Pir-Mardakan - a khanegah-mausoleum of 12th-13th centuries in Azerbaijan’s Shamaki district

Baku, April 13, AZERTAC

Sufism, which is a philosophical trend based on Islamic world outlook, began to form in the middle of 7th century.

In Arabic language the word “suf” means “wool” and it is connected with the woolen clothes, which Sufis put on.

There were many special buildings in Azerbaijan, distinguished by their architecture and called “khanegah”, “zaviye”, “tekiye”, “ribat”. These sites served as a religious retreat for dervishes who lived and worshipped here.

There are a number of Sufi khanegahs in the territory of modern Azerbaijan, Pir-Huseyn on the river Pirsaatchay (11–12th centurıes), Pir-Mardakan (12-13th centuries) near to city of Shamakhi, Pir-Yuneyd (the end of 14th century) and the khanegah of Sheikh Safiaddin (15th century), to name a few.

The appearance of khanegahs was directly linked with wide spreading of Sufism - mystic-ascetic tendency in the countries of Muslim East in the period of Abbasid caliphs.

Pir-Mardakan is a khanegah-mausoleum of the 12-13th centuries located in the village of Goylar of the Shamakhi district of Azerbaijan, 17 km south of the city center.

The khanegah complex is located on an old trade route that once connected Shamakhi with other cities in the near and Middle East.

The khanegah complex consists of the well-preserved building of the mausoleum itself, the hujra, the prayer hall-mosque, the minaret, the caravanserai, the courtyard with walls, and also auxiliary buildings.

The mausoleum itself is built of well-hewn lime mortar. According to the plan, the inner part of the mausoleum is square, resembling an octahedron.

The octahedron completes the octahedral prism, covered by a pyramidal tent.

Around the mausoleum there is a huge cemetery with epitaphs of sheikh scholars of the 12th-13th centuries and later.

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