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The Cathedral Mosque of Tamerlane, Bibi-Khanum


In the centre of the historical city of Samarkand there is a grand architectural monument – the Cathedral mosque of Amir Temur, Bibi-Khanym. It was erected in 1399-1404 by the order of the Temur and was the largest mosque in Central Asia. Translated as “senior Princess”, the mosque was named after the beloved wife of the commander, Bibi-Khanum, known in history more as Saray Mulk Khanum.

Its foundation was laid after the Tamerlane’s military campaign to India, but the commander observed the process not long, as soon he began the campaign against the Ottoman Empire. When Tamerlane returned after the campaign in 1404, he was angry that the entrance portal was not as grand as it was planned, so he ordered it to be destroyed and rebuilt.

The Grand complex consists of the entrance portal, the main mosque and two small ones. Up to 10 thousand people can pray simultaneously in the courtyard of the building with an area of 5 thousand square meters. The courtyard is surrounded by majestic minarets on four sides.

The building is richly decorated with paintings, carved marble and tiles. It was constructed by the masters from the various countries of the world.


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