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Photographer's Note

For centuries, ancient trade routes - from Siberia to India, from China to Egypt - converged on the oasis of Samarkand. Greeks, Persians, Turks, Mongols and Arabs all made their way there. It became prosperous as an important centre of silk trade in the 2nd century. Alexander knew it, Genghis Khan destroyed it, but it was during the 13th century, it emerged again under the rule of Amir Timur (knwon in the West as Timur the Lame or Tamerlane) and Timurid architecture became a worldwide influence in Islamic art and architecture and Tamerlane's Samarkand that Western world longed to see. The icon of Samarkand without doubt is the Registan - the "sandy place" surrounded on three sides by Timurid madrassahs. You can sit on the open side of the square and take it all in: the turquoise tiles, the slender minarets, the imposing facades. The refined architectural shapes, intricate ornamentation, mosaics, blue-tile domes and the facades are simply amazing and blue -Tamerlane's favouraite color is important in decorating these buildings, it blends in with the blue sky.

This is the close up view of Tilya Kori Madrassah and mosque in the middle of the square flanked by Ulugbek Madrassah and Sher Dor Madrassah, with its amazing gilded interior including golden mosaics. The facades are just magnificent with bright and colorful mosaics and glazed tiles, truly outstanding and my favorite of Registan complex. In my travel life, I have never seen a place that so colorful with mosaic and glazed tiles that similar with Samarkand before. Also its history behind are also interesting with countless of legends of the Silk Road and Timurid dynasty. For me, Samarkand is truly the world class site and one of the most enchanting UNESCO world heritage sites I ever visited. Even if you are not a great lover of Islamic architecture these are all well worth seeing and experiencing. Samarkand with its beauty and splendour is undoubtedly one of the greatest destinations of the world.


WorkShop1:
Tilya Kori Madrassah-Mosque; Detail of the ornamental on the main porch showing the intricate design of these glazed tile pieces. The art of Samarkand and the Timurid period seems most closely related to the 'art of the book' with manuscript illuminations providing the template for designs executed in ceramics.

WorkShop2:
Tilya Kori Madrassah-Mosque and the blue dome

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Additional Photos by abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4062 W: 141 N: 9368] (40538)
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