Antiquities of Samarkand. Inner Courtyard of the Shir Dar Madrasah (Eastern Side). View of Two-Storied Cells Surrounding the Inner Courtyard


This photograph of the eastern side 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. Shown here is the courtyard view of a two-storied structure with arches flanked by polychrome ceramic strips with intricate decorative figures. Beyond these arches were rooms designated for scholars.

Subject Date

Publication Information

Saint Petersburg, Russia


Title in Original Language

Самаркандския древности. Медрессэ Шир дар. Внутрен. двор (восточная сторона). Вид двух этажных келий окружающих внутренность двора

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photographic print : albumen


  • Illustration in: Turkestan Album, Archaeological Part, 1871-1872, part 1, volume 2, plate 98.

Last updated: September 30, 2016