Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum

The Gur-e-Amir or Gur-Emir is the mausoleum of the famous Asian conqueror Amir Timur, who is also known as Tamerlane. The name Gur-e-Amir is also translated as the tomb of the commander. The mausoleum was built in Samarkand in the 15th century. The building was heavily restored but throughout the time it played an important role in the Persian-Mongolian architecture being a model and precursor.

The architectural complex contains the tombs of Tamerlane, his sons and his grandsons-Ulugh Beg and Muhammad Sultan and Tamelane's spiritual mentor Sayyid Baraka. The mausoleum was originally designed for Tamerlane's favourite grandson- Muhammad Sultan. Amir Timur wanted to be buried in his home town Shakhrisabz, but his relatives and advisers had other plans, which directly affected Samarkand. In 1405 Tamerlane got ill and died. He was buried next to his Grandson in Samarkand mausoleum, which became a family sepulchre of the Timurids.

The Gur-e-Amir is a Persian-style building with a single turquoise cupola with detailed ornaments. The turquoise cupola features 64 ribs symbolizing the number of years Prophet Muhammad lived.

The construction of the mausoleum began in 1403 by the order of Amir Timur. The complex had a madrassah and a khanaka, which were facing the courtyard. There were also 4 minarets at the corners of the courtyard and an entrance portal. Nowadays, however, only the entrance portal and two of the four minarets survived.

Tamerlane's gravestone is made of a single piece of jade and is placed in the centre of the tomb. The burials are located below in the mausoleum basement. The Timurid tombs were opened only once in 1941 to confirm the authenticity of all bodies in the mausoleum. The height and lameness of Tamerlane and the fact that Ulugh beg was beheaded.


You can visit this site with our Central Asia Explorer Tour and 5 Wonders Tour to Central Asia.

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