Antiquities of Samarkand. Madrasah of Nadir Divan-Begi, Congregational Mosque (Friday Mosque). Column Base


This photograph of a detail of the mosque at the Nadir Divan-Begi 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 architectural heritage. Located next to the Khodzha Akhrar shrine, this madrasah (religious school) was completed in 1631 by Nadir Divan-Begi, vizier and uncle of the Bukharan ruler Imam-Quli Khan. The madrasah was planned as a rectangular courtyard enclosed by a cloister for scholars and a mosque at the opposite end from the main entrance. This view shows the severely eroded marble base for an attached column on the right corner of the iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) arch of the mosque. This marble element begins with an octahedron resting on a square base and buttressed at the corners by pyramidal elements. The octahedral form rises in a tapering, concave curve to an octagonal “collar,” above which the column flares outward until the full octahedral form is reasserted. At this point, lotus figures effect a transformation to a round column. Ceramic fragments are visible on the inner (left) and outer walls of the iwan.

Subject Date

Publication Information

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Title in Original Language

Самаркандския древности. Медресэ Надыр Диван Беги, соборная мечеть (мечети джами.) База колонны

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photographic print : albumen


  • Illustration in: Turkestan Album, Archaeological Part, 1871-1872, part 1, volume 2, plate 144.

Last updated: September 30, 2016