Emin Minaret, Turpan
The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region over in western China offers some interesting places to visit and here is one that is worth a look if you find yourself in that part of the world.
The Emin Minaret is a Uyghur mosque located close to Turpan which was once an important city on the this branch of the Silk route. Whist this mosque is not that old, it is very well restored, and has an impressive 44 meters (144 ft) tall minaret. The gateway into the iwan at the Emin Minaret is also impressive. It dates to the mid-to-late eighteenth century and was built around the time the Qing Dynasty conquered the area.
Emin Minaret’s design is a simply, yet impressive, mix of traditional Islamic styles and Uyghur building methods using wood and sun-dried yellow bricks. The bricks are intricately carved with geometric and floral patterns. The interior of the mosque has wooden pillars and beams to hold up the ceiling.
The mosque was built to honour a local general called ‘Emin Khoja’.
Sadly I wasn’t able to climb the 72 steps inside the tower as visitors are no longer allowed to do so, but the views from the balcony overlooking the mosque are nice.
Here are some more photographs of Emin Minaret: