Mausoleum of Kara Koyunlu emirs

The Mausoleum of Kara Koyunlu emirs or Mausoleum of Turkmen emirs (Armenian: "Կարա-Կոյունլուների դամբարան", Turkmen: "Türkmen emirleriniň aramgähi"), also known as Emir Pir-Hussein Mausoleum, is a Turkmen[1] mausoleum erected in 1413 and located in the village of Argavand, Ararat Province, on the outskirts of the Armenian capital Yerevan.[2] The mausoleum is tomb of Emir Saad - the chieftain of the Turkic Saadlu tribe, who had accompanied Timur from Central Asia.[3][4] The tomb was restored and ceremonially reopened to the public in 2002.[5]

Mausoleum of Turkmen emirs
Emir Pir-Hussein Mausoleum, Argavand Southeast.jpg
Southeast façade of the Emir Pir-Hussein Mausoleum in Argavand
LocationArgavand, Ararat Province,  Armenia
Mausoleum of Kara Koyunlu emirs is located in Armenia
Mausoleum of Kara Koyunlu emirs
Shown within Armenia
Geographic coordinates40°09′23″N 44°26′23″E / 40.156328°N 44.439759°E / 40.156328; 44.439759Coordinates: 40°09′23″N 44°26′23″E / 40.156328°N 44.439759°E / 40.156328; 44.439759
TypeMausoleum/funerary tower
Direction of façadeeast
MaterialsTuff (tower), brick (dome), blue glazed ceramic tile (decorative trim)


Dome of the Emir Pir-Hussein Mausoleum with Arabic inscription.

The Kara Koyunlu mausoleum has a decagonal plan. Each of the monument's façades extend from the base of the tower until midway up the dome. Architecturally, it is divided into three sections; a lower section with an entrance, a middle section with two windows and decorative elements, and an upper section consisting a dome. The main body of the tower is constructed of tuff stone, while brick was used as the underlying material for the construction of the dome.

Decorative elements include a blue and turquoise glazed ceramic tile trim that is still visible along the upper portion of the tower, just below the base of the dome and above an inscription. Below the tile trim is some decorative molding, while a frieze in bas-relief encircles the top portion of the funerary tower is inscribed in Arabic and begins with a famous sura from the Quran. It then goes on to commemorate Emir Pir-Hussein, the son of Sa'ad. The inscription says:

In the name of Allah gracious and merciful! Allah... there is no god besides Him, alive (or) real. Neither drowsiness nor sleep can seize Him. He owns everything in the heavens and on the earth. Who will plead, except with His permission? He knows what was before them and what will be after them, while they perceive nothing from His knowledge other than He wishes. His throne embraces the heavens and the earth, and He is not burdened by guarding them. Indeed great and high is He. Ordered to build this blessed tomb (kubba) the greatest, the noblest, abundant in generosity and magnanimity, the support of kings and sultans, refuge for the weak and the poor, guardian of scientists and those who seek knowledge, aid to the poor and wayfarers, the glory of the state and the faith, Emir Pir-Hussein, son of the late absolved Emir elevated to His patronage, the most merciful Emir Sa’ad… may the earth lie light upon him… in the days of the reign of the Great Sultan, the most generous Khaqan, the Sultan of Sultans in the East and the West, the aid of the state and the faith, Pir Budaq Khan and Yusef Noyän… may Allah perpetuate their power, on the fifteenth of Rajab of the year 816 [11 October 1413].[2]

There is a single entrance into the mausoleum's interior. Two small rectangular windows are located in the north and south façades, centered between the upper and lower portions of the tower.



  1. ^ Karamyan, Sevak (2012). "Armenia" (BRILL ed.). Yearbook of Muslims in Europe, vol.4. p. 23. ISBN 9789004225213.CS1 maint: location (link)
  2. ^ a b Kiesling, Brady (2005). Rediscovering Armenia: Guide (2nd ed.). Yerevan: Matit Graphic Design Studio. pp. 62–63. ISBN 99941-0-121-8.
  3. ^ Floor 2008, p. 170.
  4. ^ Bournoutian 1992, p. 2.
  5. ^ Danielian, Gayane (11 January 2002). "Seljuk Tomb In Armenia Reopened After Renovation". RFE/RL.
  • Brady Kiesling, Rediscovering Armenia, p. 31-32; original archived at, and current version online on
  • Floor, Willem M. (2008). Titles and Emoluments in Safavid Iran: A Third Manual of Safavid Administration, by Mirza Naqi Nasiri. Washington, DC: Mage Publishers. pp. 1–337. ISBN 978-1933823232.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Bournoutian, George A. (1992). "The Khanate of Erevan Under Qajar Rule: 1795-1828". Persian Studies Series. Mazda Publishers. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

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