26June2014* The Majestic Registan of Samarkand

The Registan (literally ‘land/place of sand’) is quite possibly the most well-known architectural emblem of Central Asia.  In this square towers three massive edifices, the Ulugbek, Tilla-Kari and Sher Dor– respectively to the west, north and east– fashioning a huge open courtyard. These building are Madrassas, an Arabic term meaning a ‘school’. Ulegbek was the first constructed in the fifteenth century and the other two in the seventeenth century.

I entered this awe-inspiring ensemble of architecture with a friend from Uzbekistan that I had met maybe just an hour before.  Walking through the maze of teal, cobalt, lapis lazuli and gold  toned ceramic tiles with a native of Samarkand- though now studying in Tashkent- really brought theses intricately designed and decorated buildings to life.  I watched how these particular ancient structures still played such a vital role in the lives of the people here.  They serve not just as a mere attraction for foreigners flying in for an adventurous holiday, but a meeting point for friends, a backdrop for special events, a place to work and thrives for all the merchants and artisans. Below is a sizable selection of my first impression in photographs wandering through the buildings.

SONY DSC panorama of the RegistanSONY DSCUlugbek Madrassa (L) and Tilla-Kari Madrassa (R)

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Sher-Dor FacadeSONY DSC

Sher-Dor Facade
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Sher-Dor Facade
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Sher-Dor CourtyardSONY DSC

Sher-Dor Courtyard SONY DSC SONY DSC

Sher-Dor Courtyard SONY DSC

Sher-Dor Courtyard SONY DSC

Sher-Dor Courtyard SONY DSC

Ulugbek MedressaSONY DSC Tilla-Kari courtyard with the Tilla-Kari mosqueSONY DSCThe Tilla-Kari MosqueSONY DSCTilla-Kari courtyard
SONY DSC Tilla-Kari courtyardSONY DSC Tilla-Kari MosqueSONY DSC Tilla-Kari MosqueSONY DSCTilla-Kari courtyardSONY DSC

facade of Sher Dor MedrassaSONY DSC facade of Ulugbek MadrassaSONY DSC courtyard of UlugbekSONY DSC courtyard of UlugbekSONY DSC courtyard of UlugbekSONY DSCcourtyard of Ulugbek
SONY DSCa side view of the Sher Dor Madrassa

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