Historical and architectural monuments:
Shaykhantahur Complex is one of the main historical ensembles of Tashkent. It is built around the grave of local sheikh Khavendi Takhur who died in 1355.
Due to archeologists, the first Mausoleum was built in 2nd half of 15th century by Khodja Akhror and at the end of the century near the cemetery сhillyakhana (underground chamber for 40 days fasting) was constructed. Besides, near the Mausoleum of Sheikh Khavendi Takhur small central mausoleum under conical dome devoted to Kaldirgachbiy and one of the biggest mausoleums in Tashkent devoted to Yunuskhan were built.
In 16th century this cemetery was the most popular “holy place” in Tashkent and most of Uzbek aristocracy was buried here. Between chillyakhona and mausoleum of sheikh Khavendi Takhur there was a special ziaratkhana (place where people prayed for deceased).
In 1924 reconstruction works were conducted and part of the buildings was dismantles.
Mausoleum is build from light-yellow bricks. In the windows of gurkhana and on southern façade of ziaratkhana ceramic majolica pandjara (decorative grilles) is inserted. The main façade is decorated in the shape of small portal.
Kaldirgachbiy Mausoleum is the oldest from preserved monuments on the territory of Tashkent. There is no direct historical information regarding the period of construction. The building was constructed in 15th century from burnt brinks. It has double pyramidal dome on rather short twelve-cut drum that is rare for Uzbekistan.
Mausoleum is square in the shape of separately standing dome construction. The only element of the reserved decoration of 15th century is plaster stalactites on the foundation of the dome. The hall has four niches, four small chambers in the corners, spiral brick staircase and khudjras. There is small square crypt under the main hall.
Kaldirgachbiy was ancestor of Khodja Akhrar and ruler of Mogolistan. Due to one of the national legends, he was mogolian king’s son from kipchaks, and due to another one – he was Kazakh biy from dulates and ruler named Tolebiy nicknamed as “Kaldirgach” (“Swallow”). Sometimes you can meet local visitors here from Uzbeks or Kazakhs for whom it is one of the most honored sacred places.
Barrakhkhan Madrasah is situated to the east of Chorsu market. It underwent several stages of construction and was completed in 1532.
First mausoleum “Nameless”, then mausoleum dedicated to Suyundjkhan was built here. The third stage was construction of portal and khudjras.
The madrasah has a courtyard which is surrounded by one-story khudjras. The main facade is split by a portal with a half-octagonal niche, where the glazed tiles have been preserved. Madrasah represents a strongly extended trapezoid form built around an oblong courtyard.
The complex is constructed from fragmentary brick. The decor of the facades has been used only on the main objects – the entrance peshtak of the madrasah, the portal and the dome of the mausoleum of Suyundjkhan. According to historical data, dome of the mausoleum was covered with blue tiles; the drum of the dome was decorated with star girikh with a pattern of 8-pointed stars, made of mosaic. That’s why this mausoleum was called “Kok gumbaz” (“Blue dome”). During the earthquake in 1868 the dome had been destroyed.
Nowadays the decor of the entrance peshtak of the madrasah is restored. The tympanum of the entrance arch is made from 6-sided majolica tiles, on which floral ornamentation has been painted.
Tillya Sheikh Mosque (“Golden Sheikh”) is previous main mosque of Uzbekistan. It is situated opposite Barrakkhan Madrasah. Tillya Sheikh Mosque was built by Kokand khan Mirza Akhmad Kushbegi in 1856-57.
In the mosque yard there are winter and summer halls for prayers, short minarets, warehouse rooms and a library. The mosque is decorated with carved mikhrab niche, minbar, window apertures.
Muyi Muborak Madrasah (“golden hair of Prophet Mohammad”) enters into the complex of Khazrati Imam. The construction was built in 16th century and as a consequence was reconstructed many times.
Well-known and popular holy Koran of Caliph Osman (Othman) is preserving in Muyi Muborak Madrasah. This Koran is an origin of holy book in the binding that was written on the deer’s pelt in the middle of 7th century. There were 6 such Korans in the world. Nowadays only 4 of them are preserved and the most kept of them is in Uzbekistan. There are odd pages of the rest 4 Korans in London, Turkey and Cairo.
There are many versions of how this Koran Osman came to Uzbekistan, but the official one is the following one: when Amir Temur defeated Turkish ruler Bayazet in 1402, on the way back home he crossed Iranian city Basra and there Amir Temur took Koran Osman and brought to Samarkand where it was kept for long time in madrasah.
In 1869 the general Fon-Kaufman seized Samarkand and conveyed Koran Osman to imperatorial library in Saint-Petersburg. In 1905 there was taken 50 copies of this Koran which had been sold to fabulous price to the eastern countries. Nowadays two copies are being kept in Tashkent: one at Temurid’s Musem, and second at Muyi Muborak Madrasah.
