Tamerlan. You might remember from yesterday’s post that he is the first national hero of Uzbekistan, a descendant of Genghis Khan, locally called Amir Timur. His city : Samarkand… And here we are.
This is the main square of the city, Registan square. Originally, this is where the city main roads created by Tamerlan were crossing.
Later, were added a bazar and three huge madrasas (schools).
In 1932, Ella Maillart, slept in one of them, the Tilla Kari Madrasa (first picture below).
This monumental architecture is breath-taking. A little bit like when you see Saint-Peter’s Square for the very first time, in Rome. Or when I discovered the Chang-Kai-Tchek Square in Taiwan last year.
Before that, I had been to Gour Emir, in other words, Tamerlan’ mausoleum, and was already highly impressed by how raffinate was the artwork…
Timur had built a simple crypt for himself at Shakhrisabz, and had this one built in 1404 for his grandson and proposed heir, Mohammed Sultan, who had died the previous year. But the story goes that when Timur died unexpectedly of pneumonia in Kazakhstan (in the course of planning an expedition against the Chinese) in the winter of 1405, the passes back to Shakhrisabz were snowed in and he was interred here instead.
The Soviet anthropologist Mikhail Gerasimov opened the crypts in 1941 and, among other things, confirmed that Timur was tall (1.7m) and lame in the right leg and right arm (from injuries suffered when he was 25).
The dome roof is amazingly beautiful…
Cming back to the Soviet anthropologist findings, he also found on Timur’s grave an inscription to the effect that ”Whoever opens this will be defeated by an enemy more fearsome than I’’… The next day, 22 June, Hitler attacked the Soviet Union !