This week in Postcards from Uzbekistan, a stunning mosque that dominates the sky line in Samarkand.
When it was built more than 600 years ago the Bibi-Khanym mosque was designed to be the largest in the Muslim world.
And today it continues to woo the crowds.
Key facts about Uzbekistan:
- It’s in Central Asia, with neighbours including Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan & Tajikistan
- With a population of more than 30 million, the ex-Soviet republic became independent in 1991
- The total land area is 425,400 km2, with plains covering about four fifths of the territory
- The average winter temperature is -6 degrees celsius and in summer it rises above 32
- Almost 80 percent of the population is Uzbek and the main religion is Muslim (88 percent)
Euronews’ Seamus Kearney reported: “Once you come inside the main entrance you’re struck straight away by the splendour and size of the mosque, which stands at a height of 50 metres, or about 15 storeys.”
Samarkand guide Vazira Suleymanova told Postcards: “Bibi-Khanym was the famous wife of the ruler Timur and he ordered the building of the mosque in 1399.
“And at that time the mosque was one of the biggest and most magnificent in the Islamic world.”
A lot of restoration work has been carried out on the mosque, to make sure the domes, minarets and entranceways can be enjoyed for generations to come.
360° views of the wonders of Samarkand