Antiquities of Samarkand. Namazga Mosque. View of the Mosque from the Northwest


This photograph of the Namazga Mosque in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) is from the archeological part of Turkestan Album. The six-volume photographic survey was produced in 1871-72 under the patronage of General Konstantin P. von Kaufman, the first governor-general (1867-82) of Turkestan, as the Russian Empire’s Central Asian territories were called. The album devotes special attention to Samarkand’s Islamic architectural heritage. A namazga mosque was intended specifically to mark Eid al-Fitr (a holiday observed at the end of the Ramadan fast), as well as Kurban, or Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice. Built perhaps as early as the 11th century and rebuilt by the Timurids in the 15th century, the Namazga Mosque was replaced in the first half of the 17th century by Nadir Divan-Begi, uncle of the Bukhara ruler Imam-Quli Khan. Located on the southern fringes of the city, this version of the namazga was completed around 1630. Shown here is the back of the mosque, with its high dome elevated on a large cylinder, or drum. At the base of the projecting square structure that supports the drum is a standing figure who gives an approximate idea of the scale. On the left is the back of the iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) structure at the center of the main facade. The central structure is flanked by one-story arcaded galleries, each with six low domes. The back wall of one of the galleries is visible on the lower left.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Title in Original Language

Самаркандския древности. Мечеть Намазга. Вид мечети с северо-запад стороны

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photographic print : albumen


  • Illustration in: Turkestan Album, Archaeological Part, 1871-1872, part 1, volume 2, plate 133.

Last updated: September 30, 2016