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Notes on the Geography of Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Lesser Monuments

This chapter contains pictures of four less well-known monuments in varying stages of disintegration and renewal.

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Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Lesser Monuments picture 1

About a mile to the southeast of the Registan is the Ishrat-khana, or House of Joy, built in 1464 as her daughter's tomb by Habib-Sultan Begum.  The dome collapsed in earthquakes in 1897 and 1903.

Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Lesser Monuments picture 2

The building also housed other women's tombs.

Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Lesser Monuments picture 3

Base of the now-vanished cylinder.

Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Lesser Monuments picture 4

A surviving wall with banai patterning.

Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Lesser Monuments picture 5

Across the road is the shrine of Khodja Abdi Darun, commemorating Abd al-Mazeddin Khodja.

Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Lesser Monuments picture 6

A pool (hauz) in front of the mosque.

Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Lesser Monuments picture 7

Surrounding colonnade.

Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Lesser Monuments picture 8

Two miles south of the Registan is the madrasa of Khoja Akrar, a landlord and political leader following Ulug Beg's death.  It was built between 1630 and 1635 in Khoja Akrar's honor by the Bukharan vizier Nadir Divanbegi. 

Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Lesser Monuments picture 9

Heavily restored, its tigers echo the lions on the Registan's Shir Dor madrasa.

Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Lesser Monuments picture 10

The madrasa is in the background; here in the foreground is a summer mosque, built between 1909 and 1921 by Abdel-Hafiz Jalilov. 

Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Lesser Monuments picture 11

The column, in a style that will appear frequently in the chapters on Bukhara and Khiva, is another earthquake adaptation.  Columns like these move atop their stone pedestals like a bone in a socket joint.

Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Lesser Monuments picture 12

Column capitals with muqarnas.

Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Lesser Monuments picture 13

An elderly visitor is in no hurry.

Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Lesser Monuments picture 14

Nearby: the tombstone of Khodja Akrar.

Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Lesser Monuments picture 15

Close to the Gur Emir but surrounded by private houses, this is the Ak Serai, or White Palace.  It's lost its exterior ornament, and the doors are locked, but we can look inside from the iwan on the left.

Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Lesser Monuments picture 16

Trash.

Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Lesser Monuments picture 17

Up above, hints of the once elaborate decoration.


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