Bibi Khanum Mosque

At the end of the XIV century, Samarkand became the capital of the vast empire of the great conqueror Tamerlane.

The city began to grow rapidly. Timur wished to see their capital out of the reach beautiful, ambitious, superior to all other cities in the world. Timur even renamed the nearby shabby village to Baghdad, Damascus, Cairo, to emphasize the insignificance of these great cities as compared to Samarkand. And in the center of the capital of a vast empire ascended high into the sky grand mosque of Bibi Khanum - the main temple of the Timurid state.

According to the Spanish ambassador Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo, who visited Samarkand in 1404, the cathedral mosque of the city "belongs to the most magnificent buildings, which the king Timur is still raised". A medieval chronicler wrote that Bibi Khanum from the height of its minarets like throwing a proud challenge to the world: "Truly, our order of business for us".

Tradition says that Timur's favorite wife, Bibi Khanum mosque decided to raise this as a gift from his master at the time of his return from a victorious campaign of the next. For the construction has been invited to the best of the empire of Timur architect. Captivated by the beauty of the young queen, he is madly in love with her. When the construction of the mosque is nearing an end, and the return of Timur had already waited from day to day, the architect told the queen that will finish the mosque only, provided that the queen will allow him to kiss her. Shrewd Bibi Khanum, resisting, telling him that women are the same as the colored eggs. As proof of what the queen had sent lover stubborn whole dish of colorful eggs, advising them to clean up and compare, and making sure calm down and kiss any courtly beauty. Nothing has helped! After some hesitation, the queen agreed - but only through a pillow! However, the architect was a kiss so hot that burnt a pillow and imprinted on the soft cheek of a young queen, leaving a trail. When Timur arrived in Samarkand, he was shocked by the beauty of the mosque but, kissing his wife, he noticed a mark on her cheek. Bibi Khanum confessed everything. Angered by Timur ordered the immediate execution of the architect and find, but the one making the wings, climbed to the top of the minaret and flew away.

In this legend, myth is interwoven with real historical facts. Construction of the mosque, in fact, was conducted in the absence of Timur, who was in the campaigns, although the order to build a mosque Timur gave himself in 1399, returning with rich booty from India. The location of the future mosque Timur chose himself. In the building were used masters from different countries: India, Iran, Khorezm, the Golden Horde. During the construction actually watched his wife, but her name was Sarai Mulk Khanum, she was not a young beauty, but rather an elderly woman, and not built the mosque itself, and standing opposite the madrassas. And for the construction of the mosque Timur ordered to supervise the two princes, who are not very conscientious attitude to this request, for which he was subsequently executed. And the architect who built the mosque was not alone - attracted to her Timur building the best talent from all parts of his vast empire. By September 1404 the main part of the complex was already built. In the courtyard of the mosque to pray at the same time 10 000 people.

Cathedral mosque of Samarkand is one of the most magnificent buildings that have ever been created in the Muslim world. Bibi Khanum Mosque still impresses its enormity and luxury decor.

The dimensions of the ensemble of the mosque constitute 167x109 meters. The mosque has a Yard composition. Along the main axis of the rectangular courtyard are grand ceremonial entrance portal and the depth of the main building - the building of the mosque. In the transverse axis of the courtyard are two of the same portal-domed building, and each crowned with a dome of blue glazed on a high drum. The walls are decorated with carved bricks, mosaics and colorful, great Arabic letters - blue to red-brown background. Inside the remains of the rich paintings, executed in blue and gold flowers on a white background. Arch “avian” rises to 18-meter height, the height of the aivan - 30 meters. All of these four basic building combined multi-domed 400 stone columns Gallery.

At the base of the entrance portal is a frieze of gray marble, filled with all the complicated Arabic script. Above it is a lining colored glazed bricks, which form a geometric pattern. Portal arch around the waist-paste mosaic depicting floral ornament and ligature of Arabic inscriptions. In the wide and grand portal, decorated with carved marble, have been strengthened alloy of seven metals, where there were gold and silver cloth door. When they opened the, thin metal vibrated and the sound echoed his calls, flying from the minarets. The inscription on one of the minarets, says: "The world - an hour, and therefore Arm yourselves patience".

The height of the main dome of the mosque is 40 meters in diameter - 30 meters. The decoration of the mosque are extremely diverse and rich. Here you can see the majolica, mosaics, polished brick, painted with gold and lapis lazuli. Floral and geometric decoration, Arabic script, large oriental carpet solid panels cover the walls and facades of the mosque. The inscription on the arch of the Mosque reads: "This cathedral was completed in 806 (1402), the Grand Sultan, a pole of peace and faith, Emir Timur Guragan, son of Emir Taragay, son of Emir of Bergil, son of Emir Anzhil, son of Emir Kara Chirnuyan, let Allah will extend to eternity his reign! "

The inscription on the marble desk - a giant signed a stand for the Koran: "The Great Sultan, the merciful Khakan, guardian of the Hanafiy sect, clean Sultan, the son of Sultan, a satisfactory peace and faith Ulugbek Guragan ".

From beneath the main dome, where the light of innumerable lamps and chandeliers could not dispel the darkness of the eternal, with step-dimensional swept pulpit voice of the Imam, who read the sacred verses of the Koran. And everything was shining and the sky and the blue domes and minarets, and a thousand suns, reflected and multiplied in the mirror tile wall, which then connecting, the cost was a big surprise and a clear pattern.

No wonder Ali Yazdi Sharafiddin said: "If you're looking for a comparison of the arch of her, nothing can be said, except - the Milky Way and the firmament. The dome would be the only, if the sky was not its repetition, and only would have been an arch, if the Milky Way was not a pair of her".

Later, in many cities of the East came the mosque, whose image was inspired by the motifs of the mosque of Bibi Khanum. This great temple for many centuries has identified the development of Central Asian architecture.

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