Architectural Odyssey: The Safarname of Nasir Khusraw

Type: Book
Date: 06 June 2017
The book presents the author’s analysis of medieval Islamic architectural monuments described in the Safarname (Book of Travels) of Nasir Khusraw, 11th century Persian and Tajik poet, philosopher, traveler, and preacher. Khusraw travelled from Khorasan to the countries of Near and Middle East, Asia Minor, North Africa and Muslim shrines in Arabia for seven years in search of new knowledge about the world and the essence of life. 

Based on Safarname, medieval written sources, and contemporary studies, the author introduces readers to the rich and diverse architectural environment of those cities which Nasir Khusraw visited, identifies the monuments described by the traveler, compares them with the modern conditions of the monuments, determines the history of their construction and dates, and reconstructs their original shape. 

The work is valuable for its detailed description of Islamic shrines with stunning architectural forms, rich symbols of architectural language and elegant decorations. The author recreates the architectural environment in the middle of the 11th century by illustrating the phases of Nasir Khusraw’s travels through 300 photographs, drawings, and maps of the traveler’s routes. The book is meant for a wide range of people interested in Islamic arts and cultures including architects, art critics, historians, orientalists, and ethnographers.

The book can be purchased from University of Central Asia’s Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit. For more information, please contact publications@ucentralasia.org.