Emin Minaret


Emin Minaret

The Emin Minaret (or Su Gong Ta) stands by the Uyghur Mosque located in Turfan, Xinjiang, China. At 44 meters (144 ft) it is the tallest minaret in China.cite web
year=
month=
url=http://archnet.org/library/sites/one-site.jsp?site_id=5033
title=Amin Mosque
publisher=archnet.org
accessdate=2007-10-02
] The Qing Dynasty conquered this largely Muslim region in the 1750s by defeating the Mongols and the Uyghurs with their superior weaponry in a series of battles. As conquerors, they ruled the local population with a light hand and were tolerant of the Muslim religion.cite book
first=Patricia
last= Ebrey
year= 2006
title=The Cambridge Illustrated History of China
edition=
publisher=Cambridge University Press
location=
pages= pp 227–228
id= ISBN 0-521-43519-X
]

The minaret was started in 1777 during the reign of the Qing Emperor Qianlong (1735–1796) and was completed only one year later.cite web
year=
month=
url=http://www.orientalarchitecture.com/turpan/eminminaretindex.htm
title=Emin Minaret (1777-1778)
publisher=orientalarchitecture.com
accessdate=2007-10-01
] It was financed by local leaders and built to honor the exploits of a local Turfan general, Emin Khoja, hence the name "Emin". [cite web
year=
month=
url=http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/xinjiang/turpan/emin_tower.htm
title=Emin Minaret (Su Gong Ta)
publisher=travelchinaguide.com
accessdate=2007-10-02
] The Emin Minaret is located along the ancient Silk Route (near the ancient Uyghur capital of Gaochang). Nearby is the site of the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves.

The arid landscape of southern Xinjiang has long been connected to both East Asia and West Asia by historical trade routes such as the Silk Route and the land around these crossroads became the location for most of the Uyghur Islamic structures in Xinjiang. The area has long served as a conduit for cultural exchange between different ethnic and religious groups. The Emin Minaret, like other Uyghur mosques and minarets, reflects this in its combination of traditional Islamic features and local Uyghur building traditions.

Description

The Emin Minaret was constructed by local craftsmen using local materials. The structure itself is made of wood and brick. It is an elegant, circular, tapered Islamic dome, with a diameter over 40 meters (144 feet) at its base and tapering to 2.8 meters at the top. The exterior is of sun-dried yellow bricks that narrow in shape as the tower rises. The richly textured bricks are carved into intricate, repetitive, geometric and floral mosaic patterns, such as stylized flowers and rhombuses. This mixture of Chinese and Islamic features is seen only in minarets in China. The unique geometric patterns are characteristic of Islamic architecture and have no counterparts in the architecture of China other than in Muslim structures. Positioned in the tower are several long, narrow windows at different heights and facing different directions that provide light and ventilation.cite book
first=Sun
last= Dazhang
year= 2002
title=Chinese Architecture -- The Qing Dynasty
edition= English Ed.
publisher=Yale University Press
location=
pages= pp 335–338
id= ISBN 0-300-09559-7
] The minaret has no stories. Inside, the spiraling internal support serves as a winding 72-step staircase to the top.

The Emin Minaret is on the northeast corner of the Uyghur Mosque, a rectangular structure with an iwan or mihrab, a pointed-arch niche enclosed on three sides but open to a large covered courtyard on the fourth. The mosque is divided into an inner hall for use in colder months and larger outer halls for warmer months. The outer halls are built with elegant, tall, thin, wooden pillars and beams supporting its exposed timber frame, and are open and spacious, while the inner hall is small and enclosed. Unlike Chinese structures, there are no images.

Islam

The towering architectural shape of a minaret, always taller than it is wide, is a clear sign of the presence of Islam as are the abstract, geometric decorative elements. Although the minaret has served many functions over time, in Islam its primary function has always been as the main lookout around which to draw members of the community. [cite web
year=
month=
url=http://www.muslimheritage.com/topics/default.cfm?articleID=647
title=The Minaret, Symbol of a Civilization
publisher=muslimheritage.com
accessdate=2007-10-01
] The ground floor of a minaret is always square while the higher parts may be of varying shapes, including round, square, or octagonal. [cite web
year=
month=
url=http://i-cias.com/e.o/minaret.htm
title=Minaret - Encyclopedia of the Orient
publisher=
accessdate=2007-10-01
] The minaret is the most distinctive feature of any mosque and this is no different in the case of the Emin Minaret. [cite web
year=
month=
url=http://www.islamicarchitecture.org/architecture/minaret-types.html
title=Minaret Types / The Mosque (Masjid) / History of the Mosque / Islamic Architecture /
publisher=
accessdate=2007-10-01
]

ee also

*Chinese mosques

Footnotes

External links

* [http://www.china.org.cn/english/en-xjjz/index_1.htm Islamic Architecture in Xinjiang]
* [http://archnet.org/library/sites/one-site.jsp?site_id=5033 Amin Mosque - Emin Minaret]
* [http://english.ccnt.com.cn/?catog=architecture&file=080300&page=3&ads=service_001 The Turban Emin Minaret]


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