Qarabaglar Türbasi
Karabaghlar, Azerbaijan
The mausoleum overlooks Karabaghlar village in the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan. It was commissioned by Il-Khanid ruler Abu Said Bahadur Khan (1316-1335) for Jehan Gudi Khatun and built between 1335 and 1338. A monumental gateway with twin minarets was added at a later time. Only the truncated minarets of the gateway and the unroofed mausoleum were remaining on the site until 1999, when an extensive restoration project was initiated through the Azerbaijan Cultural Heritage Support Program of the World Bank. Completed in 2003, the restoration work stabilized the existing structures, while also rebuilding critical components, such as the mausoleum's dome.

The mausoleum is a cylindrical tower made of twelve semi-cylindrical flanges on the exterior. It is raised on a dodecagonal base made of cut stone, which encloses a vaulted crypt. It was originally roofed with a conical crown covering an inner dome. Both domes collapsed at an unknown date, leaving the interior exposed to the elements until the addition of the domical cap in 2002.

Four doorways placed on the cardinal axes give access to the twelve-sided dome chamber. The doorways are identically set in tall rectangular frames and crowned with shallow muqarnas hoods, all covered in tile mosaic with floral arabesques. The northern entrance is differentiated with a deeper portal recess and bears an inscriptive plaque.

The exterior surface of the mausoleum is covered entirely with a red brick and turquoise tile pattern composed of the names of God, the Prophet, and Caliph Ali, written in Kufic style. A wide inscriptive band of Kufic characters runs below the muqarnas cornice, bordered with narrow bands of chain motifs. The interior is now devoid of decoration except for the twelve tall niches on its walls, separated by pilasters.

The remaining foundation walls of the mausoleum's gateway show that it was a rectangular structure measuring fifteen meters by nineteen meters on the exterior, divided into multiple rooms. Its portal recess was flanked by two minarets, whose base and lower shafts are the only parts remaining from the original structure. Three rooms surrounding the portal were rebuilt sometime in the second half of the twentieth century. The twin minarets were strengthened with steel cables and capped with glass during the restoration.

Sources:

Aslanapa, Oktay. 1979. Kirim ve Azerbaycan'da Türk Eserleri. Istanbul: Baha Matbaasi, 84-92.

Ayvazian, Argam. 1988. The Historical Monuments of Nakhichevan. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 90-92.

Fatullayev, S.S. and R.S. Babasov. 2005. "Memarliq". Maison d'Azerbaidjan Website. http://www.azmaison.fr/az/index_az.shtml?language=2;section=4;section2=4. [Accessed November 2, 2005]

Gink, Kalory and Ilona Turanszky. 1979. Azerbaijan: Mosques, Turrets, Palaces. Budapest: Corvina Kiado, 41-43.

Michel, George (ed.). 1995. Architecture of the Islamic World: Its History and Social Meaning. London: Thames and Hudson, 259.

"Azerbaijan Cultural Heritage Support Project." World Bank Website. http://web.worldbank.org/external/projects/main?pagePK=64283627&piPK=
64290415&theSitePK=40941&menuPK=228424&Projectid=P058969
. [Accessed October 26, 2005]
Location
Karabaghlar, Azerbaijan
Events
1335-38/735-38 AH
Style Periods
1256-1353
Variant Names
Qarabaglar Türbasi
Gudi Khatun Mausoleum
Variant
Qudi Xatun Türbasi
Variant
Qarabaglar Türbesi
Variant
Qudixatun Türbesi
Variant
Building Usages
mausoleum
funerary