The memorial ensemble Shahi-Zinda is the most esteemed place of pilgrimage in Central Asia. The meaning of the word is “the living king”. This place is connected with the activity of the cousin of the Prophet Muhammad Kusam ibn Abbas who, by local legend, spread Islam during late 7th century together with the first Arabian conquerors to Central Asia. By the legend he was attacked but he hid in the well, whence ascended to heaven alive.
Since then this place is considered sacred and each of governors considered as a duty to construct a public building or to bury their relatives. Experts consider this place “as the encyclopedia of architecture and architectural decor of the Muslim East” as there are architectural masterpieces from the 20th century to the early 20th century. The ensemble arose in line of the inhabited city destroyed by armies of Genghiskhan, and it is seen that all monuments are positioned along the ancient street. The ensemble consists of the Bottorm. Middle and Upper hallway. Upper hallway (Northern court yard) starts from the funeral-memorial complex of Kusam ibn Abbas.