Antiquities of Samarkand. Madrasah of Tillia Kari. Main Facade (Southern). Beginning. Inscription along the inside of the Main Niche and Its Upper Part


This photograph of the main entrance to the Tillia Kari 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 third Registan component, the Tillia Kari Madrasah, was built in 1646-60 on the site of a former caravanserai. The entrance to the rectangular courtyard is framed by a great iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open). This view shows a polychrome majolica panel on the upper part of the right face of the iwan niche. The main part of the panel, recessed within a pointed arch, contains a pattern formed of interlocking Kufic script. The arch is surrounded by ceramic work with intricate geometric and botanical patterns. Above the pointed arch is an inscription band in a cursive style. The panel is framed by a raised decorative strip with geometric figures that culminates in another horizontal inscription band. The corner has an attached “rope” column.

Subject Date

Publication Information

Saint Petersburg, Russia


Title in Original Language

Самаркандския древности. Медрессэ Тилля-Кари. Главный фасад. (южный). Начало. Надпись идущая внутри главной ниши в верхней ея части

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photographic print : albumen


  • Illustration in: Turkestan Album, Archaeological Part, 1871-1872, part 1, volume 2, plate 101.

Last updated: September 30, 2016