Friday, July 30, 2010

Tamarlane's City : Shahrisabz

Although Samarkand was the capital city of Tamerlane’s vast empire, Shahrisabz which is about 50 miles South of Samarkand was where his heart belonged to.

This is the birth place of a man who became a legend while he was still alive. He spent his early periods in this city and also had his first palace built here. Although only the entrance door remained, it could easily give you an idea about the grandeur of this mighty man.

While we were travelling from Shahrisabz to Samarkand, I long gazed the vast green pasture. It is a beautiful area. It makes me wonder why he left this amazingly serene place to conquer the world.

He initialy had built his tomb here but later changed his mind and ordered a new one in Samarkand. He left his tomb in Shahrisabz to his son Jahangir who died at an early age.

Today it is possible to visit the tomb of Tamarlane in Samarkand where he was buried with 7 other people; his children, Grand children and a favorite teacher. His one piece jade tomb carefully placed under the feet of his teacher’s.

Tamerlane’s legacy continued long after his death. When a Soviet anthropologist exhumed his body in 1941 he found these words carved inside his casket. ‘’ When I rise the world will tremble. Who so ever opens my tomb shall unleash an invader more terrible than I’’ and guess what??? Only hours after his exhumation, Germans started to invade Russia.

Today Uzbeks also like to tell you as an urban legend that Soviets only started to defeat the Germans after they have flown the Tamarlene’s body 7 times over the city of Stalingard. Well, there might be a certain truth in that as they re buried him in 1942 just before the Soviet victory in Stalingrad..

I have to mention that although there are many books writen about Tamarlane, there is one I enjoyed particularly. ‘’Narrative of the Embassy of Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo to the court of the Timour’’ It is a wonderful travel and historical memoirs of the Spanish Embassy Clavijo. I strongly recommend who wants to read further on this subject.


  1. As usual, your post leaves me speechless.

    But I must say, it was such chutspah to open Tamerlane's tomb.

  2. This is such a different world from ours and not one we hear very much about. I certainly enjoy reading about the amazing history and seeing the beautiful countryside. It is all so authentic without the trappings of tourists. Thanks for sharing....

  3. As always, your posts educate, entertain and amaze.

  4. Wonderful post, such amazing people and names.

  5. Have a nice travel,we learn more detail from nice places and countries,thank you sharing,regards.

  6. Thanks for your informative post!
    It seems such a fascinating place to visit.
    Nice pics too.
    Hope you have a great weekend!
    Big hugs,
    B xx

  7. You have had many fabulous adventures. Samarkand is breathtaking-- and turquoise!

  8. wow, this place has a captivating history. thats quite a story!

  9. Very interesting. And if that was his front door, I can only imagine how HUGE his palace was. WOW!

  10. I am with Petrea...I always learn so much from your posts. And your photos are stunning. Everything is just so huge and incredible!

  11. Amazing place and photos! Good job and excellent trip!

  12. Empires passes quickly from the perspective of the history... Good that at least some architecture remains:)

  13. Another fabulous travel post.. and those mosaics!! fantastic!! Thanks for sharing these with us.. keeps me going when i can't travel myself... That lost shot is just fantastic!!! The story of the prophecy is quite fascinating also!!

    Hope you are well.. sorry I've been so absent.. lousy internet at new place!!
    Take care and thanks for popping in!! I've missed everyone these last few weeks.. xxx Julie

  14. facinating! i love love the colorful mosaic!
    but i have a feeling it sits above or as entrance to the graves?

  15. I am enjoying your Uzbekistan posts so very much! Gorgeous architecture and great street scenes.

  16. Oooh this is amazing!!! the mangificent architecture and the Statue and the landscape!!! Everything is so beautiful!!!



Blog Widget by LinkWithin