Ulugbek Madrasah (Bukhara)

Ulugbek Madrasah in Bukhara forms a single architectural ensemble with Abdulazis-khan Madrasah. It is the first from three Madrasahs, constructed by grandson of Temirlan – scholar Ulugbek.

It was constructed during short time in 1417. The best masters of that time Najmeddin Bukhari and Ismail Isfagani worked on this project. The madrasah was reconstructed periodically. Therefore, the ornaments and décor belong to various epochs. So at the end of the 16th century, the building tiled with majolica. But one thing always remained unchanged – due to interest of Ulugbek with astronomy, celestial ornaments were always used in exterior of madrasah.

Up to 80 students studied at spiritual institution at the same time. They studied mathematics and astronomy along with religious subjects and Arabic language. Male students study for 15-20 years and that’s why they became prominent eastern thinkers and poets.


Educational instructions were built on example of Bukhara-based Ulugbek Madrasah across Central Asia. Later, Ulugbek Madrasahs were constructed in Samarkand and Gijduvan.

The madrasah has traditional internal yard and two aivans (terrace). From entrance gate, the corridor breaks up to two sides in parallel to façade – to darshana (classroom) and internal mosque.

The main façade of madrasah has front portal entrance, on which is written: “The pursuit of knowledge - the duty of every Muslim man and woman”. Two tiers of loggias are located to right and left from the entrance. There are observation towers on the sides.

Currently, it is one of the beautiful architectural-historic buildings of Bukhara and only evidence of the activities of Ulugbek in the city. Currently, Museum of history of restoration of Bukhara monuments operates here.

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