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The Legend of Bibi Khanum Mosque.

Adventurous travellers in Samarkand.

“Do not kill me, heaven, in your drunkenness!
You see my greatness and your humiliation!
Because of my misery and daily sorrows
I myself cursed this life of shameful languor! ”

Omar Khayyam.

Travel journal about Samarkand.

Beautiful Bibi Hanim, Timur's wife, intended to surprise and please her husband. When the sovereign was absent, being in one of the many military campaigns, she summoned the best builders and craftsmen of Samarkand to the palace and invited them to erect a building.
Work began immediately. Walls grew quickly. Increasingly, she visited the construction site Bibi Khanym. She hurried the main architect to complete the work. But the architect fascinated by the beauty of the queen did not even think of rushing the builders.
Meanwhile, in Samarkand came the news of the imminent return of Timur. Bibi Hanim was nervous. Then the architect set a condition: "The mosque will be erected on time, but .... you, Queen, will give me a kiss." The queen was indignant: "I will give you any of my slaves of your choice.
Why do you look only at me? Look at these painted eggs, they are of different colors and not at all similar to each other, but if you break them, do they differ in any way? So are we women. " But the architect insisted: "I will answer you. Here are two identical glasses.
One of them I will fill with clear water, the other with white wine. And now they look alike, but if I touch them with my lips, one will burn me with melted fire, and I will not feel another. That is love. " Timur was already approaching Samarkand.
Bibi Khanim's chagrin had no limits. For so long a cherished surprise to the sovereign was threatened. In addition, as the legend says, the architect was young and handsome. And she agrees. The architect bowed to the beautiful Bibi Khanym.
At the last moment, she tried to cover her hand. But the kiss was so passionate that the heat penetrated it through the hand of the beautiful woman and left a scarlet stain on her cheek. After only a few days, Timur entered the city.
Domes and minarets rose before his eyes, surprising by its magnificence. But his joy was overshadowed. Seeing the trace of a kiss on Bibi Hanim’s face, he became enraged. Bibi Hanim admitted everything. At the behest of the "Iron Lame" the guards rushed to look for the architect.
Fleeing from his pursuers, he and his disciple climbed the minaret of the mosque. And when the guards ran up the countless steps behind him to the top, they found only one student. "Where is your teacher?" they asked.
“The teacher made his wings and flew off to Meshed,” he answered. Such is the beautiful legend. History does not know the name Bibi Hanim. It is known that Timur's older wife was called Saray-Mulk-Khanum.

There is another legend that the architect who built the mosque fell in love with the Chinese woman, Timur's wife, Bibi Khanum. Unfortunately, the romantic hopes of the young architect were doomed to disappointment, which resulted in the destruction of the building he had built.
It is worth noting that no reliable historical source confirms the data that Tamerlane had a wife who was known as Bibi Khanum (which means “older woman, wife” in Persian). Tamerlane’s elder wife, the imperious Sarai Mulk Khanum, after whom the mosque was named, does not resemble the beautiful heroine described in the legend.
It is known that it was Saray Mulk Khanum who managed the construction of another building located opposite Bibi Khanum, which is often called the mausoleum of Bibii Khanum.

“Samarkand. City and Legends. Authors K.Karimova, T.Alimov. "Legends of Samarkand" The author is Candidate of Historical Sciences N. Yakubov.