The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Vii. The City of Samarkand

Samarkand bazaar

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ON Thursday, the 30th of October, the lord left the encampment, and went to the city of Samarkand, where he lodged at some houses and a mosque which he had ordered to be built for the burial of one of his grandsons, named Mohammed Sultan Meerza, who was killed in Turkey, when Timur Beg conquered the Turk; and this grandson had himself taken the Turk prisoner, but had died of his wounds. The lord loved this grandson very dearly, and had, therefore, ordered this mosque to be built in his honour. The lord went on that day to celebrate a vigil feast, and invited the ambassadors. When they came, they were shown the chapel and tomb. This chapel was square and very high, and was covered, both inside and out, with blue and gold ornaments. When this grandson died in Turkey, the lord sent the body to be interred in Samarkand, and ordered this mosque to be built. When the lord arrived, he said the chapel was too low, so he ordered it to be pulled down, and rebuilt in ten days. They worked day and night, and he himself came twice to the city, to watch the progress; and the chapel was finished in ten days. It is a wonder that so great a work could have been completed in so short a time. In honour of his grandson the lord gave a feast on this day, at which many people were present, and much food was brought in, according to custom. After they had eaten, a councillor of the lord named Xamelaque Meerza, took the ambassadors before the lord, and dressed them in robes of honour, and in furs, which they wear in cold weather, lined with silk. These robes had two marten skins, one on each side of the neck. They also put hats on their heads, and gave them a bag containing one thousand five hundred bits of silver, being money which they call tangaes, each piece worth two silver rials. They then made their obeisance to the lord, according to the custom; and the lord said that they should come to him on another day, when he would speak with them, and dismiss them, to return to his son the king. When the lord saw that this work was completed, he ordered another to be built in the city, being moved by a desire to ennoble the city of Samarkand, and this new work was built for the following purpose.