Completed in 1404, Gur-e-Emir Mausoleum serves as the final resting place for Timur and two of his sons and grandsons. Timur ordered the construction of the mausoleum for his favorite grandson, Muhammad Sultan, but when Timur died suddenly in 1405, he was interred there as well.
A geometric courtyard surrounds the tomb, which is easily identified by its ribbed azure copula and tiled minaret towers. Each burial place is marked with an ornate carved headstone, while the actual remains are interred in the mausoleum’s basement. Blue glazed tiles, gilt, and painted plaster and onyx cover the interior of the vault, including its dome.
According to local legend, an inscription was found within the sarcophagus of Timur when opened by Soviet scientists in 1941. The inscription read, “Whomsoever opens my tomb shall unleash an invader more terrible than I.” Mere hours later, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union.