Antiquities of Samarkand. Mosque of Khodzha Akhrar. View toward the Mosque

This photograph of the Khodzha Akhrar shrine 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. Dedicated to the memory of the renowned 15th-century mystic Khodzha Akhrar, the shrine contained several structures, including a winter and a summer mosque, as well as a minaret and a cemetery. The summer mosque, seen in this bosky view, is so called because its pavilion has one side open to the courtyard, with the roof supported by large wooden columns resting on a carved marble base (an example visible on the left). On the sides of this iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) are brick walls surfaced with polychrome ceramic work, including faience mosaics. In the center background is the mihrab niche, which shows the direction to Mecca. The mihrab is set within a lavish display that includes a network of ceramic inscription bands in elongated cursive Perso-Arabic script (Thuluth). The open part of the mosque is joined to an enclosed structure (on the right) whose walls are also surfaced with ceramic work in geometric and botanical patterns. The basic color is dark blue.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Namazga Mosque. Section of the Main Facade

This dramatic 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 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, a vizier and 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. Visible on the right is the high main dome, elevated on a large cylinder, or drum, which is decorated with bands of ceramic tiles. At the center of the facade is an iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) arch that frames the entrance to the mosque. The central structure is flanked by one-story arcaded galleries, whose size is suggested by the standing figure. In contrast to other mosques of the period, the facades of the Namazga Mosque have little ceramic ornamentation.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Mosque of Khodzha Abdu-Berun. View of the Mosque from the Northwest

This photograph of the mausoleum at the Khodzha Abdu-Berun memorial complex 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. The Khodzha Abdu-Berun memorial complex (khanaka) was dedicated to a revered 9th-century Arab judge of the Abdi clan, with the word berun (outer) added to signify its location adjacent to a cemetery on the outskirts of Samarkand, and to distinguish it from another complex commemorating the sage that was located within the city. Although the original photographic caption identifies the structure as a mosque, it is more precisely a khanaka that includes a mausoleum (mazar), built in the first half of the 17th century by Nadir Divan-Begi, vizier of the Bukharan ruler Imam-Quli Khan. Shown here is the facade containing the iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) arch (in shadows) and the side facade with blind arcading. The structure culminates in a cylinder and dome. Despite widespread damage, fragments of polychrome ceramic decoration are visible on the upper parts of the facade and on the cylinder, which displays a large inscription band.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Mosque of Khodzha Akhrar. Family Crypt (sagana) of Khodzha Akhrar

This photograph of the Khodzha Akhrar shrine 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. This shrine is dedicated to the memory of the renowned 15th-century mystic Khodzha Akhrar (1403-89), an ascetic and adherent of Sufism, who wielded great spiritual influence in Central Asia during the final decades of the Timurid dynasty. He is said to have established mosques not only in Samarkand, but also in Bukhara, Herat, and Kabul. The Khodzha Akhrar ensemble in Samarkand contained several structures, including a winter and a summer mosque, as well as a minaret and cemetery. Seen here is a portion of the marble wall that separated the main courtyard from the cemetery, which contained the sarcophagi of local spiritual leaders. One of the high marble grave markers is visible in the center background. The shrine and its cemetery were frequently visited by devout pilgrims, who would be dressed in the manner of the figure standing in the foreground.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Mosque of Khodzha Akhrar. Bottom. Inscription on the Tombstone at the Grave of Khodzha Akhrar

This photograph of the interior of the Khodzha Akhrar shrine 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. Seen here is the bottom half of the tombstone at the grave of Khodzha Akhrar (1403-89), a renowned 15th-century mystic, ascetic, and adherent of Sufism who wielded great spiritual influence in Central Asia during the final decades of the Timurid dynasty. He is said to have established mosques not only in Samarkand, but also in Bukhara, Herat, and Kabul. The Khodzha Akhrar ensemble in Samarkand contained several structures, including a winter and a summer mosque, as well as a cemetery. Located inside the mosque, the grave marker is framed by a carved inscription band in elaborate cursive Perso-Arabic script. As with the upper half of the stone, the main part of the surface is recessed and consists of further inscriptions related to the life of the saint. This extraordinary display of carved text is an indication of the importance of the Khodzha Akhrar shrine as a pilgrimage site.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Mosque of Khodzha Akhrar. Top. Inscription on the Tombstone at the Grave of Khodzha Akhrar

