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Burabay Mausoleum.

National architecture of Kazakhstan.

"Architecture: the art of making redundant necessary"

Frederic Kiesler.

Traditional monuments of Kazakhstan.

Burabai Mausoleum is located at an altitude of 358 meters above sea level, located 156 meters from the right bank of the drying bed of the Zhylanda River, 2.1 kilometers to the west and slightly north of the mouth of the Kara-Kengir and Zhylanda rivers, 15.1 kilometers to the north east of the city of Satpayev, 24 kilometers north and slightly west of the city of Zhezkazgan, 8.1 kilometers west of the village of Kongarbai in the Ulytau district of the region of the same name.
The mausoleum of Burabay is located in the cemetery (beyte) surrounded by many other structures of small volumes. Burabai was built in the second half of the XIXth century. On this monument, one can trace the genesis of the architectural forms of the national architecture of the Kazakh people and the development paths of their building art.
Therefore, it is necessary to study this structure. Signs of the evolution of building techniques in the second half of the XIXth century under the influence of Russian progressive culture are clearly visible in its architectural forms.
True, there is no such monumentality and majesty of forms that we observed on the mausoleums of Alasha-khan, Ayak-Khamyr and on some other monuments, but on the other hand, in this building, new forms and techniques of architecture are clearly revealed that meet the new conditions for the development of the country's economy and culture.
According to the volumetric compositional solution, the mausoleum is a dome-centric structure (gumbez), its basis is a cube. The front facade, facing south-west, has a small superstructure - a parapet imitating a pestak, the screen plane of which is processed in the form of three shallow niches, completed with semicircular arches.
One of them - medium, large in size, was intended for the entrance niche, therefore in its gable wall there is a doorway measuring 0.70 x 1.10 meters. The archivolts of these arches and the doorway are decorated in half-brick, so structurally they do not give the impression of being powerful.
All walls, as well as the parapet, are finished with a simple profile cornice, consisting of two rows of masonry with "overlap". Under it there is one row of zigzag masonry, which slightly enlivens the monotony of the walls.
Below there is a frieze that encircles the building from all sides. It is stacked in one row with bricks placed on the edge, with gaps. The brightly lit frieze gives a deep chiaroscuro that creates the appearance of relief.
The side and rear facades do not have any protrusions and niches; for their decorative design, a horizontal herringbone masonry in 6 rows is used. The introduction of herringbone masonry on the outer surfaces of the walls is not uncommon in the construction practice of later periods.
This technique simplified the work of builders to decorate the facades, eliminating the need for other, more complex architectural tools. According to the outer outline the plan is 5.80 x 6.15 meters, and along the inner outline it is 4.20 x 4.47 meters.
The difference in the dimensions of the outer sides is caused by a thickening device in the front wall, reaching up to 107 cm, in which a niche and a gallery-passage are arranged above the entrance opening. Inside, on either side of the entrance, near the outer walls, there are small staircases leading to the gallery.
They are extremely narrowed in size. As for the techniques of construction techniques and structural details, they are quite common, but the quality of work is much higher than on the monuments of the XVIIIth and early XIXth centuries.
he chamber of the mausoleum is covered with a spherical dome, the transition to which was made by a long-practiced technique in the construction of mausoleums. The dome is slightly elongated into a cone and brought out by the method of wedge (radial) masonry on lime-alabaster mortar.
Directly above the floor, in the masonry of the southern wall, which was also slightly thickened (up to 88 cm), there were two niches, 118 x 50 cm in size and 81 cm in height. They communicated with each other through a crypt under the floor.
The remains of the deceased were brought into the crypt through the right niche. The left one was intended for the exit of the “soul”. Such access to the crypt is characteristic only of this monument. We find something similar at the Kumukanov mausoleum, located in the western part of Betpak-Dala, near the sands of the Djety-Konur valley.
But there is one entrance, moreover, not in the wall, but in the floor. The purpose of the construction of two stairs leading up to the gallery is not clear, since one of them, the left one, does not have an exit to the upper landing, it is closed at the level of the gallery overlap.
To illuminate the chamber, in addition to the doorway, there are four small holes left in the middle part of the dome on its main axes. The traditional small area around the base of the dome was probably of no practical importance
The masonry of the entire building was made of baked bricks with clay mortar. The dimensions of the bricks are taken within the limits of 25 x 25 x 6 cm. The small base 20 cm and the foundation under the walls 30 cm deep are made of limestone (sandstone and marl) also on clay mortar.
The dome, this most important part, is made of bricks of the best quality with lime-alabaster mortar. The thickness of its shell is one brick. On the outer surface, protruding bricks are left in a checkerboard pattern, which could serve as steps of a staircase leading to the very top of the dome.
The floor inside the mausoleum is lined with one brick “flat”, which has been preserved. The general condition of the structure is satisfactory, since it was facilitated by the construction of foundations under the walls and good construction work.
Geographic coordinates of Burabay mausoleum: N48°00'06,98" E67°40'31,23"

Authority and photos:
G.G. Gerasimov. "Architectural monuments of the valley of the Kara-Kengir river in Central Kazakhstan". Publishing house of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR. Alma-Ata. 1957.