Abdullah ibn Burayda Mausoleum
Vekil'-Bazar, Turkmenistan
The mausoleum of 'Abdullah ibn Burayda is located in the Vekil Bazaar area of the Merv oasis. The structure was built towards the end of the eleventh century under Seljuk rule. It was recently restored in 1990, which fashioned its surrounding area as a namazgah. While the restoration has been faithful to the original style of its interior, the exterior has been largely altered. Older drawings indicate that the new dome raised on a new drum stands about two meters taller than the original structure.

The present day mausoleum is a domed room oriented southeast to northwest within a rectangular enclosure with the same orientation. The main entry to the courtyard is from the southeast, through a set of double doors marked by two small minarets at the courtyard corners. The courtyard walls and the minarets were built in 1990. The tomb is built entirely in brick, with external cladding and decoration. While the original inscriptive plaques seen in older photographs have not survived, the new plaques from its last restoration adorn the structure. Of these, the first one is a marble inscription in Turkmen language above the courtyard gate, mentioning the name of the restorer. The second is an Arabic inscription on a black plaque installed above the tomb entrance stating: "Here lies Abdullah, son of Burayda."

Inside, the shrine is illuminated with three screened windows on the walls and ten windows pierced into the drum of the dome. Shallow squinches provide the transition from the square base to the circular drum, which is inset from the square walls of the tomb on the exterior. The interior is plastered in white in the upper sections where stylized stucco inscriptions can be seen on window arches at the base of the dome. There are no sarcophagi in the tomb.


Sayan, Yüksel. 1999. Türkmenistan'daki Mimari Eserler (XI-XVI Yüzyil). Ankara: Kültür Bakanligi Yayinlari, 115-117, 405-410.
Vekil'-Bazar, Turkmenistan
11th-early 12th c.
Style Periods
Variant Names
Mausoleum of Abdullah bin Bureda
Abdullah ibn Burayadah Tomb
Building Usages