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The Shah-i-Zinda necropolis is located in the northeastern part of Samarkand (on the site of the the old city of Afrasiab). It includes mausoleums and other ritual buildings of 9-14th and 19th centuries. The name Shah-i-Zinda means "The living king". According to a legend, Kusam ibn Abbas, cousin of the prophet Muhammad, came to Samarkand to preach islam. He was beheaded by the local population, but he took his head in his hands and went into a well that can be seen at the entrance of the necropolis, where he's still living now. The mosque dedicated to him (building on the right, ni the back) is a great goal of pilgrimage, and gives ist importance to the necropolis.

This is the reason why the timurid princes and princesses began to get burried in this place. Among the nicest mausoleums have to be noticed the mausoleum of Shirin Bika Aga, Tamerlane’s sister, and a double cupola mausoleum, where an astronomer who worked with Ulug Beg was buried.

Around this necropolis is located a modern cemetary, making these historical buildings belonging to a still living century long tradition.

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Additional Photos by Yannick LEPRETE (yannick) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 236 W: 18 N: 156] (1471)
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