“Bolgar is Islam on snow” Qatar: Russian ancient town of Bolgar in the UNESCO World Heritage List
On June 23, 2014 H.E.Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who chaired the 38th session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Doha (Qatar) announced that Russian historical and archeological complex Bolgar situated in the Republic of Tatastan was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Bolgar that has become the 1002nd historical and archeological object included to the List had been presented for inclusion as far back as 2013. Major restoration works were done there under the patronage of the “Revival” Foundation directed by First Tatarstan President, State Counsellor H.E. Mr.Mintimer Shaimiev.
Bolgar historical and archeological Complex lies on the shores of the Volga river, south of its confluence with the river Kama, and south of the capital of Tatarstan, Kazan. It contains evidence of the medieval city of Bolgar, an early settlement of the civilization of the Volga-Bolgars, which existed between the 7th and 15th
centuries, and was the first capital of the Golden Horde in the 13th century.
The Permanent representative of the State of Qatar to the UNESCO H.E.Mr. Ali Zainal briefly told the audience about his trip to Bolgar in 2012 and said that he considered it to be at the crossroads of the cultures and destinies of many nations and civilizations and henceforth is worth to be included to the World Heritage List. He thanked Russia and Tatarstan for endowing this historical site of the universal importance.
H.E.Mrs.Tatyana Larionova, aide to the President of Tatarstan and CEO of the Regional Foundation of the Revival of Historical and Cultural Monuments made a welcoming speech on behalf of the Republic of Tatarstan in which she said:
“The Russian Federation and the Republic of Tatarstan eagerly accept the long-awaited and important decision of the inclusion of ancient Bolgar to the World Heritage List. This historical, archeological and spiritual site is the place of the peaceful conversion to Islam on the far northern territories. As we say this is islam on snow. Many thousands of people go to Bolgar annually in order to pay their tribute to its ancient history, bow down to its land and pray near the old preserved minarets. Just a few days ago 30 thousand Russian Muslims and numerous guests form different parts of the world took part in the festivities dedicated to the 1125th anniversary of the Volga-Bolgar State conversion to Islam. We deem it very important that the decision on Bolgar was introduced here, in the State of Qatar, on the sacred land where Islam has been practiced since the 7th century. The preservation of Bolgar means for us a sphere of great culture, spirituality and tremendous responsibility to the future generations”.