Main Entrance into Shah-i Zindah Mosque. Samarkand
The Shah-i Zindah (Persian for “living king”) necropolis is located at the outskirts of Samarkand. Situated on an ancient burial ground, it is revered as a memorial to Kusam-ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad. This photograph shows the complex’s darvozakhana (main entrance), with a chartak (entrance chamber) and a mosque (on left) built in 1434–35 at the base of the hill at the beginning of the necropolis passageway. The large peshtak (entrance arch) frames the chartak portal that is framed in its own pointed arch. Near the portal turbaned pilgrims are seated on carpets that serve as prayer rugs. Although damaged, the facade displays profuse ceramic decoration, including geometric and floral designs as well as patterned Arabic script. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire. In 1911 he made two trips to Turkestan (present-day Uzbekistan and neighboring states), where he devoted special attention to monuments of Islamic architecture.
- acku Afghanistan
- Image Size
- 1800x1633 / 978.4KB
- Contained in galleries