Antiquities of Samarkand. Inner Courtyard of the Shir Dar Madrasah (Western Side). Inscription along the Left Side of the Main Niche
This photograph of the interior courtyard of the Shir Dar 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 second madrasah in the ensemble, the Shir Dar, was built in 1619-36, during the Astrakhanid dynasty. Despite significant damage over the centuries, it remains one of the most lavishly ornamented monuments in Central Asia. The form of this madrasah is typical for Central Asia, with a rectangular courtyard enclosed by a two-story arcade containing rooms for scholars. Visible here is the first bay on the left (south) side of the west wall, with surfaces covered in polychrome majolica tiles. On the right are vertical ceramic strips that form the south corner of the main entrance arch. To the left of these strips is a vertical band of script in the Thuluth cursive style. Also visible are geometric and floral patterns.
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Title in Original Language
Самаркандския древности. Медресэ Шир Дар внутренний двор (западная сторона.) Надпись полевую сторону главной ниши
Type of Item
1 photographic print : albumen
- Illustration in: Turkestan Album, Archaeological Part, 1871-1872, part 1, volume 2, plate 91.
Last updated: September 30, 2016