Mausoleum of Karakhan, Taraz city Jambyl province and region.
History Mausoleum of Karakhan.
It is believed that the mausoleum was built over the grave of one of the representatives of the Karakhanid dynasty - Shah-Mahmud Bugr Karakhan. The mausoleum has not been preserved to this day in its original form, in 1906 it was rebuilt and, while maintaining the construction principle, lost its original architectural and decorative decoration. Inside the mausoleum, a stepped tombstone was preserved. Construction was financed by Tashkent’s ishan Sayd Bakkhanov.
For the first time, the mausoleum was examined in detail by Boris Denike and described by him in the book “Architectural Ornament of Central Asia.” In 1982, the Karakhan mausoleum was included in the list of historical and cultural monuments of the Kazakh SSR of republican significance and was taken under state protection. In the Soviet period, an anti-religious museum was located in the mausoleum.
In 2002, the restoration of the mausoleum to the 2000th anniversary of the city of Taraz was carried out.
Architecture Mausoleum of Karakhan.
It is a square in plan portal-dome structure. It consists of a central hall and three small corner rooms (hujras), the fourth corner of the mausoleum is occupied by a staircase leading to the roof of the building.
The front facade of the mausoleum is facing south, framed at the edges by minarets. The entrance is in the depths of the arch, on both sides of which there are three niches: rectangular, square and lancet. Above the entrance to the mausoleum there is an inscription in Arabic: “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.” Outside, the walls of the mausoleum are made of modern brick, and from the inside, the dome and arched niches that complete the window openings are made of brick of Karakhanid time.
Archaeologist Taisiya Senigova, based on a photograph of the 1850s, provides a description of the initial appearance of the facade of the mausoleum. The mausoleum had originally a centric composition and was blocked by a dome. The entrance to the early mausoleum was under a gentle lancet arch, which is highlighted by wedge masonry and contoured by a brick laid flat. The arch rested on 3/4 columns laid out in twin brick. Similarly, a deep entrance was made, located behind an arched niche. The portal part was contoured by brick with slightly protruding U-shaped arches. The facade of the mausoleum, judging by the figured bricks found in the excavations (more than 30 varieties), was richly decorated.