MOMINE KHATUN TOMB
Momine Khatun Tomb is one of the most exquisite models of Turco-Islamic cultural monuments of Nakhchivan that was built by the distinguished architect Ajami Abubakroglu Nakhchivani and situated in Ajami seyrangah (the place for outings named after Ajami), in the city center of Nakhchivan. This monument consists of an underground crypt and an over ground tomb. The inside of the monument is round, but its outside is ten-sided shape. Previously, the height of the tomb was 35 meters high and under the influence of historical periods the tomb damaged and 25 meter high is left. The founder of the Great Atabeg State of Azerbaijan, Atabey Shamsaddin Eldaniz ordered to build this tomb in commemoration of his late wife, Momine Khatun who passed away in 1175. Meanwhile, soon after her death , he died life and constructional works of the tomb were completed during the reign of his son, Mahammad Jahan Pahlavan. Following the funeral of Momine Khatun, Atabey Shamsaddin Eldaniz and his son Mahammad Jahan Pahlavan were also entombed in the crypt of this historical monument.
Alongside the descriptive information about the tomb, sentences saying “All is temporal, except God, All is mortal, except Art”, as well as Mashallah (May God keep us from the evil eyes) were engraved on the inscription of the monument. In accordance to the information written on other inscriptions of the tomb, the constructional works of the monument were completed by Ajami Abubakroglu Nakhchivani in Muharram 582 Islamic (Hijri) Calendar (April 1186 CE).
Distinguished with its marvelous beauty, laudable compositional features and exquisite decorative ornaments, as well as considered masterpiece of medieval art of Azerbaijan, Momine Khatun Tomb is a globally important and magnificent monument. Therefore, distinguished art critic, professor V.M. Alpatov glorifies the monument by writing “thanks to its high sense of form, perfection of classical composition and comprehensive execution, one can not find such a magnificent monument even in Europe.”
Momine Khatun Tomb is an exquisite piece of art. Along the arches of the tomb, Yasin Sura of Koran was engraved as garnitures for turice, as well as the verse of Koran saying “All power Belongs to Almighty Allah” was written on the top of each arch. The 255th verse of Baqara Sura of Koran – Ayetel-kursu was engraved on a few meter height belt around the inside walls of the tomb.
There are four round medallions with a 1.5 meter diameter on the inside surface of the dome of the tomb. The word of “Mahammad” was repeated 8 times on the first medallion, the words of “Mahammad, Abu Bakr, Omar, Osman, Ali” were written on the 2nd and 4th medallions, the words of “Mahammad, Abu Bakr, Omar, Osman, Ali, Fatima, Hasan, Huseyn” were engraved on the 3rd medallion and the word of “Allah” was placed on the middle of the each medallion.
Highly appreciating Momine Khatun Tomb, National Leader of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev stated: “It is a priceless historical monument. Momine Khatun Tomb truly proves the establishment of great architectural school and rich cultural heritage formed in Azerbaijan during the 12th century and The Middle Ages. Alongside its architectural value, this monument is the sign of ancient and steady statehood traditions of Azerbaijan.”
Thanks to the kind attention and care of the Chairman of the Supreme Assembly of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, restoration works were conducted in Momine Khatun Tomb in 2003.