Antiquities of Samarkand. Madrasah of Tillia Kari. Inner Courtyard (Western Side). Part of a Marble Foundation


This photograph of the interior of the mosque at 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. This view, partially underexposed because of limited interior light, shows the lower corner adjacent to the steps to the minbar, or pulpit (to the right; not visible in this photograph). The rich ornamentation shown here includes ceramic work and carved marble. The attached column rests on a marble base and displays a bold pattern of intersecting lines. The dimly visible ceramic panels show intricate geometric and botanical patterns. The projecting rows of the marble cornice at the top of the photograph have a “stalactite” form of dentilation, as does a fragment of the plinth at the lower right.

Subject Date

Publication Information

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Title in Original Language

Самаркандския древности. Медрессэ Тилля Кари. Внуренний двор (западная сторона). Часть мраморнаго цокуля

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photographic print : albumen


  • Illustration in: Turkestan Album, Archaeological Part, 1871-1872, part 1, volume 2, plate 104.

Last updated: September 30, 2016