Approaching from the east to Samarkand, from Tashkent, 20 years ago you could see the huge ruins. Today, there stands one of the greatest buildings of Samarkand - Bibi Khanum Mosque.
The name of the mosque can be translated as "the eldest", which is associated with his beloved wife of Tamerlane. But there is the option that the building was named after the mother of the eldest wife of the ruler.
There are several legends and stories of building the mosque, but there are few reliable facts. Built account for the year 1399-1404, during the conquest campaigns of Tamerlane in India. The magnitude of construction strikes - the rectangle of external walls of the mosque has a length of 167 meters and a width of 109. There are also sources that the height of the minarets reached 80 meters that seemed unattainable for the construction technology of the time.
However, given the fact that the mosque began to break down during the life of Tamerlane, one can assume that the height of 80 meters yet been reached. Another view considers the destruction of the mosque to the divine will. It is said that the mosque was built as a sacrifice to God for a successful campaign in India, but God did not accept the sacrifice. It is known that the campaign in India was the bloodiest in the biography of the commander.
For hundreds of years, this magnificent structure was breaking down under its own weight, because of the earthquakes, and disassembled by people feared that towers will fall on passers-by. And only in the XX century, Soviet scientists decided to restore the mosque, but the project was shelved. Only in 2003, after 15 years of renovation, this historic monument of Samarkand was presented on display to residents and visitors. There was done tremendous work, which does not end today.