Samarkand • Madrasa Tilla Kari - Golden Glint of the Silk Road

Madrasa Tilla Kari, shimmering pearl of Samarkand, was born in the heart of the 17th century, impregnating the Uzbek air with a royal breath. Its construction, desired by Governor Yalangtush Bakhodur, was a titanic project that stretched from 1646 to 1660, enveloping the city in the beauty of Safavid art and architecture. 

Her name, Tilla Kari, translates to "covered in gold", an eloquent foreshadowing of her rich adornment. Its majestic facade, shimmering in azure, white and gold, seems drawn by stars fallen from the sky. Its ceramic mosaics with geometric and floral motifs are a vibrant hymn to aesthetics and human creativity. 

Inside this architectural masterpiece, a mosque rises, embracing shadow and light in a gentle embrace. Its dome, a shimmering golden dome, is an inner sky that elicits wonder. It is there, under this dazzling firmament, that the spirit connects to the Infinite, that the soul enters into dialogue with the divine. 

Madrasa Tilla Kari was much more than a building. It was a temple of knowledge, a beacon of knowledge that guided the souls and minds of scholars from afar. Here philosophers, poets, scientists and artists debated the mysteries of the universe, weaving a web of brilliant thoughts that continues to illuminate the intellectual history of Uzbekistan. 

Today, the Madrasa Tilla Kari stands proudly on Registan Square, an eternal witness to the turbulent history of Samarkand. Its majestic presence recalls the glorious era when the search for truth, the love of beauty and the quest for knowledge were inseparable. A jewel of the Silk Road, it remains a symbol of the grandeur of Uzbek civilization, a poem of stone and gold that still whispers the story of a splendid past.

Samarkand • Madrasa Tilla Kari ( Uzbekistan,  )

Samarkand • Madrasa Tilla Kari

Samarkand • Madrasa Tilla Kari ( Uzbekistan,  )

Samarkand • Madrasa Tilla Kari

Samarkand • Madrasa Tilla Kari ( Uzbekistan,  )

Samarkand • Madrasa Tilla Kari

The Tilla Kari Madrasa of Samarkand: A Symbol of Safavid Refinement 


The history of Samarkand, the mythical city of Uzbekistan, has been woven over the centuries, drawing a fascinating trajectory through the era of kingdoms, dynasties and empires. Among the architectural gems that punctuate this historic route, the Madrasa Tilla Kari stands out for its grandeur and refinement. 


Construction and Architecture 


Commissioned by Governor Yalangtush Bakhodur, the construction of the Madrasa Tilla Kari began in 1646 and was completed in 1660. This fourteen-year period saw the birth of a majestic building that testifies to the architectural and artistic know-how of the era. safavid. 


The establishment's name, "Tilla Kari", translates to "covered in gold", a fitting homage to its lavish interior design. The exterior façade is a veritable tableau, where ceramic mosaics with geometric and floral motifs intertwine in a kaleidoscope of shimmering colours. 


The main entrance, underlined by a large arch, overlooks a square courtyard, surrounded by cells intended for students and scholars. On either side of the entrance, two slender towers stand like sentinels, watching over this sanctuary of knowledge. 


A Mosque in the Heart of the Madrasa 


At the heart of the Madrasa Tilla Kari, a mosque stands out for its majesty. Its dome, covered in gold, resembles a celestial dome, evoking wonder and humility. The mihrab, the alcove that indicates the direction of Mecca, is also adorned with gold and delicate mosaics, creating a space for prayer that is as beautiful as it is inspiring. 


A Knowledge Institution 


Beyond its impressive architecture, Madrasa Tilla Kari served as a center of education for many years. It has welcomed students from various disciplines, from natural sciences to philosophy, including Islamic theology. These young minds were trained by renowned scholars, who shared their knowledge and wisdom in this inspiring setting. 


The Madrasa Today 


Today, the Tilla Kari Madrasa is an essential Samarkand landmark and a must-see for any visitor to the city. Its majestic presence in Registan Square is a vivid reminder of the era when Samarkand was a crossroads of cultural and intellectual exchange. 


In conclusion, Madrasa Tilla Kari is not only a historical monument; it is a symbol of the cultural and intellectual wealth of Uzbekistan. Its history, its architecture and its contribution to education and the dissemination of knowledge make it an invaluable treasure on the Silk Road, testifying to the refinement and grandeur of the Safavid era.

Architectural features

The exterior architecture of the Madrasa Tilla Kari 


The Madrasa Tilla Kari is a grandiose structure that bears witness to the architectural sophistication of the Safavid era. The building extends over a large area, organized around a central square courtyard. 


The facade of the madrasa is a true work of art, a mixture of ceramic mosaics and geometric, floral and calligraphic motifs. Shades of blue, green and white create a dazzling visual spectacle, framed by two soaring minarets that accentuate the monumental aspect of the building. 


The inner courtyard 


The heart of Madrasa Tilla Kari is an inner courtyard, an open space that once housed students and scholars. The student cells are arranged around the courtyard, providing living and study space under the shade of the trees. The floor is paved with marble slabs, and the central basin reflects the light and beauty of the surrounding architecture. 


The Mosque within the Madrasa 


A distinctive aspect of Madrasa Tilla Kari is the presence of a mosque integrated into its structure. Its golden dome, visible from afar, is an important element of Samarkand's cityscape. Inside, gold also covers the mihrab and ceiling, creating an ambience of striking beauty. 


The Prayer Room 


The prayer hall is a masterpiece in itself, an impressive room with a vaulted ceiling, decorated with paintings and golden patterns. The mihrab, which indicates the direction of prayer, is a real gem of craftsmanship, with detailed mosaics and generous use of gold. 


In conclusion, the architecture of the Madrasa Tilla Kari is a living testimony to the mastery and refinement of Safavid art. From the lavishly decorated exterior facade to the tranquil interior courtyard, to the gold-trimmed mosque, every detail is a reflection of a bygone era, yet one whose grandeur persists in this outstanding historical monument.

Monument profile
Madrasa Tilla Kari
Monument category: Madrasa
Monument family: Mosque, Minaret or Madrasa
Monument genre: Religious
Cultural heritage: Islamic
Geographic location: Samarkand • Uzbekistan
Construction period: 17th century AD
This monument in Samarkand is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2001 and is part of the serial nomination "Samarkand – Crossroad of Cultures".

• Links to •

• List of videos about Samarkand on this site •

Samarkand, the city of Amir Timur • Uzbekistan

• References •

Cookies user preferences
We use cookies to ensure you to get the best experience on our website. If you decline the use of cookies, this website may not function as expected.
Accept all
Decline all
Google Analytics v4
Google Analytics
Set of techniques which have for object the commercial strategy and in particular the market study.
DoubleClick/Google Marketing