Madrasah of Kutlug Murad Inak

The date of construction of the madrasa, which was repeatedly destroyed numerous times, is the period between 1804 and 1812 years. The inspirer and patron of the construction was the uncle of Allakulikhan, the Khan of Khiva. It was decided to build a madrasah in 2 floors with 81 rooms for students. The construction project of the madrasa received full support.


The ruler of Khiva, exerting great mercy to the architect, ordered to allocate a large plot of land for the construction of the madrassa. In this regard, the builders decided to slightly modify the project so that it really corresponded to the shown mercy. For the first time in the history of the town a full 2-storey madrasa was built. Bukhara madrasas were used as a basis for the project.


The desire to improve the project went far beyond the actual construction budget, so the individual elements had to be removed. For example, the final version of madrassas lost several rooms, placed on the front wings of the composition. They decided to replace them with simple cells. Not to oversimplify the appearance of the madrassa, it was decided to add multiple patterns to the facade of this educational building.


Besides them, the complex was also complemented with cozy classrooms and a mosque located in the courtyard. In the courtyard you can also find a small reservoir, which was used by the inhabitants of the Ichan-Qala complex as a major source of drinking water.


It was quite a brave decision to build a mosque in the area of the eastern entrance. On the second floor of the mosque architects placed an open terrace-bolokhona. The architects explained this intention to make the madrasa really picturesque. Using the 5-sided arches and niches in the portal allowed the architects to largely avoid the prevailing at that time construction stereotypes.


Majolica decoration was actively used in the decoration of arches placed on the central facade of the complex, as well as of the angular towers of the madrasa. The inner part of the portal was decorated with a variety of decorative carving. The harmonious combination of decorative and architectural parts made it possible to give the building, according to many discovered documents, a look of a real fortress.



Decorative features of the madrasah


A detailed study of the preserved part of the madrasa suggests that the educational complex was, anyway, built in a rather simplified form. In the city where the madrasa was located, it does have a unique appearance, but all the greatness melts when you begin to take into account the similar buildings in other cities. For example, only the summer mosque dome was decorated with a few simple decorative elements.


In this respect, only the entrance gates of the madrassa, decorated with luxurious carvings, stand out. Here, each door had its own unique patterns reflecting the ethnographic and cultural features of the city. When decorating the corner towers of the building relief stamped terracotta was actively applied. This fact makes it a unique madrasa in Khiva


Most of the rooms of the madrasa were built in a modest style. Most of them had a 4-cornered form. The light from the street got into the room through a small window. Also, inside the rooms, you can find small niches and earth stands used for recreation. Separate living rooms had small shelves, which occupied most of the space. Personal belongings and items used in everyday life by tenants were kept there.



Madrasah was briefly destroyed by people themselves.


A curious historical event came to the attention of archaeologists involved in a detailed study of the history of the madrassa. The legend has it, that the ruler Kutlug Murad commanded upon his death to be buied near the front gates of the madrasa, which was built by his order.The will of the lord was at odds with the customs of Khiva population who had no right to bury the body of the deceased out of the city.


The best minds of the city looked for the solution to this problem for a very long time. As a result, it was decided to demolish part of the ramparts, located in close proximity to the madrassa. As a result of these manipulations the madrasa became part of the outer city. Now, nothing prevented to fulfill the will of the late Khan.


Over time, the locals demolished the fortress wall for the second time, which had been rebuilt after the burial of the Khan. This time the demolition was due to the construction of stalls and a spacious caravanserai on the site.



Features of training in madrassas


In each madrassa of that time there was a man who was appointed the head of the institution. Mutevelli (head) of the madrasa had the right to appoint the following officials in the assigned educational institution:

1. Deputy in charge of the sanitary condition of the entire complex;

2. Barber, in charge of shaving and haircut of students;

3. Imam;

4. Azanchi (Muazzin,the person,who called people for the prayer);

After completing the course of study, all students were required to pass a single exam. For the certification a special academic committee was formed by the order of the Khan, whose head could be the Khan or the crown prince, but often it included leading philosophers or judges of the state. Successful graduates could get one of the following titles:

1. Akhund;

2. Mufti;

3. Alam;

4. Mukarrira.

As a rule, after the study at a madrassah students later would become writers, historians, scientists, and so on. For example, the well-known writer Avaz Utar got trained at the madrasah of Kutlug Murad Inak.



The history of the madrasa at the present stage


In celebration of the 18th anniversary of independence of Uzbekistan large-scale restoration work were conducted in the madrassa. Today the national museum-exhibition of fine arts functions in it.The exhibition includes more than fifty different paintings, allowing to trace the history of the city of Khorezm with its defeats and bright victories. The total area of ​​the museum complex today is more than one hundred and forty square meters. Visitors who wish to observe the work of professional artists have the opportunity to go into the inner courtyard of the madrasa.