Mir-i Arab Madrasa, Bukhara

Mir-i Arab Madrasa, Bukhara (must see)

The Mir-i Arab Madrasa is an integral part of the Po-i-Kalyan ensemble located in the heart of Bukhara. This ensemble includes three significant structures: the 12th-century Kalyan Minaret, the 16th-century Kalyan Mosque, and the Mir-i Arab Madrasa.

The name "Mir-i Arab" translates to "Prince of the Arabs" and pays tribute to Sheikh Abdullah Yamani of Yemen. Sheikh Yamani gained prominence as the spiritual leader of Bukhara's Muslim community. He served as a pir (spiritual adviser) to several Khans and was ultimately laid to rest within the madrasa, which now bears his name.

The architects of the Mir-i Arab Madrasa would have been familiar with numerous contemporary examples in Central Asia, such as the Ulugh Beg Madrasa in Samarkand. The Mir-i Arab Madrasa adheres to similar design principles. Its two-story facade is adorned with glazed mosaic faience tiles, a decorative treatment popularized during the Timurid era. However, unlike the Ulugh Beg Madrasa, the Mir-i Arab Madrasa features squat and heavy corners, giving it a fortress-like appearance.

The interior of the madrasa consists of numerous small cells called hujras, which serve as student dormitories. Lecture halls and a large domed room in the northwest corner house the cenotaph of Sheikh Yamani and the graves of devotees and family members. A domed mosque occupies the same position on the south side. Both domes are raised on high drums and decorated with turquoise tiles and muqarnas-style vaulting, creating a captivating visual display.

During the Soviet era, the Mir-i Arab Madrasa was the only madrasa permitted to operate throughout

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Bukhara. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Mir-i Arab Madrasa on Map

Sight Name: Mir-i Arab Madrasa
Sight Location: Bukhara, Uzbekistan (See walking tours in Bukhara)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Bukhara, Uzbekistan

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