Antiquities of Samarkand. Mosque of Khodzha Akhrar and Madrasah of Nadir Divan-Begi. Plans, Elevations, and Sections


These plans, sections and elevations of the Khodzha Akhrar shrine in Samarkand (Uzbekistan), are 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 architectural heritage. On the upper left is the site plan for a group of structures dedicated to the memory of the renowned 15th-century mystic Khodzha Akhrar (1403-89). The main components are the winter and summer mosques with iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) arches whose wooden columns rest on carved marble bases (shown here as a detail). The ensemble also included a pool and cemetery with marble sarcophagi. On the right is a plan for the nearby madrasah, or religious school, parts of which perhaps date back to a 15th-century mosque of Khodzha Akhrar. The madrasah proper was built in 1631 by Nadir Divan-Begi, vizier and uncle of the Bukharan ruler Iman-Quli Khan. Designed as a rectangular courtyard enclosed by a one-story cloister with cells (khujras) for scholars, the madrasah included a mosque and lecture halls (darskhonas). The main visual features of the complex are the two facades with iwan arches, shown here in elevation drawings.

Subject Date

Publication Information

Saint Petersburg, Russia


Title in Original Language

Самаркандския древности. Мечеть Ходжа Ахрара и медрессэ Надыр Диван Беги. Планы, фасады, и разрезы

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 drawing : hand-colored


  • Illustration in: Turkestan Album, Archaeological Part, 1871-1872, part 1, volume 2, plate 137.

Last updated: September 30, 2016