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Emin Minaret

Emin Minaret

The Emin Minaret (Chinese pinyin: Su Gong Ta) is located 2 kilometers east of Turfan City and is the tallest minaret in China. It is 44 meters high, and the only Islamic tower among hundreds of renowned towers in China.

The minaret was built in 1777 during the Qing Dynasty commemorating the hero Emin Khoja, which is a Turpan general and patriot who defended unifying China throughout his life, hence its name “Emin.” This patriot had eight sons, all of whom, under the influence of their father, made great contributions in defending the unification of China. After the death of Emin Khoja, Emin’s second son “Zisu” continued building this minaret with his own money. Thus, the minaret is also named “Su Gong Ta” (Su’s Tower).

With a history of more than 200 years, the area around Emin Minaret functioned as an intersection for cultural exchange between different ethnic and religious groups since it is an important site along the Silk Road. The Emin Minaret reflects this by presenting a combination of Islamic features and local Uyghur traditions in construction.

The Emin Minaret has great architectural significance. The minaret is 44-meters tall, and has no stories. It only has an internal spiral support that serves as a winding staircase leading to the top of the minaret. The base of the diameter of 10 meters and the minaret tapers into an Islamic dome with a diameter of 2.8 meters. In the center of the minaret there is a brick-piled pillar with a staircase of 72 steps spiraled towards the top.

There are 14 openings of lighting and ventilation. They are located in various directions with various heights. At the top, there is an attic with large windows on all directions through which marvelous landscape outside can be appreciated. The exterior of the minaret embraces unique features. These features include decorative patterns all of all kinds, waves, flowers and rhombuses. This mixture of Islamic and Chinese features can only be seen in minarets in China.

The Su Gong Ta Mosque, is one of the largest mosques in Xinjiang and stands beside the Emin Minaret. This large mosque can accommodate up to 1,000 people.