Idea #634 – Visiting the necropolis of Tamerlane in Samarkand
The Gour Emir (Persian: گور امیر) is a mausoleum located in Samarkand, burial place of Amir Timour, said Tamerlan (“the lame”), and his descendants. The Gur Emir (translation: tomb of the emir) occupies an important place in the history of Persian architecture. He is indeed the forerunner and model of the great Mughal burials, such as the tomb of Humayun in Delhi or the Taj Mahal in Agra. He was also the main source of inspiration for Nicholas Vassiliev for the St. Petersburg Mosque in 1910.
A first mausoleum was built in 1401, during Tamerlane’s lifetime, by his favorite grandson and designated successor, Muhammad Sultan, to house the remains of his grandfather, while he wished to be buried soberly, at the same time. like Genghis Khan. “Just a stone and my name on it,” he had said. This mausoleum was an architectural ensemble built around an inner courtyard lined with four iwan. To the east stood a madrasa, while to the west rose a khanaka where there was a domed mosque. As in the Taj Mahal at present, the construction was surrounded by four minarets. Today, only the traces of the foundations of this mausoleum remain, the portal still richly decorated where remains the inscription in Persian “Built by the weak slave Mohamed, son of Mahmoud, Isfahan” and part of the iwan fencing the inner courtyard on the south side.
In 1405, Tamerlane died and his body, embalmed with musk and camphor, was secretly buried alongside Muhammad Sultan, killed during a campaign in Persia in 1403, in the khanaka of the first group, located just in front of the Gour Emir. In 1409, the remains were moved to Gour Emir, where they are still. Tamerlane rests at the feet of his spiritual master Sheik Mir-Said-Bereke, according to his will. The seven tombstones currently visible, that of Tamerlane and members of his family, are cenotaphs that indicate the location of the real tombs, located in a crypt closed to visitors.
On the 22th of June, 1941, Soviet scientists are allowed to open the ebony coffin of the sovereign. After having to go away a bit to allow the vapors of aromatic plants to evaporate, they observe at leisure the former conqueror: they had in front of them the pretty well preserved skeleton of a red man, 1.70 meters high. , with traces of disability at the level of an arm and a leg. But perhaps it would have been necessary to be wary of this curse inscribed on the tomb of the prince: “When I return to the light of the day, the world will tremble. That same day, Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union, which was to kill millions.
Where is it ?
Mausolée Gour Emir, Samarcande, Ouzbekistan