In 1917 Koran Osman was replaced to Ufa which was the center of Islam in Russia; as a result Uzbekistan wrote official letter to the government of Russian with request to give it back. In 1924 Koran Osman was brought to Tashkent in the wagon of special train through Orenburg and it was handled to the History Museum of Uzbekistan. In 1989 with the initiative of President I.A. Karimov, Koran Osman was given for the permanent keeping to the Muslims Religion Department of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Kukeldash Madrasah is located on a high hill in the area of Chorsu square. The builder of the Madrasah was a vizier of the Tashkent khans, called Kukeldash (“the foster-brother of the khan”). The Madrasah has a traditional composition: an extensive court yard, built on khudjras, darskhana and the mosque in the corners. The main facade has a high portal, two story loggias, and angular turrets called guldasta.
At the end of the 18th century the madrasah was used as a caravanserai, in 1860 it served to the khans of Kokand as a fortress, and also as a place of execution.
Kukeldash Madrasah is one of the largest madrasahs of 16th century still preserved in Central Asia. The madrasah was constructed from baked brick. Only one facade is decorated. On the portal, the remains of carved decor, glazed bricks and majolica have been preserved.
Along with the Kukeldash Madrasah into the architectural ensemble on Chorsu Square Djuma (Jami) Mosque of Khodja Ahrar Vali is also included.
Djuma (Jami) Mosque of Khodja Ahrar Vali is the only example of Djuma (Friday) Mosque of domestic type in Tashkent which was popular in Central Asia during the epoch of the late Middle Ages.
The main building represents a cubic space blocked by a dome with four windows in a low drum. The east wall is divided by a large arch. The dome is spherical without ornamentation, and is based on spherical shields. The layout of the mosque is an extension of a large rectangular building at the end of its longitudinal axis running east to west.
The foundation of the mosque was done even at 8th century after Arabian conquest of the ancient Tashkent which was named “Chach” at that time. The city had been ruined. Stranger-Arabians even couldn’t pronounce the name of the city well and began to call it as “ash-Shash”.
In 819 your emir Yahya bin Asad which just took letters patent from eastern caliphate’s Arabian governor to rule over the all lands of present Tashkent region, stopped his horse on the hill which is now good place to observe three city squares – Chorsu, Khadra and Eski-Djuva. “Here we’ll build our capital city, – said Yahya to his suite, – it will be named Madina ash-Shash – northern outpost of Movarrounnahr!” There were Turkish guardsmen in his suite and after their commander’s words they said: “Yes, yes, right here we’ll build the city Shash!” In Turkish language “Madina ash-Shash” sounds as “Shashkent”. And on the highest point of that hill Yahya bin Asad ordered to make foundation of the first in Tashkent Djuma (Friday) Mosque.
In 1432, one of the famous public statesman of Timurid’s epoch Ubaydulla Khodja Ahrar visited Tashkent. While going back, Khodja Ahrar ordered to build big Djuma (Friday) Mosque and madrasah at ancient Tashkent settlements named Gulbazar. On the old foundation that remained from the first Tashkent mosque from Yahya bin Asad’s time, in the middle of 15th century a new typical cube with dome and open to the eastern side arched ceiling has been built.
In 2003 the mosque was rebuilt and modern methods of construction and decoration were used here. Nowadays not one but even three big domes crown this historical hill, and mosque looks like very smart and festive.
Sheikh Zaynutdin-bobo Mausoleum concerns to the mausoleums of khanaka type. The main entrance is split by peshtak. The hall covered by double sphere conic dome. On the entrance gates there is a master’s name carved: Mir-Sharab Abdu-Mumin ogli.
Sheikh Zaynutdin-bobo was a son of the founder of sufian order Sukhravardiya – Sheikh Ziya ad-Din Djakhim Sukhravardiy. He was sent by his father to these areas for spreading ideas of sufian order. Sheikh Zaynutdin-bobo was buried at out-of-town settlement Arifon out of the gates Kukcha.
There is a chillyakhana (underground cell) built in 12th-13th centuries near the mausoleum.
Chimes – tower with clock is one of the sights of the city that is situated near to Square. The chimes were built in 1947 depicted to 2-years anniversary of the victory of World War II. One of four faces was brought from Austria, but out of order and master Mukhamedshin repaired it. The rest 3 faces had been done in Uzbekistan. Before the earthquake in 1966, this tower was one of the highest constructions in Tashkent.
In 2009 reconstruction of the monument has been conducted and a twin of the famous Chimes has appeared. To 2200-years anniversary of Tashkent one more Chimes were built which are situated near the Forum’s Palace.