Seyyid Allauddin's Mausoleum

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Around the hill with Kunya-Ark Citadel on top, there cluster many architectural monuments. The oldest of them is the sheikh Seyyid Allauddin’s Mausoleum. According to historical sources, the sheikh’s disciple Emir Kulyal built this modest mausoleum in the 15th century. The mausoleum only structure that survived is gurkhona cubical building of the burial vault, made of burnt bricks. The western entrance of the mausoleum was decorated with a medium-size portal. Over the saint’s tomb there was a vaulted roof on four stalactite pendentives.

By order of Khan Allakuli, early in the 19th century, a spacious square ziaratkhona commemoration building was attached to the western side of the vault. Over 650 years since the mausoleum was constructed, several metres deep cultural layers have accumulated around the mausoleum. The structure seems to be “ingrown” into the earth. Besides, reconstructions and extensions of the later period have changed its original look.

In the mid-20th century archeological works at the site of the mausoleum confirmed the date of its construction. The archeologists opened the walls and foundations on the outside, and the restoration works that followed allowed bringing back the original look of the building.

Almost all interior decorations of the vault have been lost. The walls and the vaulted ceiling are covered with white gunchstucco. In 1863 Khan Sayid Muhammad was buried next to the sheikh. It was then that a large dakhma base for the tombstones was built in the ascetic burial vault. Its steps have a few separate decorative panels covered with extremely beautiful glazed tiles with islimi patterns. The dakhma, decorated with small corner semi-columns, serves as a massive pedestal. On the top of it stand two sarcophagi – saganas, entirely covered with majolica decoration. The end-walls of the sarcophagi contain inscriptions in Arabic. In one of them, just among the lines from the Koran, there is the date of Seyyid Allauddin’s death: 702 anno hegirae (1330). The facing of the dakhma and saganas represents thebest Khorezmian style of majolica tiling. Though it was made in the mid-19th century, it is not inferior to many Medieval specimens.