of the complex.
– In Korea there is a similar structure. There it`s used for rituals and prayers, while the Kazan Temple of All Religions has an exclusively humanitarian role.
– In 2015, the sphinxes were erected along the path on the way to the Temple.
– The Universal Temple is one of the symbols of Kazan. In recent years it has become almost the second most popular pilgrimage site for tourists after the Kazan Kremlin.
How to get there
The Temple of All Religions is located in the village of Old Arakchino, Staro-Arakchinskaya Street, 4.
You can get there both by public transport by bus number 2 (leaves from railway station), as well as by personal transport.
Nearest Bus Stops — «Poselok Staroye Arakchino», «Pereprava»; Railway Station «Staroye Arakchino»
You can visit the Temple of All Religions during an excursion to Sviyazhsk or Raifa. Separate excursions are also organized to the Temple.