The 17th century ruler of Samarkand, Yalangtush Bahadur, built Tillia-Kari madrassah and mosque (above) on the Registan to resemble two existing buildings on the square: the Ulugh-bek and Shir-Dor madrassahs. Tillia Kari means ‘covered with gold,’ deriving its name from the abundantly gilded main hall of the mosque.
Madrassahs of Central Asia
Samarkand and Bukhara were renowned centers of Islamic learning. In medieval times, numerous Bukhara’s madrassahs attracted students from as far away as Arabia and Spain.
A madrassah is a traditional Islamic theological college where students learned the Koran as well as Islamic law, the Arabic language, mathematics, music, logic, literature and calligraphy based on medieval curriculum. Education at a madrassah could last up to 20 years.