The three buildings surrounding Samarkand’s Registan Square comprise one of the world’s most spectacular architectural ensembles: The Registan. Within the fifteenth century, Ulug Beg, grandson of the Turkic conqueror Timur, constructed a bunch of mosques, caravanserais (retailers’ inns), and the Ulug Beg, a medresa (Koranic school), across the city’s sandy market sq. Except for the Ulug Beg, the other buildings had been later destroyed and changed within the seventeenth century by two extra medresas, the Sher Dor and Tilla Kari.
The three medresas had been constructed over an interval of 230 years. The first was the Ulug Beg, begun in 1417. Straight opposite, the Sher Dor (“Lion Bearer”), modeled on the Ulug Beg, was added two centuries later. Its unconventional façade depicts live animals and human faces (an interpretation of the Koran forbids this). The mixed mosque and medresa of Tilla Kari (“Gold Embellished”) was added within the mid-seventeenth century. Its ceiling seems domed, but is, in reality, flat – an effect created by the reducing pattern dimension towards the center. The 2 later buildings have been inspired by the earlier Timurid style.
With room for over one hundred students and lecturers, lodged in fifty two cells across the courtyard, the Ulug Beg was successfully a college. Not like the traditianal medresa, which was wholly dedicated to Islamic research, college students here additionally obtained an training in arithmetic and the sciences. This was a mirrored image of Ulug Beg’s passions. Often known as the “astronomer king,” he endowed Samarkand with one of the world’s earliest observatories: a two-story structure constructed on a hill and meant to function as an enormous astronomical instrument pointing at the heavens. Only its round foundations survive.
Till lately, the portion of Central Asia once known as Transoxariia, was isolated and largely forgotten. However within the Middle Ages, it was the glittering heart of the Islamic world, its cities boasting grand palaces and mosques. Most magnificent of all was Samarkand. Already famend by the time of Alexander the Great, town owes its legendary popularity to the leader of the Timurid empire, Timur (1336-1405).