Shah-i-Zinda, one of Samarkand’s most popular sites, is a street of tombs containing some of the most spectacular tile work in the world. Established over a millennia ago, temples, mausoleums, and other religious structures have been added over the centuries – mostly between the 14th and 19th centuries – making it a fascinating study in architectural style.
The innermost shrine (and the holiest structure) comprises a complex of quiet rooms believed to be the tomb of Qusam ibn-Abbas, cousin of the Prophet Mohammed who brought Islam to the region in the 7th century. The Shodi Mulk Oko Mausoleum, one of the most beautiful tombs in the Shah-i-Zinda complex, is covered in majolica and terracotta that needed little restoration when the rest of the complex was aggressively restored in 2005.
Shah-i-Zinda remains a place of pilgrimage for many Muslims, so remember to dress conservatively during your visit.