Kyrgyzstan: Karakol – Dungan Mosque
Karakol is a city in the eastern Kyrgyzstan not far from the Chinese border. It is the fourth largest in the country, which ain’t much given its population is only 66k people. Two religious attractions are worth visiting here: the Dungan Mosque and the Trinity Cathedral. The former is quite unique – it was built by persecuted Chinese Muslims called Dungans who escaped here from the neighboring China in mid 1800. Among them where Chinese architecture masters who built this masterpiece on two conditions – the wooden mosque was built without a single nail, using interlocking wood pieces and it had to represent Chinese architectural Buddhist temple-like style. The mosque took 6 years to construct, with 42 main pillars holding a three-tiered wooden frame. There are even dragons on the corners of the roof!