The publication presents the author’s analysis of medieval Islamic architectural monuments described in the Safarname (Book of Travels) of Nasir Khusraw, 11th century Persian and Tajik poet, philosopher, traveller, and preacher. Khusraw travelled from Khorasan to the countries of Near and Middle East, Asia Minor, North Africa and Muslim shrines in Arabia for seven years in search of knowledge about the world and the essence of life.
Based on Safarname, medieval written sources, and contemporary studies, the author introduces readers to the rich and diverse architectural environment of those cities which Nasir Khusraw visited, identifies the monuments described by the traveller, compares them with the modern conditions of the monuments, determines the history of the construction and dates, and reconstructs their original shape.
The work is valuable for its detailed description of Islamic shrines with stunning architectural forms, rich symbols of architectural language and elegant decorations. The author recreates the architectural environment in the middle of the 11th century by illustrating the phases of Nasir Khusraw’s travels through 300 photographs, drawings, and maps of the traveller’s routes. The book is meant for a wide range of people interested in Islamic arts and cultures including architects, art critics, historians, orientalists and ethnographers.
This book is a joint publication of The Institute of Ismaili Studies and the University of Central Asia.