The Samanid mausoleum is located in the historical urban nucleus of the city of
Bukhara, in a park laid out on the site of an
ancient cemetery. This
mausoleum, one of the most esteemed sights of
Central Asian architecture, was built in the 9th century (between 892 and 943) as the resting-place of Ismail Samani - the founder of the
Samanid dynasty, the last
Persian dynasty to rule in Central Asia, which held the city in the 9th and 10th centuries. Although in the first instance the Samanids were Governors of
Khorasan and ''Ma wara'u'n-nahr'' under the suzerainty of the
Abbasid Caliphate, the dynasty soon established virtual independence from
For many years the lower part of the mausoleum remained under a two-meter high layer of sediment. Now the foundation has been cleared of these obstacles and the mausoleum, fully restored, is open for observation from all sides as was initially planned by the builders.
The monument marks a new era in the development of Central Asian architecture, which was revived after the
Arab conquest of the region. The architects continued to use an ancient tradition of baked brick construction, but to a much higher standard than had been seen before. The construction and artistic details of the
brickwork, are still enormously impressive, and display traditional features dating back to pre-Islamic culture.
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