Hudavend Hatun Türbesi
Nigde, Türkiye
The three line inscription above the entrance of the Hudavend Hatun tomb announces its construction date as 1312 (712 AH). It was commissioned by Hudavend Hatun, daughter of Seljuk Sultan IV, Rukneddin Kiliçarslan (1262-1266), and was restored in by the General Directorate of Religious Endowments (Vakiflar Genel Mudurlugu) in 1962.

This octagonal tomb, which was built to the northeast of the city of Nigde, is raised about one meter and twenty centimeters on an octagonal base, and is covered by a dome topped with an eight-faceted pyramidal crown on the exterior. Just below this crown, the eight faces of the tomb transform into a hexadecagon along the upper section of the exterior faces, where each of the eight faces is subdivided into two parts. Each corner of the main body of the tomb is articulated by ornamented cylindrical columns. A short colum also adorns the "corners" of the subdivided section of the tomb faces. These columns, at their top, connect to the crown by means of their capitals, where two rows of muqarnas ornament the transition to the crown.

The total height of the tomb is about fifteen and a half meters. The shallow entrance, measuring only one meter and seventy five centimeters high, is located on the east facade of the tomb, which is further articulated by a rectangular frame. A three-step mirrored stair provides access to the entrance, which is topped by a deep muqarnas carving embedded in a pointed arch. The northern, southwestern, and southeastern facades are articulated with windows, while the other faces of the tomb are left blank. These rectangular windows are capped with white marble lintels, and above these, by pointed arches. The lower ends of the pointed arches extend to the sides of the windows and are ornamented with deep muqarnas carvings. Above the windows are zoomorphic carvings, including representations of birds with human heads, a gazelle, a lion, and the Seljuk symbol, an eagle with open wings. The secondary divisions (sixteen faces) at the upper level of these pierced facades are articulated with pointed arches enclosing floral motifs. This same configuration can be seen on all of the other faces of the tomb, with the exception of the eastern (entry) face.

On the interior, the five-faceted mihrab niche is carved into the south face of the tomb. Topped by a muqarnas carving, two lines of inscription, and a medallion from bottom to top, the mihrab niche is framed by an inscription band and various carved stonework. A muqarnas band aligned with the top of the iron grilled windows (1.75 meters above ground level) encircles the interior walls. The transition to the dome above is created by pointed arches made of dark cut stone. A row of larger cut stones, ornamented with diagonal carving, indicates the end of the superstructure. The floor is made of cut stone. The tomb houses three chests, one of which is that of Hudavend Hatun.

The tomb itself is made of yellow cut stone. White marble was used in the lintels, the arches, the inscription plaques, and the cornice of the dome. The tomb is most known for its elaborate vegetal and zoomorphic carvings.


Bayrak, M. Orhan. Türkiye Tarihi Yerler Kilavuzu, 508. Istanbul: Inkilap Kitabevi, 1994.

Oxford Art Online. "Islamic art, SII: Architecture, c 1250-c 1500." Accessed March 16, 2009.

Ozkarci, Mehmet. 2001. Nigde'de Turk Mimarisi. Ankara: Turk Tarih Kurumu Basimevi, 122-139.

Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism. "Nigde." Accessed March 16, 2009; inaccessible September 24, 2013.
Nigde, Türkiye
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1312/712 AH, restored 1962/1382 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Hudavend Hatun Turbesi
Hudavend Hatun Tomb
Building Usages