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Seyit Jahmal-Etdin mosque.

Visit of archaeological monuments of Turkmenistan.

"This building happened during the reign of the great sultan, the ruler of his peoples, the refuge of countries and the age of Abu-l-Qasim Baber Bahadurkhan, may the Almighty immortalize his power and his kingdom."

The inscription at the top of the mosque peshtak called the name of the ruler of Khorasan (1446 - 1457), Sultan Abu-l-Qasim Babur.

Guided tour in Turkmenistan.

The Seyit Jamal-Etdin Mosque is located in the southwestern part of the medieval settlement of Anau, 3.7 kilometers east and slightly south of the city of Annau, 17 kilometers southeast of Ashgabat in the Ak-Bugday etrap in Akhal velayat.
House of Beauty" (Seyit Jamal ad-Din Mosque, Turkm. Seýit Jemaleddiniň metjidi) is a grandiose mosque in Turkmenistan, in the foothills of the Kopetdag Mountains. A monument of medieval architecture of Central Asia. It was built in 1446 - 1457 (according to the inscription on the facade in 1455-1456) in honor of Sheikh Jalal-ad-dunya-va-d-din.
The mosaic decoration of the portal of the mosque has no analogies in the Muslim architecture of Central Asia. On the arch of the portal were depicted two dragon-azhdarh facing each other with their heads. The monument is visited by tourists who are fond of history and culture, and the tomb of the saint near the Anau mosque is a place of pilgrimage.
Destroyed by the Ashgabat earthquake in 1948. The study of the Anau mosque was started by the orientalist Valentin Zhukovsky in 1896. He made the first measurements. The mosque was already in extremely poor condition at the end of the XIXth century, cracks gaped in the walls.
The mosque was investigated in 1904. In 1905, Alexander Semyonov published a brief description of the mosque and a call for its fixation and study. In 1908, Semyonov published his article about the Anau mosque in the collection "Minutes of meetings and messages from members of the Circle of Archeology Amateurs" (PTKLA).
This became possible after the end of the civil war and the creation of the Turkmen SSR. During the civil war, the Anau mosque, remaining for a long time without direct protection, was repeatedly destroyed. The monument was examined on July 16, 1926 by artist Andrei Karelin and engineer Vladimir Rodionovich Tripolsky (1884 - 1942), members of the Turkmen Research Institute, and the drawings were made by engineer S.S.Sklyarevsky.
The mosque was investigated in 1937. At different times, conservation measures were carried out (V.R. Tripolsky, Nikolai Mikhailovich Bachinsky). A deep and comprehensive study of the ensemble was carried out by the South Turkmenistan Archaeological Complex Expedition (UTACE) in 1947 under the leadership of Mikhail Masson.
As a result, a number of publications and a detailed monograph by Galina Pugachenkova appeared. The Anau Mosque was destroyed by the catastrophic Ashgabat earthquake in 1948. The cult ensemble remains of great importance in the history of culture and architecture of Turkmenistan.
The ensemble consisted of four structures: a mosque, which is a large domed hall, a tombstone in front of it, and two large buildings with high domed halls. The complex is connected in a complex volumetric-spatial composition.
The building was distinguished by a variety of vaulted structures and colorful cladding (mosaics and glazed tiles). The mosque was built by the vizier of the Timurid ruler of Khorasan named Muhammad Khudaydot.
A large inscription at the top of the mosque peshtak called the name of the ruler of Khorasan (1446 - 1457) Sultan Abu-l-Qasim Babur and read: “This building happened during the reign of the Great Sultan, the ruler of his peoples, the refuge of countries and the century of Abu-l- Kasim Baber Bahadurkhan, may the Almighty immortalize his power and his kingdom."
Other inscriptions cited information that the "House of Beauty" was built by Muhammad at his own expense in 1455 -1456 in memory of his father Jalal-ad-dunya-va-d-din. Galina Pugachenkova convincingly identifies the name of Muhammad, named in the text on the mosque, with the sultan's vizier Muhammad Khudaydot, whose buried father Jemaleddin was a native of Anau.
