Samarkand, the center of a region that has the same name, is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is of the same age as Babylon, Rome and Athens. The earliest mention of Samarkand was in the 4th century BC. At that time the city was known as Marakand, and it was protected by powerful defensive walls, 10 km long. Historically Samarkand has faced many periods of upheaval and decay, it has taken a difficult historical path. Every period in the life of Samarkand has its characteristics, embodying the spirit of the times. Throughout the years of its existence, Samarkand has played a great role in the historical, political, economic and cultural life of Central Asia. Its favorable geographical location was very important. The city is situated in a fertile and well developed part of the Zarafshan Valley, along the Great Silk Road from China to Byzantium. It was conquered by the troops of Alexander the Great, the Arab Khaliph and Genghiz Khan. It was of Tamerlane's great empire who was the one who cared about the beauty of the city and its strength as a major capital city in the region.
Tamerlane vowed to create a mosque without parallel in grandeur or decor throughout the Muslim world at that time. Bibi-Khanym mosque - The gigantic mosque built in 1398, claimed to be the largest mosque then was finished shortly before his death in 1405 and must have been the jewel of his empire. Its gigantic size and tiny details of mosaic were impressive. Despite the ravages of time, the remains are still captivating by their fantastic scale and romantic legend.
The dimensions of this immense mosque are in keeping with the capital of an Empire that stretched from the coastal of the Agean to Delhi. The complex soared over 40m around an arch 18m in diameter with flanking minarets, 50m high. it led to a rectangular court 167 by 110m paved with marbles, cornered by minarets and fringed by gallery of 400 cupolas supported by 400 marble coloumns. East and west were mosques with fluted domes and to the north, the portal of main sanctuary topped 40m high.
This majestic ruins give an idea about the building techniques and architecture of their time, leaving an indelible impression. Once described as the most beautiful ruin in the whole world, it is amazing to think that this architectural wonder was built out of nothing more than desert mud - without the use of steel or wood. Even in ruins, the great mosque - the only one in the world ever to possess eight minarets - still dwarfs the rest of Samarkand today. All that is left is one great arch, the base of two minarets studded in white and blue tiles and a vast shattered fluted turquoise domes - pierced by Commie Soviet cannon shells during the battle of Samarkand in 1868. This complex was severely damaged by the earthquake of 1897. The Tsarists subsequently used the mosque as a stable and cotton market before preservation became reconstruction in 1974.
Picture of west fluted dome. Image polarized, cropped and resized.
General view of Bibi-Khanym Mosque complex seen from the central courtyard. The portal of main building is partially hidden on the left. When this picture was taken (seven years ago) restoration perhaps rebuilding works was still in progress.
Critiques | Translate
adramad (41160) 2012-07-31 11:57
Wonderful capture and perfect dome of the same, coincidentally I have a picture very similar to this, your wonderful notes from the history, and the construction, help me to remember what had already forgotten after all these years, and at times just now I'm scanning this trip, I made over twenty years.
The mosaics are particularly beautiful and crisp both of your catch, such as good management of light, we enjoy them, the magnificent colors can also evidenced.
Great job. I love it.
Fis2 (90829) 2012-07-31 13:57
Good POV and nice composition.
I like colors and sharpness.
Budapestman (82620) 2012-07-31 17:16
a beautiful photo of this amazing architecture, the colours and lights are splendid, great details and the POV is attractive. Great impression, Tfs! Have a nice week! Kellemes hetet kívánok!
agulberk (3794) 2012-07-31 19:32
You captured very beautiful fluted dome. Despite all maintenance, indifference and neglect , this is a work of art which still lost nothing of its beauty , elegance and nobility for along many years . Excellent presentation with succesful light management to get sharpness, clarity and satutated colors. Your informative detailed note is very useful.
Thanks for sharing
Best regards from Turkey
Have a good tuesday
sabermonajati (10557) 2012-07-31 21:40
you shot amazing dome with excellent persian architecture.
bayno (18344) 2012-08-01 0:06
This city continues to amaze me with its incredible ancient history and its great monuments, the dome of this mosque is very beautiful with its decorations and colors that stand out very well with the blue sky completely cleared, excellent framing and sharp..tank you for your very informative note...have a good day...
papagolf21 (91440) 2012-08-01 0:20
Magnifique joyau architectural d'un savoir-faire étonnant.
La beauté d'ensemble est parfaitement mise en valeur.