This photograph of the interior of the Khodzha Akhrar shrine 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. Seen here is the tombstone at the grave of Khodzha Akhrar (1403-89), a renowned 15th-century mystic, ascetic, and adherent of Sufism who wielded great spiritual influence in Central Asia during the final decades of the Timurid dynasty. He is said to have established mosques not only in Samarkand, but also in Bukhara, Herat, and Kabul. The Khodzha Akhrar ensemble in Samarkand contained several structures, including a winter and a summer mosque, as well as a cemetery. Located in the mosque, this grave marker is framed by a carved inscription band in elaborate cursive Perso-Arabic script. The central part of the surface is recessed and consists of further inscriptions framed by a pointed arch decorated with botanical figures and surmounted with an eight-pointed star. Above the arch point is a corbelled “stalactite” element supporting the main sacred inscription. The Khodzha Akhrar shrine was an important pilgrimage site.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Mosque of Khodzha Akhrar. Prayer Niche (mihrab) in the Mosque

This photograph of the Khodzha Akhrar shrine 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. Dedicated to the memory of the renowned 15th-century mystic Khodzha Akhrar (1403-89), the shrine contained several structures, including a winter and a summer mosque, as well as a minaret and cemetery. Seen here is the mihrab niche (showing the direction to Mecca) in the summer mosque, so called because its pavilion has one side open to the courtyard. The mihrab is set within a lavish display of polychrome ceramic work including faience mosaics. The primary color is dark blue, with details in yellow, orange, and white. This sacred space is defined by a network of ceramic inscription bands in an elongated cursive Perso-Arabic script (Thuluth). The pointed arch is framed by an outer inscription that extends to the top of the wall. The pointed arch leads to a faience panel with floral motifs, above which is an inscription square that, in turn, contains a smaller square with a sacred text in Arabic. The panels are bordered with patterned strips.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Mosque of Khodzha Akhrar. General View of the Crypt of Saint Khodzha Akhrar and the Mosque

This photograph of the Khodzha Akhrar shrine 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. The shrine contains several structures dedicated to the memory of the renowned 15th-century mystic Khodzha Akhrar (1403-89). The main components are a winter and a summer mosque. The summer mosque, visible in the background, was built of adobe brick. Its iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) portico, supported by wooden columns on marble bases, culminates in a cornice decorated with intricate carving, including a “stalactite” pattern. The ensemble also included a pool and a cemetery for prominent religious leaders. This view of the cemetery shows marble sarcophagi and grave markers with decorative carvings and inscriptions. Although the tombs are in some disarray, the cemetery nonetheless retained its significance as a place of pilgrimage and prayer. The seated figure on the right is engaged in reading what would presumably be a devotional text. His long beard and white turban suggest status as a mullah.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Mosque of Khodzha Abdu-Berun. Tomb (sagana) of the Saint

This photograph of the grave at the Khodzha Abdu-Berun memorial complex 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. The Khodzha Abdu-Berun ensemble was dedicated to a revered 9th-century Arab judge of the Abdi clan, with the word berun (outer) added to specify its location adjacent to a cemetery on the outskirts of Samarkand, and to distinguish it from another ensemble commemorating the sage that was located within the city. The khanaka, or memorial mosque, was built in the first half of the 17thcentury by Nadir Divan-Begi, vizier to the Bukharan ruler Imam-Quli Khan. Shown here is the dakhma, or saint’s grave, a simple pointed rectangular form elevated on a stylobate surfaced with stone. In the background is the ensemble’s open summer mosque. The memorial mosque is to the left, but only its brick porch is visible, not the structure itself. To the right is a pool (also not visible), which created an oasis of greenery at the site. The ensemble signifies the antiquity of Islamic law in this area.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Mosque of Khodzha Abdu-Berun. Prayer Niche (mihrab) on a Panel of the Main Arch of the Facade

This photograph of the mausoleum at the Khodzha Abdu-Berun memorial complex 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. The Khodzha Abdu-Berun memorial complex (khanaka) was dedicated to a revered 9th-century Arab judge of the Abdi clan, with the word berun (outer) added to signify its location adjacent to a cemetery on the outskirts of Samarkand, and to distinguish it from another complex commemorating the sage that was located within the city. The khanaka mosque was built in the first half of the 17th century by Nadir Divan-Begi, vizier to the Bukharan ruler Imam-Quli Khan. Shown here is the qibla wall with the mihrab, a prayer niche indicating the qibla, the direction of Mecca. The mihrab niche is surfaced with ceramic tiles. Above the ceramic decoration around its pointed arch is a sacred inscription in cursive script. The mihrab is framed by an inscription band in block Kufic letters. At the top is another inscription in elongated cursive (Thuluth) Perso-Arabic script.