The Samanid Mausoleum

1.3.1The mausoleum was built between the 9th and 10th centuries. Acoording to the legend, the founder of the dynasty, Ismail Samani, had built it for his father, and after that the mausoleum became the Samanids family tomb. There is a version saying that Ismail himself (died in 907) and his grandson Nasr II ibn-Ahmad (died in 943) were buried in the tomb. This Bukhara mausoleum is considered as a masterpiece of world architecture owing to the perfection of its geometrical forms. This is the oldest construction in Central Asia of those made of dried brick. The geometry of the building is quite classic for the Islamic mausoleum: a cube crowned by a dome. But in the decoration we can also feel some traditions of Sogdian architecture: archaic columns in the corners of the octahedron, chains of “pearls” on the cornice and the top arch gallery.


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