Très bon cadrage et très belle présentation.
dkmurphys (53539) 2012-08-01 0:40
Very fine detail of the impressive roof. I like the colors with the perfect deep blue sky as a background and the impressive old artwork. Good catch.
amaryllis (36109) 2012-08-01 1:23
une belle présentation de ce dôme somptueux qui laisse devenir une belle architecture et un fond bleu du ciel, les couleurs vertes, rouge, ressortent très bien
Silvio1953 (131728) 2012-08-01 1:53
Ciao Abmdsudi, great detail of fantastic dome, good contrast against Blue sky, excellent clarity, splendid light and wonderful bright colors, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio
ourania (37374) 2012-08-01 2:32
I like very much the close up and framing of this exquisite dome. You've made this composition as minimal as possible but still the wonder and suggestion of the magnificent antique architecture is irresistible, maybe it's more emphasized this way. Sharpness is perfect making the observation of the lovely colourful patterns and the textures, as well as of the thoughtless injury on the dome, captivating. The dense warm light and the rich colours give a special allure to the photo. The workshop picture is lovely and very useful for grasping the context and scale of this fascinating monument. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great month,
holmertz (45934) 2012-08-01 12:17
Samarkand is one of those mythical places where "everyone" has always wanted to go, but I guess I will probably never see it. This is a marvellous building, even more so considering the building technique, I do find the photo a bit dark, I guess because of the polarizing filter. I actually prefer the workshop, just for once, where we also see the surroundings and get some idea of the dimensions.
Lastly, I must object to your history writing. For sure there were no Communist Soviet troops in 1868, much rather feudal Tzarist rightwing troops :-)
maria-v1981 (10932) 2012-08-01 13:17
Excellent and rich capture of the colors of this dome despite the difficult light,i like the contrast between the mosaic and the blue sky,excellent perspective and details.
Have a good month,
eldancer1 (32802) 2012-08-01 13:26
Wow! Beautiful architecture! Nicely captured against the blue sky. Love the colors of this dome, so delicate and intricate. Good lighting and dof with sharp details. Well done, tfs.
danos (91112) 2012-08-01 22:52
excellent the placement of the high decorative dome in the frame as outlined against the blue of the sky.I like the clarity and the sharpness of the image as the light and the colour management.
Graal (100526) 2012-08-01 23:04
dome is beautiful. Good shot and presentation. I like the details. Fine effect of polariser, sky is great. Well photowork and serie from Samarkand.
Have a nice day.
shevchenko (18892) 2012-08-02 2:09
Good frame to the big dome, nice artistic old dome in multi colors and patterns, I like the WS photo that showing the mosque and the surrounding environment too, informative note, thanks for sharing.
delpeoples (55284) 2012-08-02 5:24
Hello dear Abmdsudi
I have not seen a fluted dome like this before, it's intriguing. Again, the artistry is breath-taking and you have done a great job framing it so tightly and using the light to accentuate its details. Wonderful photo, nice work.
Cricri (112071) 2012-08-02 11:07
Une belle idée du cadrage serré du dôme, d'une beauté en décoration magnifique, bien cadrer avec le feuillages , le fond bleu et la lumière, belle complémentaire en WS, très belle réalisation
josepmarin (58031) 2012-08-03 10:47
a spectacular close-up on this wonderful dome, perfectly emphasized on a deep blue sky, well polarized, which creates an effective backdrop for a good architectural photo.
The composition is really elegant and attractive, you have managed skillfully the light, and have reached a high quality level in the colors and a great sharpness.
It is a beautiful work, my friend.
mkamionka (32909) 2012-08-05 4:36
beautiful detail of architecture. It must have been a great experience to walk in such an old and beautiful city. I like the well saturated colors with the turquoise dome contrasting interestingly with the dark blue sky. Excellent picture!!!
mcmtanyel (17191) 2013-07-01 21:55
Thanks for sharing a beautiful work of art from a land I would love to see one day. Great composition, great color and light.
PS. Either you mistyped the numbers or you are you are blaming the Soviets for a crime committed before they existed. The communist revolution was in 1917.
gus72 (3719) 2013-08-17 17:33
Hi abmdsudi !!
i enjoyed reading your notes as I am always interested to learn about that region of the world.The photo complements the notes so well.the mosaic work appears to be outstanding.
Your photo...... the Dome.....is magnificent...... green and blue go so well together !!!
Greetings from Moss Vale
- Copyright: abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) (47604)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2005-12-19
- Categories: Architecture, Artwork
- Camera: Nikon D70s, 18-70mm AF-S DX 3.5 - 4.5 Nikkor, ISO 200 RAW, Tokina 77mm Circular Polarizer
- Exposure: f/22, 1/80 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2012-07-31 10:50