Why is Emin Minaret special?
The Emin Minaret, also known as Sugong Tower, is located 2 kilometers east of Turpan City, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. It is one of the most famous Islamic constructions and the only Islamic tower in China. With a height of 44 meters, it is also the tallest minaret in China. And it is famous for its excellent architectural design. At the same time, the hidden cultural value is also considered quite important to people who come to visit it.
Emin Minaret was built in 1778 in honor of the heroic Turpan general, Emin Khoja, hence the name “Emin Minaret”. Emin Khoja was an outstanding patriot who defended the unification of China throughout his life. Influenced by Emin, his sons made contributions during the wars. Upon Emin's death, one of his sons inherited Emin's rank and became the second Turpan ruler.
Emin Minaret Highlights
Typical Uyghur Architecture
Emin Minaret displays the typical features of Uyghur architecture. It was constructed by local craftsmen using wood and brick. Positioned in the minaret are several long, narrow windows at different heights and facing different directions that provide light and ventilation. In the center of the minaret there is a brick-piled column and 72 steps around it. These spiraling steps lead to the dome-shaped top. There is an observation room on the tower roof. Although the minaret has served many functions over time, in Islam its primary function has always been as the main lookout around which to draw members of the community.
Excellent Design and Decoration
The huge column made of grey bricks and earth would be dull if not for its decorative patterns. Smart Uyghur architects used bricks to form 15 different patterns such as waves, flowers or rhombuses. What's more, the architects even took the surroundings into consideration. Set against the azure sky, silvery Tianshan Mountain and the scarlet Flaming Mountain, Emin Minaret displays a pristine but dignified air. Only when you look up at the minaret will you find how crystal blue and high the sky of Turpan is.