The Temple of All Religions is an architectural complex in the dacha settlement of Staroye Arakchino, inside Kazan municipality in Russia. Tightly clustered on a small plot of land, the complex consists of several cupolas, minarets and spires representing the religious architecture of 12 major religions of the world. There is a Christian cross, the Muslim crescent, the Star of David and the Chinese dome. However, no ceremonies are performed inside because it is not a functioning temple. The building is just a cultural center which also serves as the residence of its owner – the local artist and philanthropist Ildar Khanov, and his assistants who practice spiritual healing upon his willing subjects.
Khanov believed that all religions are equal, and the Temple of All Religions was his way to bring them all under one roof. It was started in 1992 and is still under construction. Khanov’ plan is to eventually build 16 cupolas corresponding to the 16 major world religions. Unfortunately Ildar Khanov will not see its completion for he passed away in February 2013.
A graduate from Kazan Art School, Ildar Khanov was an eccentric individual who claimed he met Jesus when he was just three years old. It was during the difficult years of the Great Patriotic War and Khanov almost died of starvation when Jesus saved him and showed him heaven and hell. It was then, according to Ildar Khanov, he embarked on his journey as an artist and healer. Over the forty years of his creative work, Khanov made over 70 sculptures and monumental decorative pieces, as well as hundreds of paintings. Some of his best works decorate Russian museums, as well as streets and squares of many cities in Tatarstan. Khanov is also known for his efforts in the treatment of alcoholism, drug addiction, and various other diseases. In fact, it’s his former and current patients that help him to maintain and develop the Temple, either by direct involvement in the construction work or through sponsorship.
The Temple has become a popular landmark in the city of Kazan, which takes pride in the peaceful combination of different cultures including Islamic Tatar, Orthodox Russian, and others. The Temple is visited both by tourists and by people seeking Khanov's healing touch.
Ildar Khanov. Photo credit
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