CULTURE


Mausoleum of Aga Khan - one of most visited monuments in Aswan, Egypt

Baku, May 18, AZERTAC

One of the most visited monuments in Aswan is the Mausoleum of the Aga Khan, a small square building with turrets at its corners and a fanned staircase leading to the entrance.

Housed under a domed structure, inside lies a tomb carved from one piece of white Carrara marble.

The building‘s popularity lies not only in its simple architectural beauty—the pink granite structure appears to glow at sunset—but in the love story that led to its being built, and the esteem with which the late Aga Khan III is held within the Islamic world. Three years before his death, in 1957, Aga Khan III chose the spot as his resting place. His third wife, French-born Princess Yvonne Aga Khan, known as the Begum, was given the task of building the mausoleum. After consulting a British professor of Islamic architecture, a friend of her husband’s, she took Cairo’s Fatmid Giushi mosque and its mihrab (a niche in the wall of a mosque) as her inspiration. She also chose a young architect, Fareed El-Shafei.

The mausoleum was completed in 1959 and her husband laid to rest there 16 months after he died.

After the Aga Khan’s death, the Begum stayed at her nearby house for six months of each year, when she placed a rose on her husband’s tomb every day until she died in 2000.

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