Gur-i-Amir Mausoleum, Samarkand Uzbekistan

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Timur built this celebrated monument as the resting place of his grandson and heir-presumptive Muhammad Sultan, who died in battle in 1403 at the age of 29. In 1405 Timur himself was interred here, and later so too were his sons Miranshah and Shah Rukh and grandson, Pir Muhammad. Timur’s spiritual advisor, Sayyid Barakah, also lies within. Ulugh Beg, who had established the tomb as the Timurid dynastic mausoleum and commissioned additions, was the last of the family to be placed within the crypt.


The mausoleum was constructed on the southern side of a walled square courtyard already defined on two sides by a madrasa and khanaqah, no longer extant. Minarets marked each corner of the courtyard, two of which remain in part. The plan of the mausoleum forms a modified octagon on the exterior: a projecting entrance portal extends the northern side of the octagon, decreasing in length the two flanking sides. A bulbous ribbed dome on a tight high drum presents a monumental profile visible across the city.



The interior comprises a square chamber, a bay on each wall, a stairway in the southeast corner that leads to the cruciform crypt, an octagonal zone of transition and an unusually steep hemispheric dome. Vertical flanges linked with timber are concealed between the two shells of the dome, supported by the inner dome and providing structure for the outer dome; an invisible ‘column’ built on top of the center point of the inner dome terminates in angled timber prongs that also support the outer dome.

In 1424 Ulugh Beg added a corridor known as his ‘gallery’, entered through the eastern bay of the mausoleum. Four vaulted bays form the corridor, leading to a small vestibule accessed from the courtyard. In the seventeenth century construction of an iwan on the western side of the mausoleum commenced, but remained unfinished.

The exceptional interior decorative scheme employs luxurious materials and a wealth of techniques. Onyx hexagons form a dado, capped by a shallow cornice of marble muqarnas. Above this, a gold inscription band painted onto jasper encircles the mausoleum. Constituting one of the earliest examples of this technique, papier mache was employed extensively; the interior dome, the zone of transition and the muqarnas vaults of the four bays were all decorated with painted molded paper. Other areas were plastered and painted, or covered with a revetment of various materials.

The exterior decoration employs extensive hazarbaf brickwork. The dome is tiled in two tones of blue. Bands of tile inscriptions encircle the drum; a monumental kufic inscription of white and black tiles repeats “God is eternal”.


Blair, S. and J. M. Bloom. 1994. The Art and Architecture of Islam. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 41.

Brandenburg, D. 1972. Samarkand: Studien zur islamischen Baukunst in Uzbekistan (Zentralasien). Berlin: Bruno Hessling Verlag, 102-141.

Golombek, L. and D. Wilber, eds. 1988. The Timurid Architecture of Iran and Turan. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 260-263.

Michell, G. 1995. Architecture of the Islamic World. London: Thames and Hudson, 262.

“Guri Amir Mausoleum”. World Monuments Fund Panographies. [Accessed February 2, 2006]

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One Response to Gur-i-Amir Mausoleum, Samarkand Uzbekistan

  1. Rizki Mirdani berkata:

    Assalamualaikum Wr Wb..Reality is happening today in the post-earthquake west of Sumatra SR 7.9 is the kids were not the place to take your lessons because they recite already collapsed, Friday prayers were performed in the emergency tent / cabin beds / terrain which, if rain and pilgrims all more pitiful adzan never heard from again after the earthquake practical congregational prayer has never been there longer because they mosque have disintegrated since 8 (eight) months ago.

    We’re certainly very concerned about this condition so that the acceleration of the reconstruction of this religious facilities have been very urgent and negotiable because the number of religious buildings to collapse and damaged thousands of units.

    Affirmation of the Ministry of Religious Affairs that the government does not provide funding / budget in national budget for infrastructure rebuilding places of worship after the 7.9 Richter earthquake which struck late last year West Sumatera all of us. Similarly Budgets Provinces / Districts / Cities in West Sumatra is not set aside funds to rebuild the Masjid / Mushalla / mosque / TPA / MDA which collapsed and damaged after the earthquake TSB

    GOD willing, the plan has been prepared In accordance Executive Committee Recreating & Rehabilitation surau (KPRRS) established focus on improving the infrastructure facilities of worship for the first phase will improve the 180 mosques, 897 mosque / surau, 89 TPA-TPSA / MDA of 7.9 Richter quake collapsed in Padang Pariaman, Pariaman & Agam, West Sumatra Province, Republic of Indonesia. For that please
    support in all forms for all our both overseas and in the realm of moral and material world saentero and convey this information to the rest of the Muslim Ummah around the world saetero

    Donation Zakat, and alms Infaq to rebuild the infrastructure and facilities after the earthquake 7.9 Richter worship can be channeled to the number

    a) Account No. 7100 0220 0660 51, Bank Nagari Sharia (BPD Sumatra Barat) Padang Sharia Branch;

    b) Account No. 2760 009 374, Bank Syariah Mandiri (BSM) Padang Branch;

    c) Account No. 0189 141 311, Branch Syariah BNI Syariah;

    d) Account No. 00009 0156 0000 160, BTN Bank Padang Branch.

    We also received assistance in the form of the Qur’an, Shalat equipment, Iqro, etc. The book assesses the child’s equipment will be disbursed to
    Mosque / Mushalla / mosque / TPA / TPSA / MDA in need and may be sent to the secretariat address Pariaman KPRRS in west Sumatra


    Komite Pelaksana Refungsionalisasi & Rehabilitasi Surau

    b. Abbreviation Name: KPRRS

    c. Date Established: October 9, 2009 Masehi/19 Shawwal 1430 Hijri

    d. Deed Establishment
    1. Deed No.: 59
    2. Date: December 1, 2009
    3. Notary name: Rina Meilani, SH

    e. Registered sign
    1. Number: 005/KPL/I-2010
    2. Agency: Agency and Well Kesbangpol
    3. Permit Period: January 19, 2012

    f. Domicile Certificate: 17/KG-PDS/SKD/I/2010

    g. TIN: 02.998.

    h. KPRRS Secretariat Address:
    Tongga Nan Road Block A, No. 5 Village East Village Pariaman Gadang Pariaman District of West Sumatra Province – Republic
    Indonesia 25 523
    Phone: (+62-751) 8276781, (+62-751) 9826781, +6281363078890, +628197511300


    Rizki Mirdani Sikumbang
    Presiden of KPRRS

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