Musalla complex
Remains of Musalla Complex seen on 2005.
Location in Afghanistan
Alternative nameMusallah complex, Gauhar Shad Musallah
LocationHerat, Afghanistan
RegionHerat Province
CoordinatesCoordinates: 34°21′33″N 62°11′10″E / 34.359284°N 62.18608°E / 34.359284; 62.18608
TypeIslamic religious complex
Height55 m (180 ft) minarets
BuilderQueen Goharshad of Timurid Empire of Herāt.
EventsRuins razed in 1885
Site notes
Public accessYes
Architectural stylesTimurid
Architectural detailsTimurid Mosque, Shah Rukh madressa, mausoleums, 20 minarets,

The Musalla complex, also known as the Musallah Complex or the Musalla of Gawhar Shah, is a former Islamic religious complex located in Herat, Afghanistan. The 15th-century complex is in ruins today. The complex ruins consist of the five huge 55 metre (180 feet) Musallah Minarets of Herat, mausoleums of Mir Ali Sher Navai, Sultan Husayn Mirza Bayqara and the ruins of a large mosque and a madrasa complex. Construction on the complex was begun in 1417 under Queen Goharshad Begum, the wife of Timurid ruler Shah Rukh who established Herat as the capital of the Timurid Empire.[1]


It is thought that a madrasa was built in 1417 and a mosque was then built in 1426.[1] Sultan Husain's Madrasa was most likely built around 1493 (898 A.H.). The site contains examples of Timurid architecture although it has been heavily damaged, first by artillery fire in 1863, then during the Panjdeh incident of 1885 when most of the ruins were razed in an attempt to prevent its use as a base by the invading Russian army. Finally, an earthquake in 1932 destroyed two of the mosque's four minarets.[1]

The site rose to the attention of Europeans when it was visited and photographed in the 1930s by the travel writers Robert Byron and Annemarie Schwarzenbach. Byron's book, The Road to Oxiana mentions the minarets and discusses Timurid history.


Some emergency preservation work was carried out at the site in 2001 by the Society for the Preservation of Afghanistan's Cultural Heritage (SPACH), which included building protective walls around the Gawhar Shad Mausoleum and Sultan Husain Madrasa, repairing the remaining minaret of Gawhar Shad's Madrasa, and replanting the mausoleum garden.[1][2][3][4] In 2020, the Aga Khan Development Network made a pledge to the President of Afghanistan to restore an ancient minaret at risk of collapse.[5][6]


See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Masjid-i Jami'-i Gawhar Shad - General view of the complex from west, with Gawhar Shad's Mausoleum seen at center and a canal in the foreground. The three minarets on the left marked the corners of Sultan Husain Baiqara's Madrasa, while the minaret at center once flanked the portal to Gawhar Shad's Madrasa. The two minarets seen on the right are the only remnants of Gawhar Shad's Mosque". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Mousallah Complex in Herat – Afghanistan – Tourist Spots Around the World". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Afghanistan: Race To Preserve Historic Minarets Of Herat, Jam". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Tư vấn sản phẩm". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  5. ^ "AKDN Vows to Restore Ancient Minaret in Herat". TOLOnews. Retrieved 2021-02-08.
  6. ^ "Ambassador Hirji discuss Afghan peace process with Minister Naderi". Afghanistan Times. Retrieved 2021-02-08.