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Allakuli Khan Madrassah

Allakuli Khan Madrassah — photo 1

Allakuli Khan Madrassah is rightfully considered one of the most beautiful madrassahs in old Khiva. Among several dozens of such institutions, this one is unique in that it had its own library. And it was a public library for all students of Khiva, in the XIX century.

In 1834, near the bazaar and the Palvan-Darwaza gates, the construction of the attraction was organized. When a year later young students went to the madrassah to study, the ruler of Khiva, Allakuli Khan, decided not to stop there.

Being a supporter of quality education, he organized a library in several hujras and allowed any Khiva student to use textbooks. The library was maintained with the funds coming from the caravanserai income.

Allakuli Khan Madrassah — photo 2

The building has a traditional late Central Asian architecture design: a rectangular courtyard, high facade, arrow-shaped entrance and two floors with classrooms. The maiolica decoration has not been preserved in all places. The lost part was filled with gypsum to stop the destruction of the cladding. However, the preserved fragments show how skillfully the building was decorated.

The black and white ornament is replaced with dark and light blue; the wooden doors in some places have preserved the carved pattern. The portal is divided into two parts due to the mutual location of the mosque and the hall for classes. The drawings consist of the patterns in the form of flowers and plants. The southern part is very different in terms of ornament: there are prevailing patterns in the form of ring interlacing.

Small towers on both sides of the main entrance have bright blue domes and blue circular ornament. The street in front of the entrance, like the courtyard, is paved with bricks. It is worth paying attention to how flat the surface is. All the work was done by the craftsmen manually.

Allakuli Khan Madrassah — photo 3

Today, the Abu Ali Sina (Avicenna) Museum of Medical History is located within the madrassah’s walls. After the restoration, a craftsmen’s center was located in this place. For this reason, it is a lot of visitors here in the daytime, and there is a lively trade of souvenirs and products of local craftsmen. It is recommended to enjoy the architecture of the madrassah early in the morning or closer to the evening, when the crowds no longer interfere with perception.

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