Zeravshan Okrug. City of Samarkand. Tillia Kari Madrasah Built by Yalanktush Bagadur, Vezir to Imam-Quli Khan in 1648 (1058 Hegira)
This photograph of the main entrance to the Tillia Kari Madrasah in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) is from the archeological part of Turkestan Album. The six-volume photographic survey was produced in 1871-72 under the patronage of General Konstantin P. von Kaufman, the first governor-general (1867-82) of Turkestan, as the Russian Empire’s Central Asian territories were called. The album devotes special attention to Samarkand’s Islamic architecture, such as 14th- and 15th-century monuments from the reign of Timur (Tamerlane) and his successors. In the center of Samarkand is the Registan ensemble, composed of three major examples of a madrasah (religious school). The third Registan component, the Tillia Kari Madrasah, was built in 1646-60, on the site of a former caravanserai. The entrance to the rectangular courtyard is framed by a great iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open), flanked by a two-story arcade with rooms for scholars. A more usual design would have the rooms facing inward onto the courtyard. Tillia Kari is also unusual in that its main entrance is on the “side” facade, rather than on the same axis as its mosque (visible on the left), in the center of the east wall. Structural damage in this active seismic zone is evident in the vertical crack in the cylinder (left) that supported the original dome of the mosque. The cylinder and the dome were restored in the late 20th century. In the foreground are houses of mud brick.
- acku Afghanistan
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