Ulugbek Madrasah

Ulugbek Madrasah is one of the most prestigious Muslim universities of the 15thcentury. Students studied exact and natural sciences, as well as music.

Ulugbek Madrasah was the first constructed building at Registan square presumably in 1415-1420. The long inscription on the portal says that "... scientists live in it."

The best minds of that time taught the students, including Ulugbek, for whom knowledge was paramount. Therefore, the position of mudarris (Rector), he entrusted to highly educated dervish and common person Maulan Muhammad Havafi. Gifted children from poor families also studied here along with the children of rich elite.


According to words of historian Vasifi, who lived in time of Ulugbek, Kamaleddin Muhandis is the architect of the buildings. Although it is believed that Kavamaddin Sherazi, the architect of the Emir Shahrukh, led the construction.

The main facade of the two-storey building with a majestic peshtak (portal) looks to the east, thus to the square. According to the customs of that time, it adorned with quotations from the Quran. As Ulugbek studied astronomy, the portal walls have the mosaic, depicting a starry sky.

The walls of madrassah are richly decorated with glazed bricks, majolica and carved marble. Combination of white, blue, blue and black elements was used to decorate the walls.

The lessons were conducted on the first floor. About 50 hudjras were on the second floor and were used for visiting students. The wars destroyed the second floor of the building with habitations, while the earthquake ruined remains. In the 19th century, minaret on the right-side started to lean to land just like Pisa Tower. The madrasah was closed as spiritual institutions in 1918.

Soviet scientists began to restore Ulugbek madrasah in the early XX century. To prevent the fall of a minaret, a unique idea of engineer M.F. Mauer was implemented. During these works, the minaret was straightened in just 20 minutes.

Over 70 years were required to restoration of Ulugbek Madrasah to its former magnificence. Today, it is a true masterpiece of the Muslim medieval architecture.

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