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Necropolis Shakhi Zinda | Samarkand Sights & Attractions Guide

One of Top Visited Places in Samarkand.

This tremendously interesting place of Samarkand offers a great spectacle of ceramics. It has most of the colors, patterns, styles of all Central Asian Architecture. Temur sent all most skilled workers from the countries he invaded and it helped Samarkand have a very varied architecture. That is why the architecture of Samarkand is called “International Architecture”.

Shakhi Zinda is a complex of over 20 mausoleums most of which date 14th – 15th centuries. It was built on the territory of old Samarkand which was called Afrosiyab and destroyed by Genghis Khan. Temur and his grandson Ulugh Beg built majestic construction in the ensemble for burying their friends and family members.

In the 16th century the descendants could not resist the attacks of Sheibanids and Samarkand loses the status of being the number one city of Central Asia. The Sheybanids have chosen Bukhara as their capital and due this change all new monuments have been built in and around Bukhara and the Shakhi Zinda stayed unchanged until 19th century. Only in the 19th century one small summer mosque was added to the Shakhi Zinda complex.

The necropolis Shakhi Zinda includes interesting monuments like: mausoleums of Tuman oqa & Shirinbeka oqa – mauloleums of sisters of Amir Temur (Tamerlane); mausoleum of Emirzada – mausoleum of a prince (?) from Tamerlane’s family; mausoleum of Usta Ali Nasafi – architect from Nasaf. Probably Usta Ali built some of the other mausoleums for obtaining the right to be buried in this most honored place of Samarkand etc.

Today the mausoleum receives thousands of visitors daily regardless season of the year.

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