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Home \ Historical sights in Uzbekistan \ Mausoleum of St. Daniel

Mausoleum of St. Daniel


     On the outskirts of Samarkand - one of the oldest cities of world civilization, on the high cliff of Afrosiab hill, on the bank of the Siab River is the mausoleum of Khoja Doniyar. The mausoleum of the Prophet Khoja Doniyar is one of the most famous places of worship in Samarkand.
The study of the tomb of the Prophet Doniyar arouses great interest among historians of the whole world, due to the fact that Muslims, Christians and Jews treat him with the same respect. The Muslims call him the prophet Khodja Doniyar, the Christians call him the Saint Daniel, the Jews the prophet Daniel.
Who was the prophet Doniyar, and why are people of different denominations honoring him? According to historical sources, Daniel, who was born in Jerusalem in 603 BC. was the descendant of a noble Jewish family - the kind of kings David and Solomon. When Israel in 586 BC. was captured by the king of Babylonia, Novohudonosor, Daniel was taken to Babylon (the modern territory of Iraq). There, Daniel began to study various sciences, including astrology and art, as well as the interpretation of dreams. For a wise interpretation of one of the dreams, Novohudonosor showered him with his favors, making him the closest person to himself. In old age, Daniel moved to Susa (modern city of Shush in Iran), where he died and was buried in the royal burial vault.
Daniel in his turn is highly esteemed by the Christian church in view of his prediction of the term of coming into the world of the Messiah and his appearance in the Jerusalem temple, which Jesus Christ referred to under the New Testament testimony.
In the Islamic religion, the prophet Khoja Doniyar is an associate of Kusama ibn Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad.
How did it turn out that the remains of the saint were in Samarkand? Amir Temur in his next seven-year campaign to Asia Minor (1397-1404) learned about the wonderful tomb of the prophet, made a pilgrimage to the mausoleum and decided to bring the hand of the saint to Samarkand. At the approach to Samarkand at the foot of Afrosiab hill the caravan of Amir Timur stopped unexpectedly. Then it was decided to settle on this land, especially since this place was very similar to the burial in Susa. A mausoleum was built over their burial site. According to the legends, almost immediately after the burial from the stones began to beat the spring. Water from the spring, which beats today, is considered curative. From the outside, the mausoleum is inconspicuous and modest. Inside the mausoleum is a long (18 meters) grave, covered with a rich cloth. Above the grave is built a ceiling with four domes, it refers to the end of the XIX century. There is a belief that the crypt is constantly growing.
Next to the grave is a 500-year-old pistachio tree. According to one of the legends, the tree began to dry out. In 1996, after the filiation of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II, the tree suddenly gave green shoots. The mausoleum is an object of pilgrimage, both local residents and people from all over the world come from different faiths.

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