Turabek Khanum Mausoleum

Address: Köneürgench, Turkmenistan

Turabek Khanum Mausoleum is located in the northern part of ancient Kunya-Urgench. It is nicely decorated with a mosaic of geometric tiles and has a very exquisite interior layout with visual aesthetics and spirituality. The mausoleum is considered as the pioneer of Islamic architecture.

The most remarkable architectural feature of the mausoleum is the circular dome covering the main hall. The surface of the dome is covered with colourful mosaic which forms patterns of flowers and stars. The patterns are said to be creating a visual metaphor for the heavens.

The mausoleum is named after Turabek Khanum, the wife of Kutlug Timur, as well as the beloved daughter of Uzbeg (Öz Beg, khan of the Golden Horde). However, it is still uncertain whether the body in it belongs to Turabek Khanum.

The mausoleum is believed to be built during Turabek Khanum’s lifetime, around 1330 AD. Its advanced and sophisticated architectural features, including its decorations, structure and layout, were incomparable in the Islamic world at that time. It was until several decades later in Timur’s period that these techniques were found in Central Asia.