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Sher-Dor madrasah

Yalangtush Bahadur was an energetic commander, clever politician, ruler of a large independent principality and deputy of Bokharan khans in Samarkand.

In the place of the decayed and destroyed Ulugbek khanaka, Yalangtush built a madrasah almost entirely imitating the facade of the opposite Ulugbek madrasah using the same dimensions, layout of the portal with the ogive and the ribbed domes on each side.
The foundation of the Sher-Dor is l.5 metres higher than that of the square of Ulugbek’s time. The dimensions of the madrasah and the yard are 70x56 m and 30x38 m correspondingly. The composition of the courtyard is traditional. The courtyard is surrounded with two floors of hujras (cells where students lived), four ayvans and two darskhanas (elassroms). The Sher-Dor madrasah was built according to the “kosh” style (composition with two opposite buildings). The other facades with 54 hujras (cells) were erected by means of more developed methods of building technology. Here the minarets are placed only along the front facade, while the two other comers are decorated with the massive towers.
The decorative composition above the portal arch is another unique peculiarity of the madrasah. On the right and left side of the portal there is the heraldic emblem of the striped tigers chasing baby deer. The twin suns rising over their backs are given human faces. That gave the name Sher-Dor- “having tigers”.
The outer and inner facades are decorated in an incredibly creative manner. They are covered with glazed brick, exquisite mosaic designs and gilded paintings.

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