Photographer's Note

Silk Road from Tashkent to Kashgar (2): Samarqand

Samarqand has been important for the Silk Road on more than one count: It's an oasis in the middle of the Kizil Kum desert, it is about half-way between Istanbul and Central China and it was once the Capital of the Timurid empire, reaching from West China and India right through to Turkey.The Timurid epoch reminds us Europeans of the savageries of Tamerlane (=Amir Temur) during his military campaigns. But true to the spirit of any Emperor he wanted to put his lasting stamp on things. He invited architects and craftsmen from all the corners of his empire (they were reportedly from Armenia, Azerbaijan, India, West China and Iran) and gave them a relatively free hand. Samarqand became in the 15th century the center of a new Islamic culture and this culture gradually spread through the Islamic world. The madrassah (=Islamic school of higher learning; University) shown here is one of three forming a University and was constructed in the 16th century. It is called Tillya Kari. Enjoy.

In the original note I made a big mistake: I took this madrassah to be that of Ulug Beg, 15th century. Yannick (yannick) corrected this, thanks Yannick for your help.

Buin, ahmet54 has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Dietrich Meyer (meyerd) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 54 N: 651] (1628)
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