Idea #633 – Visiting the hometown of Tamerlan de Shakhrisabz
The historic center of Shakhrisyabz, located on the Silk Road in southern Uzbekistan, dates back more than two thousand years and was the cultural and political center of the Kesh region in the 14th and 15th centuries. A group of exceptional monuments and old neighborhoods is inside the medieval walls, some of which remains in elevation. The historic center of Shakhrisyabz testifies to the secular development of the city, especially during the period of its heyday under the Timurid Empire in the fifteenth century. The construction of elements has continued in Shakhrisyabz through different periods, giving the city a unique character due to the succession of different architectural styles. Although time has left its mark, the remaining remains are still impressive by the harmony and power of the styles. Among the exceptional sites, it is possible to observe the remains of the Ak-Sarai palace, begun in 1380 by Timur, who had requisitioned the artisans of Khorezm, newly conquered, to provide its rich decoration.
Although Samarkand can boast a large number of Timurid monuments, none seems to be able to compete with the Ak-Sarai Palace in Shakhrisyabz. The foundations of its immense door have been preserved: this architectural masterpiece is exceptional in its size and bold design; Timour had also written: “those who doubt our power have only to see our buildings.” We do not doubt, therefore!The Dorus Saodat, another site of great interest, is a vast ensemble, intended to serve as a tomb for the members of the royal family and which included, besides the graves proper, a prayer room, a mosque and housing for the religious community and the pilgrims. The main facade was covered with white marble. Timour’s tomb, also in white marble, is a masterpiece of the architecture of this period and it is also one of the most beautiful mausoleums that can be found in Central Asia. Nevertheless, it was not buried here, but in Samarkand, in a mausoleum just as exceptional, if not more.
Where is it ?