Bibi Khanum Mosque


The Bibi Khanum Mosque – one of the most beautiful and majestic mosques in the Muslim world. Raising on the hill of Afrasiab, it truly inspires admiration, awe and at the same time a mysterious fear. The dome of the mosque compared with the horizon and the arch of the portal – with the Milky Way.

Like all monuments in Samarkand, Bibi Khanum also has a beautiful story associated with its construction. Terrible ruler – Amir Temur having returned from his trip to India, decided to build a majestic building, mosque, which towered over all buildings in Samarkand and its scale exceeded all mosques of the world. White walls, high minarets of striking beauty, a marble portal of the mosque would have glorified in the centuries his name and the name of his beloved wife.

In Samarkand, was brought the best architects, painters and builders. Construction of the mosque began in 1399 and lasted until 1404, when Temur returned from his military campaign, he was presented a magnificent, amazing mosque. Luxurious galleries, the minarets, exquisite arches were supported by three hundred marble columns –made the great ruler very pleased with the construction.

Мечеть Биби Ханум
Мечеть Биби Ханум
Мечеть Биби Ханум

There is a legend about the construction of Bibi Khanum. According to it, the senior wife (it is translated as “Bibi Khanum”) of Amir Temur decided to build a stately mosque in the honor of her beloved husband’s completion the campaign. She invited the best architects of that time, so they created the highest building in Samarkand. Construction was in full swing but the architect who worked on the building was delayed with completion when only the arch left to build. An angry Queen ordered to bring the architect to her. When she asked him why he took a long time over the construction, the young man replied that he felt in love with the Queen and if she allows him to kiss her only once, he would finish the construction of the mosque. Amazed by architect’s audacity, she began to offer him her slaves, but the architect refused, declaring his love to her. Finally, the Queen felt frightened of the imminent return of Timur to unfinished mosque and agreed to kiss once. The young architect had kept his word, he finished the construction in time, but his kiss was so hot that on the cheek of Timur’s wife left a spot. When the excitement of building the mosque became quiet, Tamerlan noticed on the cheek of his wife spot and he elicited from her where it occured. The Queen confessed all, then Timur ordered to execute that audacity man and bury him in an underground mausoleum. Inspite of how beautiful was the legend –it is just a legend and was not confirmed by any fact.

Alas, as soon as the construction of the mosque was completed, there were held solemn worship and the building began to collapse. Architectural design was too bold for those times and a fine arch, which repeated the Milky way, could not stand the test of time, almost collapsed in the first year after construction.