This minaret is located in the town of Vabkent, approximately thirty kilometers north of Bukhara. The minaret was commissioned by Abd al-Aziz II, a member of a powerful religious family in Bukhara (the Al-i Burhan) who were tax collectors for the Kara Khitan Khanate (1124 or 1125-1218). Today the minaret is freestanding, but it was once connected to a mosque as evidenced by the interior staircase entrance which is nearly four meters above ground level.
The minaret measures 38.7 meters in height and consists of a tapered cylinder crowned by a lantern. It is decorated with alternating thick bands of bond courses and thin bands of bricks set in high relief. The Kufic inscription on the lowest thin band gives the construction date of 1196-1197 (593) as well as the name of Abd al-Aziz II. A second inscription, which gives the completion date of 1198-1199 (595), is located below the lantern and is distinguished by its turquoise Naskhi calligraphy.
The transition to the lantern is achieved by two tiers of muqarnas cornices. The lantern's arch openings have brick balustrades, and two tiers of muqarnas crown the lantern. Sources:
Bernard O'Kane. "The Minaret of Vabkent." In The Art of the Saljuqs in Iran and Anatolia, edited by Robert Hillenbrand, 46-54. Mazda Publishers: Costa Mesa, 1994.
Albaum, Lazar Izrailevich. Herren der Steppe, 48, 60, plate 27. Berlin: Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, 1976.