26June2014* Bibi-Khanym Mosque

This architectural assemblage was absolutely beautiful with teal, navy and sky blue glazed tiles enveloping the walls with mesmerizing patterns. The sheer size was also notably intimidating.  You felt incredibly small passing under the enormous gate to the complex that steps out into a luscious green courtyard. Directly ahead opposite the entrance gate is the fourteenth century mosque, which might be even more humbling than the entrance.  On either side to the left and right are two more smaller domed structures.  In the one on the left, there seems to have been some restoration work being undertaken, because I watched some ceramic tiles being made.

The Bibi-Khanym mosque was supposedly constructed by one of Tamerlane’s eponymous wives as a surprise, while he was away on military campaign. However it is said that the architect was in love with her and triumphed in giving her a kiss. Apparently Timur could see the result of this affection and punished the architect with death, thus leaving the mosque incomplete.  It was then said that Bibi-Khanym had to wear seven layered veils (as told to me by my Uzbek friend, Anvar).

SONY DSCthe entrance gateSONY DSC the entrance gateSONY DSC view from the courtyardSONY DSC Bibi-Khanym mosqueSONY DSC SONY DSC Bibi-Khanym mosqueSONY DSC SONY DSC Bibi-Khanym mosque Bibi-Khanym mosqueSONY DSC Bibi-Khanym mosqueSONY DSC Bibi-Khanym mosque SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC making some of the restoration tiles
SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC Bibi-Khanym mausoleum SONY DSCview of the Bib-Khanym mosque complex from the maosoleum

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