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Bibi-Khanym mosque

Bibi-Khanym mosque — photo 1

The Bibi-Khanym (or Bibi Khanum) mosque-madrassah, one of the most famous attractions of Samarkand, was built in 1399-1404. It became the highest mosque of the city and remains incomparable. The name of the mosque can be translated from Turkic as “holy lady queen”.

Numerous legends are told about this mosque. The first one says that Amir Timur, the formidable commander and ruler of the state of Maverannahr, better known to the world under his nickname Tamerlane, ordered to build a mosque for his only and most beautiful wife, Bibi-Khanym.

The campaign by Amir Timur to India ended with a resounding victory and the conquest of the entire country. Shining wall of enormous height and width, rising to the sky, minarets and towers, spacious portal decorated with the best marble, glorified Amir Timur and his wife Bibi-Khanum, making them even more majestic, powerful and courageous.

Bibi-Khanym mosque — photo 2

Hundreds of the best architects from the central cities of Azerbaijan, Fars, Khorasan, and Hindustan had been building the mosque for 5 years. To facilitate the transportation of materials from India, the government ordered to use elephants.

The idea of the structure of the mosque was truly ingenious for that time: a grandiose building with perfect proportions. However, having returned after a campaign, Amir Timur was disappointed because the entrance portal was not as high as he wanted it to be. He was so dissatisfied with the result of the construction that ordered to rebuild the entire mosque in a short time. Craftsmen worked without rest and sleep to speed up the construction. Unfortunately, that was the reason why the building quickly turned into ruins.

Only 5 buildings of that large complex have survived until today: a high portal, a large Friday mosque, as well as two small mosques and a minaret standing nearby.

This grandiose construction is located on the area of 167×109 meters, not far from the famous Siab Bazaar. The luxurious azure domes of the popular Bibi-Khanym Mosque are a mesmerizing work of art. The size and unique beauty of the huge monument that was built with large investment and on a grand scale impress everyone who came to see it. In the past centuries, the dome of the Friday mosque could be compared with the firmament and the entrance arch of the portal with the Milky Way itself.

The courtyard square of the mosque was surrounded with rich galleries, and there were the numerous libraries collected by the grandson of Amir Timur, Mirzo Ulugbek. When the mosque became a popular place for feast prayers, the building, being unable to withstand such a large number of visitors, started to deteriorate. To this day, restoration work is underway in the mosque to preserve its original appearance in order to show the very essence of its greatness and beauty to the guests of Uzbekistan.

Canaan Travel invites you to visit Uzbekistan and travel across the cities of the fantastic East and along the routes of the ancient caravans of the Great Silk Road.