Bibi-Khanym Mosque

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Bibi-Khanym Mosque
Basic information
Location Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Affiliation Islam
Architectural description
Architectural type Mosque
Architectural style Azeri
Completed 1404
Dome height (outer) 40 m

Bibi-Khanym Mosque (Persian: مسجد بی بی خانم‎; Uzbek: Bibi-Xonum machiti) is a famous historical Friday mosque in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, whose name comes from the wife of 14th-century ruler, Amir Timur.[1]

A photograph taken sometime between 1905 and 1915 by color photography pioneer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii shows the mosque's appearance after its collapse in the earthquake of 1897.


The outer walls (see picture) are 167 metres (182.63 yards) in length and 109 metres (119.20 yards) in width. The cupola of the main chamber reaches a height of 40 metres,[2] and the entranceway is 35 metres high.[3] There is a large marble Qur'an stand in the centre of the courtyard.[4]


The cupola of the main chamber rises up to 40 m.
Stone stand Koran

After his Indian campaign[5] in 1399 Timur decided to undertake the construction of a gigantic mosque in his new capital, Samarkand. The mosque was built using wealth looted during his conquest of India. Construction was completed between 1399 and 1404. However, the mosque slowly fell into disuse, and crumbled to ruins over the centuries. Its demise was hastened due to the fact it pushed the construction techniques of the time to the very limit,[6] and the fact that it was built too quickly.[7] It eventually partially collapsed in 1897 when an earthquake occurred.[8]

However, in 1974 the government of the then-Uzbek SSR began to reconstruct the mosque[9] (see picture), although the current mosque (which is still not completed) is effectively a brand-new building, as no original work remains. Siyob Bazaar at the foot of the Bibi-Khanym (see picture) has changed little since 600 years ago.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bibi Khanym Mosque Reviews". October 11, 2000. Retrieved 2007-04-06. 
  2. ^, Соборная мечеть Биби-Ханым (Bibi-Khanym Mosque) (Russian)
  3. ^ Carillet, Joel (June 6, 2006). "In Pictures: Samarkand, Uzbekistan". Retrieved 2007-04-06. 
  4. ^ Burnett, Doug (September 7, 2000). "Uzbekistan 2000 - Samarkand". Retrieved 2007-04-06. 
  5. ^ "Bibi-Khanym mosque". Retrieved 2007-04-06. 
  6. ^ "Samarkand City". April 24, 2002. Archived from the original on 3 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-06. 
  7. ^ "Highlights of CA" (PDF). Steppes Travel. March 22, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-04-06. 
  8. ^ "Bibi Khanym Mosque". Retrieved 2007-04-06. 
  9. ^ "Bibi Khanym Mosque". July 14, 2001. Retrieved 2007-04-06. 


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°39′38″N 66°58′45″E / 39.66056°N 66.97917°E / 39.66056; 66.97917