In 329 BC, when Alexander the Great first laid eyes on the city of Samarkand, he said, "Everything I have heard about is true, except that it's more beautiful than I ever imagined." The name Samarkand conjures up romantic images of the Silk Road, caravans, spices and days of travelling on camel, trading fabric, culture, flavours, sciences and faiths. One of Central Asia's oldest settlements and a crossroads of civilizations, Samarkand is 2750 years old, which makes it one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, later became an important trading post along the Road. Genghis Khan leveled the city in 1220, briefly ending its appeal to travelers.
Samarkand reemerged in the 14th century, thanks to the infamous Tamerlane when he made it his capital of the relatively small region of Transoxiana in 1370 and then expanded his empire as the centre of the world. Samarkand not only a vibrant city but also as the home to spectacular people-dwarfing buildings, and now is home to his mausoleum.
Today much of Samarkand has been preserved through the centuries, and others are being restored. Although the trade route has slong gone a long time ago, Samarkand is alive as a key place in the history of Islamic architecture and art and probably the most awesome wonders of Central Asia.
One of Samarkand's most notable sites is Bibi-Khanym mosque complex built by Tamerlane in 1399, It was once, one of the world's largest mosques, but over the centuries it crumbled and it finally collapsed in an earthquake in 1897 and later was partially restored.
Picture of Bibi-Khanym mosque's main entrance arched portal. Image cropped from original shot in WS1
A place where I wished I could have sat for hours, just watching the people passing by...
Can you spot the tiny workman doing some restoration work! just to give the indication of the size of the structures.
WShop1 : Bibi Kanim Mosque. General view of the 35 meter high main entrance or 'Iwan'
No tilt and shift lens only just fitted in the 18-70 with lens on dead level. I have tried to correct for the inevitable distortion, but probably still looks a little odd
WShop2: Bibi Kanim Mosque. Decor of the external porch, close up
Critiques | Translate
Noel_Byrne (25262) 2013-08-16 7:13
You are right, the name Samarkand does summon up images of a time long past, of magic and incense and stories told by candlelight. This is an impressive place, I always appreciate the beauty of Islamic art. Thanks for pointing out the worker on the roof, I did not spot him but for you note. This place is huge!! Great capture, and note.
pajaran (52972) 2013-08-16 7:55
Dobar dan, popodne.
Vrlo interesantan i dobar tekst, sa datim podacima i Lepim secanjem na Aleksandra velikog ...
Lep pogled na fasadu dzamije ...
Dobar trenutak snimka, kontrast, lepe boje.
Dobar rad sa lepim fotografijama u radionici.
Lepo popodne i sve najbolje za vikend.
Good afternoon, this afternoon.
Very interesting and good text with the given data and fuzzy memories of the Alexander the Great ...
Nice view of the facade of the mosque ...
A good time recording, contrast, beautiful colors.
Good work with beautiful photographs of the workshop.
Nice afternoon and all the best for the weekend.
lousat (78427) 2013-08-16 9:13
A magnificent capture from this city that looks like an open air museum,really beautiful this cut and this perspective whit the best details and colors,i like it...and i would to be there too one day...ehehe...Have a nice weekend and thanks,Luciano
rychem (24576) 2013-08-16 9:22
Rare photo from Samarkand, beautiful fragment of this huge entrance, I admire the richness of decoration details, well seen
Cricri (108037) 2013-08-16 10:29
Un contre plongé et un cadrage précis qui met le bâtiment en valeur contre le bleu du ciel, sa décoration est tout simplement une vraie beauté, belle complémentaire en WS
holmertz (42267) 2013-08-16 12:04
To my mind the word Samarkand has the same magical and almost mythical sound as Timbuktu, ultimately exotic places which used to be out of reach for most people until not so many decades ago. I am sure Samarkand is really much more worth a visit than the poor and dusty desert city of Timbuktu. This building is proof enough of that with its exquisite architecture and its delightful ornaments. All three picturs are very good but to be honest I prefer the WS #1 where I can see the whole building and get an idea of its size, even a glimpse of some people by the entrance.
