This immense four-iwan mosque occupies the site of an earlier congregational mosque commissioned by Qarakhanid ruler Arslan Khan, of which only the minaret remains. The structure evident today was initiated under the Timurids during the fifteenth century and completed under Ubaydallah Khan, the Shaybanid appanage in Bukhara.
A single story arcade of blind arches forms the main exterior façade, from the center of which projects a tall pishtaq with a semi-octagonal iwan. Behind this is situated a vestibule. A single story arcade lines the courtyard, iwans fronted by pishtaqs marking the center of each façade. The qibla façade is emphasized by the tallest pishtaq, behind which a high dome rises over the sanctuary. A small bridge leading from the roof of the mosque provides access to the minaret.
Hazarbaf brickwork predominates, with hexagonal haft-rangi floral tiles in the spandrels. The sanctuary mihrab, probably dating from the sixteenth century, was executed in mosaic faience.
Golombek, L. and Wilber, D. eds. 1988. The Timurid Architecture of Iran and Turan. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 228-230.
Michell, G. 1995. Architecture of the Islamic World. London: Thames and Hudson, 259.
Herdeg, Klaus. 1990. Formal Structure in Islamic Architecture of Iran and Turkistan. New York: Rizzoli International Publications.
This book represents over twelve years of Klaus Herdeg's work on the architecture of Iran and Turkistan. The principle purpose is to illustrate and explicate selected buildings, spaces, and city fabrics, rather than to give a traditional historical account of them. While the analysis of form and its associated meanings is primarily visual, the accompanying text for each example further refines the comprehension of a building or a city by positioning it within its cultural context. Throughout, there is a deliberate interplay of monumental public structures with their symbolic significance and the urban tissue surrounding them. Thus, an Islamic city is addressed in its entirety. Over one hundred photographs and plans carry the central message.