Antiquities of Samarkand. Madrasah of Ulugh Beg. Plan, Elevation, and Sections


This plan, elevation and sections of the Ulugh Beg 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 oldest extant component on Registan Square is the Ulugh Beg Madrasah, built in 1417-20 by the scholar-king and grandson of Timur, Ulugh Beg. This madrasah was long considered the leading center of Islamic education in Central Asia. The plan, with masonry walls marked in red, shows the entrance portal and iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) arch (bottom), which is also presented in the elevation on the right. Included in the plan and in this east facade elevation are two minarets. The plan also shows the many cells or rooms for scholars along the courtyard. On the bottom right is a section of one of those cells (khujras). The top of the plan includes a mosque, situated at the west wall of the courtyard and rendered in a section drawing on the bottom left. The four corner chambers are lecture rooms (darskhonas).

Subject Date

Publication Information

Saint Petersburg, Russia


Title in Original Language

Самаркандския древности. Медрессэ Улуг-Бек. План, фасад, и разрезы

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 drawing : hand-colored


  • Illustration in: Turkestan Album, Archaeological Part, 1871-1872, part 1, volume 2, plate 107.

Last updated: September 30, 2016