jemaflor (86054) 2013-08-16 12:13
Very beautiful architecture, good angle and interesting management for details and colors, tfs.
ourania (32789) 2013-08-16 13:35
a lovely close up to the marvellous art of this iconic building. The patterns are mesmerizing and the colours convey great elegance too. The workman gives an awesome sense of scale as do the people standing near the grandiose entrance in the first workshop picture. I don't know whether the decorative patterns have a spiritual significance but looking at this art is certainly delightful and uplifting. I like how the naked branches make a random natural complement to the elaborate ornamantation and how smoothly the light reaches across the frame. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great weekend,
Fis2 (86777) 2013-08-16 14:45
Interesting POV and composition.
Good colors and sharpness.
kato (11630) 2013-08-16 15:34
You're capturing well this architecture by a good composition and excellent tone/clarity, so it's interesting and impressive to see the beautiful Mosque with outer wall og geometric design. As other mosques see, it's interesting about the reason of why Islamic construction likes such a design. And, it harmonizes well with blue sky.
jjcordier (76938) 2013-08-16 22:41
Une belle architecture que ta note et tes photos présentent de jolie façon.
siudzi (34047) 2013-08-16 23:33
This place has a very interesting past and history. I'm sure it's beautiful like a small sample you present to us here. Absolutely amazing architectural shot taken from a well selected POV with good sharpness and attention on details. Well done.
Good note submitted.
Have a nice weekend!
marabu61 (8693) 2013-08-17 7:07
Oh yes, Samarkand has always conjured pictures of exotic caravans, the orient, burning incense and extreme beauty before my eyes.
Your picture here sums it all up, The gorgeous tile mosaics on the mosque are simply beautiful. Is there a person on the roof? If so it gives us a good sense of the scale of this magnificent building.
I really hope that one day I will be able to visit Samarkand or Bukhara.
have a great weekend
adramad (38854) 2013-08-17 8:44
Fabulous image with the detail of the tiles of this mosque fantastic, magnificent symmetry in this composition, which, thanks to its good quality, we can recreate the details.
Wonderful the beautiful range of colors.
Very good light and crisp.
Enjoy the weekend.
mirosu (14972) 2013-08-18 21:19
This is excellently captured building from very well selected viewpoint. The view from lover angle makes the building majestic and dominant. The light is perfect, the contrast against blue sky outstanding. The tight crop is an excellent choice for this nice symmetrical shot. Well done. Greetings, Miro.
cjmm (4479) 2013-08-19 7:46
Great note, but beyond what the name Samarkand makes us feel, I like very much the symmetry in the composition.
The details are amazing!
eldancer1 (28999) 2013-08-19 14:29
You presented this beautiful mosque as it should be presented with respect, elegance and style. I like those colorful mosaic with awesome colors and ornate design. Good lighting and sharp details. Well done, tfs.
shevchenko (19507) 2013-08-19 19:43
Just amazing that every inch of the wall are fully decorated, nice colourful and complicated patterns, good frame to show the artistic mosque, distinct photo, good shoot.
nikkitta (14992) 2013-08-20 15:57
Good WS to complement this beautiful and creative capture of details of the architecture in contrast with the blue sky
Nice frame given by the branches
Informative note, like Noel said Samarkand is a city of fairy tales
Like also Islamic art and this capture let appreciated it at its best
Congrats and TFS
mkamionka (30877) 2013-08-28 8:32
I like very much your reportage photos from Uzbekistan. These places are so beautiful, the architecture spectacular. Here a very attractive focus on some details. Great shapes. Well used symmetry.
- Copyright: abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) (44262)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2005-12-19
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Nikon D70s, 18-70mm AF-S DX 3.5 - 4.5 Nikkor, ISO 200 RAW, Tokina 77mm Circular Polarizer
- Exposure: f/14.0, 1/80 seconds
- Details: Tripod: Yes
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2013-08-16 4:12