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Ishratkhona

Ishratkhona — photo 1

The name Ishratkhona literally means “the house of entertainment”. However, there is also a story telling that the name of the monument has undergone some changes over the centuries and that initially it had been spelled as Ashratkhona, which means “ten rooms” in Arabic. Still, there is no documentary evidence of both versions, so we can only guess how the mausoleum was actually named.

The once majestic and extremely beautiful building now is a ruin with elements of oriental architecture. Just imagine that originally it was built for feasts.

There is a beautiful legend telling that when studying the stars, the grandson of Amir Timur, Mirzo Ulugbek, calculated the day of death of his outstanding grandfather and was horrified to realize that the time of the tragedy was near. Tamerlane planned to hold a feast on that unfortunate day, so Ulugbek mounted a frisky horse and rushed to Ishratkhona.

Having burst inside with an unsheathed sword, he evoked anger of his grandfather, who even personally went out to meet the scrappy grandson, but at that moment, an earthquake began, and the vault of the building fell exactly on the place where Timur had just feasted. Having expressed his gratitude for salvation to Ulugbek, Timur forbade ever holding feasts in Ishratkhona.

However, the legend does not coincide with historical facts. This complex was built during the reign of the descendant of Tamerlane, Abu-Seyid, in the middle of the 15th century, and the great commander died in 1405.

In any case, awesome design and architecture of the building are amazing.

There are inscriptions that have survived telling that the building had been constructed by the order and under the supervision of the wife of the ruler Sultan-Ahmed-Mirza. The attraction was built over the burial place of the princess Khavend-Sultan-Beka.

Later it became a mausoleum. At that moment, the architectural monument already consisted of many buildings with a gallery that went deep into the mausoleum, and a mosque was added to its north side.

Ishratkhona — photo 2

In the building, there were also premises for the workers of the mausoleum. Unfortunately, despite its architectural and cultural value, the mausoleum was repeatedly plundered, and many parts of the building were destroyed by vandals. In the early 20th century, the dome part and some of the load-bearing parts of the building collapsed during an earthquake.

Archaeologists managed to find out that not only the relics of the mausoleum but even parts of the building and material had been stolen. Some architectural monuments of Samarkand were partially built from bricks taken from the Ishratkhona mausoleum. Restoration works had been carried out for some time but they were stopped. Only a part of the architectural monument has survived. Now there are ruins on this site.

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