Shakhi-Zinda
Shakhi-Zinda, a big medieval burial complex in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. On south-east slope of Afrosiab is situated one of the notable architectural ensemble of Samarkand-Shakhi-Zinda necropolis. It consists of 11 mausoleums, built on to each other during 14-15th centuries in series. Entrance portal Shakhi-Zinda completing all ensembles is the latest construction. Inscription under entrance says: У This magnificent building established by Abdulazizhan, Ulugbek-GurganТs son, ShahruhТs son, Amir Timur-GuraganТs son, in 883.Ф All ensemble divides into three parts: Entrance chartak (consisting from mosque of hudjra, summer mosque, Davlyat Kushbegi mosque and mausoleum that had for a long time the name Kazi-Zade Rumi). Middle chartak (consisting of: mausoleums Emir-Zade, Emir-Husein, Shadi-Mulk, Shirin-Bibi-aka, Octahedron, Usto Ali, Nameless, Burunduk, Hudjra, Kusama ibn-Abbasa mosque, Ziarathani and Kusam ibn-Abbas mausoleum.) Upper chartak (consists of : Tuman-aka mosque, Tuman-aka mausoleum, nameless mausoleum 1360-1361, Hodja Ahmad mausoleum.)Going magnigient upstairs of Shakhi-Zinda and entering to the cool twilight of narrow corridor, visitor make kind of journey into the heart of time. The farther it is the more ancient buildings are. The first mausoleum from the left was thought as mausoleum of TimurТs friend and teacher astronomer Kazi-Zade Rumi. But in 60-70th years after opening graves scientits found out that two women were buried here. It is assumed that this was TimurТs wet-nurse and her daughter. Going up by 36 footsteps of old stairs you find yourself in the open gallery. Here from the left and right are mausoleums burial-vast of closest relatives of Timur and confidant of court.First mausoleums from the left and right Emir-Zade mausoleum and Emit-Husin mausoleum belong to confidant people of his court. Next mausoleum from the left belongs to TimurТs niece Shadi-Mulk aka. She died when she was very young that is why Timur ordered to build mausoleum of the most elegant form, to show beauty and youth of his niece. TimurТs sister Shirin-Bibi aka was managing the construction of this mausoleum. After finishing of this construction, she ordered to build mausoleum for herself against her nieceТs mausoleum. Both these mausoleums were built in 1371-1373 years. Going a little bit farther we see mausoleum of original form. This nameless mausoleum was build by architectures from Azerbaijan. One detail that differentiates this mausoleum from others is that entrance to crypt where graves are situated goes to central side street, and all other mausoleums have entrance behind the mausoleum. Next row of mausoleums is called nameless becoase all these mausoleums were built in 11th century and during Chigiz-HanТs invation almost all of then were destroyed. Now you can see onle small saved remains from mausoleums of 11th century. One of the nameless mausoleums is sometimes called Usto Ali Nesefi y the name of architect. Next mausoleum has name of commander-in-chief of TimurТs army-Emir Burunduk.Farther goes the most aincient ensemble of all necropolises Цensemble of Kusam ibn-Abbas. This is the oldest building of 11th century. The name of entire necropolis is related to the name of Kusam ibn-Abbas. Kusam ibn Abbas means Уalive kingФ.In 8th century during one of the sermon Kusam ibn-Abbas was beheaded, but because he was holy, he said that a man dieing on the way to God couldnТt be killed. He took his head put it underarm, and descended to shaft, where hi is living till now. The mausoleum was built in 11th century, and cupola was rebuild in 14th century by order of Amir Temur. And in the last yard three mausoleums are situated: unknown mausoleum( from the right), Tuman-aka mosque (from the left), Hodja Ahmad mausoleum. All these mausoleums were built in 14th century. By looking at decoration of two mausoleums nameless and Hodja Ahmad it is possible to say that they were built by architectures from Samarkand, main colors used by them -white, blue, and dark blue- reside to architectural school of Samarkand. While in Tuman-aka mausoleum green, yellow, black, and red colors were used. To the left of mausoleums is situated the entrance to the biggest Muslim cemetery built in 9th century and used till present time.
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