Each city has its visiting card, which is proudly presented to the guests. Registan square is such a place in Samarkand. Great architectural complex was included to the UNESCO Heritage List in 2001.
About monument of oriental architecture
Along the perimeter of the square, there are portals of three madrasahs: Ulugbek, Sher Dor and Tilla Kari. Each building has its own decor as they were erected by different rulers (XV - XVII century.).
Ulugbek Madrasah was constructed first in 1417-1420. Famous scholars of that time, including beloved grandson of Amir Temur – astronomer Ulugbek gave lessons in the madrasah. Along with religious subjects, the students studied mathematics, logic and natural science.
Sher Dor and Tilla Kari stand opposite to each other. On the walls of the Sher Dor, people can read the words from the Quran. Flaunt leopards with sun on their back can be seen at the entrance portal. This emblem of Samarkand is also used on the 200 soum banknotes.
Tilla Kari means “covered with gold”. It received such name as its interior was richly decorated with gold leaf. You can see lot of mosaics and majolica on its facade. In addition to the educational institution, Tilla-Kari also served as a cathedral mosque.
History and legends
In translation from Uzbek language, Registan means place covered with sand. In ancient times, the square was covered with sand after executions, so it soaks up blood. The executions were conducted there till the beginning of the 20th century. The square was also used to announce khan’s decrees, host various holidays and gather troops.
Artisans and farmers traded around Registan as it was located in crossroads of all large roads of Marakanda (second name of Samarkand). During of its history, the square was used for various purposes. However, one thing never changed. Registan is the heart of the city.
Samarkand and Registan had different times. During the economic crisis of the 18th century, the buildings of madrasah almost deserted. The earthquake and adverse weather conditions also influenced on this. In 1918, in line with the order of the Soviet government, all religious schools ceased their operations. By the 20th century, paneling and painted decor of the madrasah seriously affected. But the Soviet government assigned the status of significant historical monument on the Silk Road to Registan.
Scientists and restorers have recreated the interior decoration and artistic elements of the facade bit by bit for a long time.Currently Registan hosts various concert and other important events of Samarkand and Uzbekistan.