Based on fragmented existing evidence, this lecture reconstructs the history of the Golden Horde architecture in the East European Plain between the 13th and the 16th centuries. During this period, the progressively islamicized nomadic empire of the Golden Horde and its successor states were in continuous conflict with the Slavic and Christian Orthodox principalities of northeastern Rus’, gradually united by the Grand Principality of Moscow. This conflict determined the posthumous fate of the Golden Horde architecture in the Volga River basin, the North Caucasus and the steppes north of the Black Sea, where it was erased by the Russian colonists (even though occasionally documented and protected by the government officials). The main focus of this lecture is the architecture of conic-domed mausoleums, which, as will be demonstrated, were the likely prototypes of tent (or shatër) domes of Christian cathedrals built within the Grand Principality of Moscow. The lecture also discusses the Golden Horde urbanism in the Volga Region, the North Caucasus and the steppes north of the Black Sea. It concludes with the brief survey of the architecture of the Crimean Khanate, the last fragment of the Golden Horde, which existed as a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire until the end of the 18th century; unlike the other regions of the Golden Horde, dominated by the Central Asian tradition, the Islamic monuments of Crimea reflect the influence of the Anatolian Seljuk architecture.
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