Bibi Khanym Mosque


Visit Guide to Bibi Khanym Mosque

The Bibi-Khanym Mosque is the grandiose cathedral mosque of Tamerlane, richly decorated with tiles, carved marble and paintings. Partially restored from ruins at the end of the 20th century. It is notable for the fact that a huge number of masters from various Asian countries worked on it: the Golden Horde, India, Persia, Khorezm. In total, about 700 people were involved. Only the best raw materials were used in the construction – the emir wanted the mosque to become a lifetime monument of his era.

Getting There

The Bibi-Khanym Mosque is located on Islam Karimov Street, in the center of Samarkand, not far from Registan Square. It is easy to reach by taxi or by bus. The distance from the airport to the Bibi-Khanym Mosque is 12 km and will take about 15 minutes.

What to Expect

The mosque was built by order of Amir Temur after returning from the Indian campaign. It was a period when a monumental ceremonial style developed in the architecture of Central Asia, the directions of which correspond to the well-known statement of Amir Temur: “If you doubt our greatness, take a look at our buildings.”

The mosque was built in a short time – in five years. Five buildings have survived to this day: a portal; opposite him, in the back of the courtyard, are large mosques; on the sides – small mosques; minaret. The enormous work of historians, archaeologists, art historians gives us the opportunity to present the original appearance of the mosque.

One of the characteristic features of the architectural ensembles of this period is the enormous size and proportionality, the proportionality of the compositional parts of the ensemble, of which Bibi-Khanum is an excellent example.

In the center of the courtyard there is still a gigantic marble music stand made by Ulugbek for the Holy Quran.


The architectural complex Bibi Khanym contains one of the largest mosques in the entire Muslim world, and one of Central Asia’s most grandiose.

The history of the origin of this famous and majestic mosque in Samarkand had several variations. After a long study of all the documents and surviving manuscripts, researchers and historians agreed on their version of the emergence of this amazing architectural complex. Their official version says that Bibi Khanum was built by Tamerlane himself, after his return from a very successful campaign in India.

In its original form, the Bibi Khanum complex had a huge gallery of almost 500 marble columns that connected all the buildings together. The main eastern portal was 33 meters high and 45 meters wide. The entrance arch to the building of the main mosque itself was decorated with massive metal gates and elaborately carved marble slabs. Each corner of the rectangular structure had its own multi-tiered minaret, reaching high into the sky.

Of the entire original religious complex, only a few structures have survived: the Milky Way portal, buildings of the main and two small mosques, as well as the only minaret. Another important attraction of Bibi Khanum is a huge marble pedestal for the Koran, which was built by Ulugbek, Timur’s grandson..

Facilities Available

Near the Bibi-khanym mosque there are several facilities: hotels, a tourist information center, souvenir shops. Inside the temple there is a public toilet and several restaurants nearby. In addition, the Siab market is located nearby. Minibuses and taxis are available for local and foreign tourists.