Photographer's Note

The Gur-e Amir (also Gur Emir) is the mausoleum of the Asian conqueror Tamerlane (also known as Timur) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. It occupies an important place in the history of Islamic Architecture as the precursor and model for the great tombs of Humayun in Delhi and the Taj Mahal in Agra, built by Timur's descendants in India – the Moghuls.

Gur-e Amir (Gur Emir) is Tajik for "Tomb of the King". This architectural complex with its azure dome contains the tombs of Tamerlane, his sons and grandson Ulugh Beg and Muhammad Sultan. The construction of mausoleum began in 1403 …Ulugh Beg, grandson of Tamerlane, completed the work. During his reign the mausoleum became the family crypt of the Timurid Dynasty.

Outwardly the Gur-e Amir (Gur Emir) Mausoleum is a one-cupola building. It is famous for its simplicity of construction and for its solemn monumentality of the appearance. It is an octahedral building crowned by an azure fluted dome. The exterior decoration of the walls consists of the blue, light-blue and white tiles organized into geometrical and epigraphic ornaments against a background of terracotta bricks. The dome (diameter - 15 m (49.21 ft), height - 12.5 m (41.01 ft)) is of a bright blue color with deep rosettes and white spots. Heavy ribbed fluting gives an amazing expressiveness to the cupola.

Ironically this is poetic structure is a mausoleum of one of history's most "brutal butchers" that history remembers Tamelane as...and even more ironic is the inscription on the tomstone inside the mausoleum ‘This is the resting place of the illustrious and merciful monarch, the most great Sultan, the most mighty warrior, Lord Timur, Conqueror of the World.’ Historical texts indicate that Timur was anything but "merciful"!

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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