Legendary Architects of Turkmenistan

5 March 2021

“The mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar is one of few buildings in Merv that survived the Mongol devastation and subsequent wars. It can still be seen from afar on the way to Old Merv. According to Yakut (13th century), the blue dome of the mausoleum was visible at a distance of one day’s journey of the caravan, and this is about 30 kilometres! Inside the building, high under the domed vault, the name of the master who led the construction has been preserved. His name was Muhammed Atsiz al-Sarahsi. And although nothing else is known about him, the very creation of his allows us to understand that he was a great architect of his time. Scientists found out that the system of a double-walled brick dome, invented by him, was repeated only three centuries later in distant Italy, in the covering of the dome of the main cathedral of Florence.”

President of Turkmenistan

a senior research worker at the Institute of History and Archaeology, Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan. Photo: Sagit BATALOV
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