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Emin Minaret

Emin Minaret - Turpan Travel GuideTwo kilometers east of the Silk Road town of Turfan stands the Emin Mosque with its monumental minaret, the tallest in China. Also known as Sugong Tower (Sugong Ta), the minaret was built in a simple Islamic style. It is circular, 44 meters in height, and 10 meters in diameter at the base. Unfortunately, the minaret is no longer open to the public in an effort to preserve the structure, however, you can view the surroundings from the roof of the mosque. The mosque was built in 1779 during the Qing Dynasty in memory of the Uygur King Emin Khoja by his son King Suleiman. The large fortified mosque, raised on a platform, stands alone outside the city, devoid of any auxiliary buildings.

The prayer hall mostly borrows from the building traditions of the immediate Turban region. Poplar beams and stone-based poplar columns support the low, flat roof of the large, covered court, which is enveloped by stone galleries on three sides. Two small apertures in the woven vegetal roof of the court allow light into the dimly lit main prayer hall, creating a somber atmosphere. The mihrab is set in a domed room at the center of the qibla wall, with doors to the side galleries and to the main court. The two-bay deep stone galleries surrounding the court recall the structure of Abbasid mosques. Their domes are carried on pointed arches falling on heavy piers. Some bays along the outer ring of the galleries are enclosed into rooms. Unlike the mosques and mausoleums of Kashi, there is minimal sculptural and chromatic decoration inside the King Emin Mosque, which is simply adorned with arched niches carved into the plain mud brick walls. The floor is paved with square cut stone and partially covered with woven mats.

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