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Home » Registan in Samarkand the area architectural ensemble. Madrasahs Tillya-Kari, Ulugbek, Sher dor.

Minarets of Ulugbek Madrasah.

Sightseeing tour in Uzbekistan.

"Before you steal the minaret, dig a hole"

Persian proverb.

Sightseeing tour of Samarkand.

In 1918, the northeastern minaret of the Ulugbek Madrasah (right on the front photo) began to deviate. Every day, he lurched more and more noticeably, breaking away from the main body of the building. As a temporary measure, the minaret was girded with a wooden corset, and 24 inclined steel cables weighing 36 tons.
Which were reinforced on wooden anchors dug into the ground just northeast of the modern wooden podium for performances, intercepted a leaning trunk. As a result, the minaret stopped its lurch at around 1.8 m from the normal position.
Proposed two ways of straightening. Engineer B.N.Kastalsky proposed to disassemble the minaret brick by brick and re-restore it in the same form. Regional architect M.F. Mauer argued that such a “restoration” would actually destroy the ancient monument. In its place will have no scientific value and, perhaps, even an ugly construction.
The second method proposed by M.F. Mauer was to "tear" the minaret from the building, swing it, straighten it and put it in its place. Since the disputes between B.N. Kastalsky, his supporters and MF. Mauer continued and arose at each meeting of the Commission.
Authoritative technical consultants from Tashkent and from Russia were invited, who were more and more inclined in favor of the proposal of M.F. Mauer. On the basis of MF Mauer's proposal in Moscow, a project for straightening the monument was drawn up twice.
The first was rejected due to inconsistencies with the characteristics of the structure. The second was developed by a talented engineer VG Shukhov and was accepted for execution. Straightening was started on January 7, 1932 after a lunch break with a rather stormy wind, which could not be reckoned with, and ended on January 11 in the afternoon; in this interval was one day off.
Within a few hours, the trunk of the minaret slowly swung in the opposite direction of the fall and straightened. An equally remarkable achievement of the repair and restoration work was the rectification of the southeastern minaret of the Ulugbek Madrasah in the mid-sixties, carried out under the guidance of engineer Yu.M. Gendel.
The minaret, which was tilting strongly towards the side, with pylons adjoining it weighing about a thousand tons, was lifted over the foundation with the help of powerful hydraulic jacks in one day, straightened out and put in place.
Initially, the monuments of the ensemble Registan included 10 minarets. Today, six of them have been preserved in the classical form, one has been preserved partially with the destroyed upper part. Three corner minarets on the rear facades (one in the Ulugbek madrasa and two in the Sher-Dor madrasah) were destroyed by time in different years.
It should be noted that initially the minarets in the Ulugbek and Sher-Dor madrasahs continued, and were about 10 to 12 meters higher. On the front of the building there are two minarets of classical form, each about 32 meters high.
There are also fragments of two minarets on the rear facade. One is slightly destroyed in the upper part, the other for decay is only partially preserved, about one third. The inscriptions on the minarets located on the portal side read...

 64th surah "Gafir".

الله الذي جعل لكم الأرض قرارا والسماء بناء وصوركم فأحسن صوركم ورزقكم من الطيبات ذلكم الله ربكم فتبارك الله رب العالمين
“Allah is the one who has laid the earth to you, the Abode of the Safe, (Above it) lifted up the firmament, And created your forms, which are beautiful. And endowed you with benefits (To saturate the soul and body). Such is Allah - your Lord! Blessed be Allah, the Lord of the worlds! ”
بـقـَاءُ لَلـَّهِ
"Allah is everlasting!"
ا اِلـَهَ اِلاَّ هُوَ الـْقـّيُّومُ
"There is no god but the only, all-powerful Allah."
لَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلـَّي اللهُ عَلـَيْهِ وَ سَلَ
لدُّنـْيَا سَاعَةٌ فـَجْعَلـْهَا طـَاعَةً
Kufi: "The Prophet said: “Life is just a moment, spend it in prayers."

Minarets of Ulugbek Madrasah.Minarets of Ulugbek Madrasah.Minarets of Ulugbek Madrasah.S.M. Prokudin-Gorsky. Mirza-Uluk-Bek. Registan.Minarets of Ulugbek Madrasah.Minarets of Ulugbek Madrasah. On January 7, 1932.

Bekhruz Marufi, Rinat Abdulmanov.

Photos by
Alexander Petrov.