Samanids Mausoleum

Ismail Samanid Tomb

The Samanid mausoleum is located in western part of the historical center of of Bukhara, in a park that was established during the Soviet time and is laid out on the site of an ancient cemetery. The mausoleum of Ismail Samanid is one of the architectural masterpieces of Bukhara. It is the best-preserved original building, making it one of the architectural highlights of the city, even though it is not the grandest of them. Samanid mausoleum in located in the Samani Park, which was completed in 905 and is the city’s oldest Muslim monument and probably the architecturally strongest. The tomb received its name in honor of the founder of the dynasty, Ismael and includes not only his tomb but also that of his father Ahmed, his nephew Nasr and others of the Samanid line. 

According to a legend, the founder of the Samanids dynasty, Ismail Samanid, built this mausoleum for his father. Later this mausoleum became the family burial-vault of all Samanids. Probably, Ismail himself, who died in 907, and his grandson Nasr II ibn Ahmad, who died in 943 and whose name was found on the wood plate above the entrance, were buried here.


Thank you for the photo mulberrywhisper 

The mausoleum’s strong walls have withstood already more than 10 centuries due to the strong geometric shape of the building. The monument is truly unique in many ways. Here for the first time, such building materials as a baked brick of standard format were used together with precise science based, mathematical calculations that were developed here in Central Asia’s golden era.  

As Bukhara at the time was a world center for science, the most precise mathematical calculations were applied. The level of accuracy and the intricacy of the structure and layout is simply stunning. If you visit more than once you can still get new different perception of these walls and cupola as depending on the time of day, the angle of the light and the shadows play on structured surface of the bricks. It is amazingly beautiful as a painting. Laid horizontally and vertically, at different angles, the bricks take on various appearances, at once resembling wooden carvings, a wicker basket or a lace pattern. The mausoleum is absent of the colored decor which later became an obligatory feature of Central Asian buildings, however, because of the carvings covering the two-meter-thick walls, it still looks very picturesque.

The nearly perfect brick cube was built at the beginning of the tenth century and belongs to the great cultural resurgence of the Samanid dynasty (875-999). The cubic shape harks back to the Kaaba in the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and the dome above it represents the heavens. The complex patterns in the brickwork add texture to the four equal facades entice visitors to run their hands across the grainy surface. 

Other attractions & Sights near samanid mausoleum

Page updated 15.3.2021

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