Architectural ensemble of Poi Kalyan is located at the foot of Kalyan minaret, on once main city square Registan. That’s why it is named as “the foot of the Great”.
Poi Kalyan includes three buildings of 12 and 15th centuries: Minaret of Kalyan, Bukhara mosque of Kalyan and Miri Arab madrasah.
During their invasions, Mongols usually destroy all buildings. But when Genghis Khan stepped to square and looked to lamp of Kalyan minaret, his helmet fell to land. He bent to take it and said: “I never bowed to anybody. But this structure is so great that it deserves a bow.” He left the Great Minaret intact.
History and architecture
Kalyan Minaret was constructed in the beginning of 12th century. Since, it was not repaired even once. It served both for religious and punishment purpose. Emir ordered to dump up unwanted people mercilessly. Trade caravans, heading to Bukhara, used it to get direction. At that time, it was the highest building – 46.5 meters. The builders constructed minaret in the form of cone, narrowing to the top. But its walls decorated with embossed masonry.
Cathedral Mosque of Bukhara was constructed near city fortress in the 8th century. While modern Kalyan mosque, which means Great Mosque, was constructed aloof in the 15th century. It is the second largest mosque in Central Asia after Bibi-Khanum mosque in Samarkand. About 12,000 people can pray at one time in its yard. Architectural traditions of Timurids epoch can be seen in the mosque. The walls of the mosque are decorated with rich oriental glazed mosaics.
Miri Arab, which means Emir or Arab, madrasah was built in 1536. Ubaidullah-khan dedicated it to Sheikh Sheikh Abdullah Yamani of Yemen. He sold 3,000 Persian captives. Along with 111 hudjrs, it has two halls. One of them served as mosque and darshona or classroom. The second is mausoleum for Sheikh Abdullah Yamani and other elite.
So, the ensemble took its current look and became the most memorable during six centuries.