The most monumental building of civil architecture of the period of Amir Timur’s rule was the Ak-Saray Palace in Shahrisabz (1380 – 1386). The vast courtyard with a swimming pool was surrounded by two-story buildings; at the back there was a reception hall. The cyclopean entrance portal was completed by a vault with a span of 22 m connecting the side abutment towers. On the portal, heraldic images of a lion and the sun were made of mosaic, as well as a nishon of Timur in the form of three rings. Among the wonders of the palace one can remember a hauz – a rooftop pool, from which a picturesque waterfall flowed.
In the southern part of Shahrisabz is Dorus-Saodat – a huge family tomb, built in 1379 – 1404 for the repose of Timur’s elder sons – Jahangir and Umar Shaikh. The complex included the tomb of Timur, in which he was never buried.
In its architectural planning composition, Dorus-Saodat is close to the ensemble of buildings of the Mausoleum of Sheikh Khoja Ahmed Yasawi in Turkestan, the construction of which was also begun by the order of Timur at the end of the 14th century.
The cult-memorial complex Dorut Tilavat (“House of Thought”, or “The Tank of Quran Reciters”) originated at the burial of Sheikh Shams-ud-Din Kulal Fakhuri. Along with the mausoleums, it includes the Dorut Tilavat madrasa and the jameh mosque Kok-Gumbaz mosque erected by Ulugh Beg in 1434. It received its name because of the raised dome decorated with light blue tiles, which can be seen many kilometres from Shahrisabz.
Under Amir Timur and his descendants Samarkand reaches incomparable brilliance. It becomes one of the most beautiful, flourishing and populous cities of the East. Contemporaries called it “the shining point of the globe”, “the precious pearl of the East.”
You can learn more about the topic in the book-album "Collection of the State Hermitage Mavarannakhr Art 8th – 15th centuries" (XV volume) from the series "Cultural Legacy of Uzbekistan in the World Collections".
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