Galina Pugachenkova writes that the purpose of the construction was to attract Turkmens to the local large cult complex. The construction was not completed, because after the death of Sultan Babur in 1457, a period of civil strife and devastation began.
The mosque was built of baked bricks. It looked out onto the spacious front yard with a wide pointed arch in a high portal, oriented to the north. The square hall with a span of 10.5 meters was covered with an elliptical dome resting on supporting arches and structurally imperfect sails with stalactite decoration.
In the thickness of the southern wall of the hall there was a mihrab decorated with tiles. On either side of it, in the south wall, there were narrow niches with exits to the outside. In the eastern and western walls there were two wide and deep niches with exits to the aivan, which embraced the mosque on three sides at the level of the basement with the hujras.
Two other buildings bypassed the front yard from the east and west in front of the portal of the mosque. Their halls were covered with domes with a diameter of about 7 meters and were surrounded by small rooms on two floors.
It is possible that the front yard was closed and had an entrance portal from the north. Already at the end of the 19th century, the ensemble was in extremely poor condition, the portal of the mosque, magnificent in proportions, outlines and decoration, was relatively well preserved.
In the graphic reconstruction of the northern facade of the mosque, Galina Pugachenkova shows two high two-tier minarets, as if continuing the side abutments of the portal. The greatest value and artistic originality had the excellent polychrome ceramic decoration of the portal: ornamental brick layout with majolica inserts, geometric ornament and extensive mosaic Arabic text.
Above the arch were magnificent images of two ajarch dragons facing each other. Their yellow bodies wriggled against a dark blue mosaic background with small floral ornaments (apple flowers), which began from the grinning jaws of fantastic creatures.
The image of dragons on the facade has no analogies in the decoration of architectural monuments of Central Asia. An exhaustive explanation of the origin of this plot has not yet been found in the decor of the Anau mosque, despite the fact that the images of dragons go back to the deep history of Central Asian art.
Galina Pugachenkova gives the following decoding: “In terms of content, it seems to be the totem of the one who inhabited in the 15th century. in the Anau district (the main city of the region was Nisa) of the main Turkmen tribe, to which, possibly, Sheikh Jemaleddin belonged, ”whose grave was in Anau.
There is no analogy in the decoration of architectural monuments of Central Asia and the ornament of the mosaic border framing the portal arch and the Arabic inscription above it. The pattern of this ornament is characteristic of the painted ceramics of the Turkmen Eneolithic and continues to be used in Turkmen carpets.
Decorations are kept in the Museum of Fine Arts of Turkmenistan. The restorers managed to restore the foundations of the portal, the brickwork on the square and the grave. The restoration and conservation of the mosaic panel depicting dragons and the epigraphy of the portal of the Anau Mosque was carried out by the staff of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Academy of Arts for a grant from the Ambassador's Fund for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (AFCP) program for 2013 (US $ 38,780).
According to a local legend explaining the appearance of such an extraordinary building, during the reign of the fair and wise Dzhemal turned to the townspeople for help from the dragon-azhdarh. By order of the queen, the dragon brought the craftsmen with axes and saws to the mountains, where they saved another dragon from torment, in whose throat a goat was stuck.
In gratitude, the dragons presented the craftsmen and the city with treasures. Queen Jamal ordered to build a mosque. According to legend, dragons were the patrons of Anau, and their images guarded the mosque.
Geographic coordinates of the Seyit Jamal-Etdin mausoleum: N37 ° 53'43.44 "E58 ° 32'39.84"

Konstantin Mishin. Mosque in Anau. 1900. Museum of Fine Arts of Turkmenistan named after Saparmurat Turkmenbashi the Great. 01 Transcaspian region. Ruins of a Persian fortress in Anau. From the photo, engraver M. Rashevsky. "Niva", No. 10, 1888.


Photos by 
Alexander Petrov.