World Bulletin / News Desk
The influence of the ancient Uzbek grand square stretches across the world’s cities, from Isfahan in Iran to Agra in India and Russia’s St Petersburg
Registan Square used to be the academic, administrative and religious center of the city. The word Registan means "a sandy place" after a river that was running through the city left only the sandbed from the river. Centers of all major cities used to be referred to as Registan in the Middle Ages. The areas and squares with such name were in Bukhara, Tashkent, Shahrisabz. One of the outstanding examples of the art of urban-planning in Central Asia was in Samarkand.
The first Madrassah was built in the beginning of the 15th century and named Registan square. As the Madrassah was first built with a huge clearing measuring approximately 110m by 60 m all the holidays, parades, festivals and Sunday bazaars took place in this square.What was once the main city square, it was full of markets and lined by caravanserai (roadside inns). Samarkand is at least two-and-a-half thousand years old, and for most of those years it occupied a position midway on the network of trade routes connecting Europe and Asia, which accounted for the city’s prosperity and cosmopolitanism. Also for its tendency to attract invaders and travellers alike.
In its history it has been ruled by Persians, Greeks, Turks, Mongols, Chinese and Russians. Half a dozen religions have found a home here. Alexander passed through in the 4th century BC. The Chinese scholar-travellers Faxian and Xuanzang, the Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta, and Marco Polo all wrote about the city. Gengis Khan laid waste to Samarkand in the 13th century. In the 14th century Timur rebuilt it into a city the likes of which had never been seen before.
The Ulugbek Madrassah was built by the Ulugbek’s order and guidance. It lasted only three years from 1417 to 1420. When the medresse was constructed, Ulugbek gave lectures on mathematics and astronomy till his death.
In 17th century Till-Kari mosque and Madrassah was the biggest mosque in Samarkand. The design of this medrese marked a change from previous patterns in two respects: the portal is characterized by a deeply recessed niche and the medrese mosque is a large building with an imposing dome which attracts the attention of the viewer.
Two years later, the ruler of Samarkand Yalangtush Bahadur ordered to build another copy of the Madrassah, and so, the second Sher-Dor Madrassah was built opposite it.Despite being a copy it had the difference of having two additional winter halls, however the main structure was the same as in Ulugbek Madrassah.