In the Middle Ages, the hot and arid Central Asia was a real oasis in which science and culture flourished. Being smart, versed in art and theology – this is the gentleman’s set of a successful young Uzbek man of that time. Due to the lack of universities in medieval Tashkent (in their modern concept), the role of education centers was played by madrassas – Muslim educational institutions that serve as secondary schools and theological seminaries. Kukeldash Madrasah is the largest institution of its kind and, in combination, one of the iconic architectural monuments of the capital of Uzbekistan.

Kukeldash Madrasah is a madrasah built by the Sheikh Dynasty in 1570 and located in the city center of Tashkent. Kukeldash Madrasah, which you can easily reach from the bazaar metro station. Yellow brick was used in the construction of the madrasah built by the order of the monarch. The architecture of the madrasa is built on a traditional square shape. There is a large courtyard in the middle. There are students’ dormitories in the buildings around this courtyard.

In 1830-1831, some of the Kukeldash Madrasah was destroyed and the bricks were used to make the Beylerbeyi Madrasa, located nearby. In a short time, the destroyed part was restored. The madrasah, which suffered great damage in the earthquake in 1868, was repaired in 1903. Kukeldash Madrasah, which underwent another restoration in the 1950s, survived the great Tashkent Earthquake in 1966. The madrasah building, which was converted into a museum in the first half of the 20th century, started to serve as a madrasah again in 1990.

kukeldash madrasah

What to see kukeldash madrasah

During its existence, the Merced Kukeldash was used as a fortress and a hotel survived two powerful earthquakes. Now here, as well as 4 centuries ago, an Islamic educational institution works. The current appearance of the building is different from the original. True, modern builders and restorers should pay tribute – the size and architectural design of the monument are fully consistent with the canons of medieval architecture. Merced Kukeldash has a traditional architecture for such institutions: a spacious courtyard surrounded by two floors of hujras (cells), where students now live, and the Jami mosque in the corner. The main facade is decorated with a high portal, on which authentic decor elements are preserved: majolica and glazed brick (though its arches are lit with modern lamps). Loggias and corner minarets are arranged on the sides of the portal. The windows are equipped with protective panels – panjara. If you take a closer look at them, you will notice the names of Muhammad and Allah, as if braided in an ornament. To the left of the madrasah along its very end lies the road leading to the Chorsu Bazaar.

kukeldash madrasah

How to get kukeldash madrasah

It is located in the historical center of Tashkent in the area of ​​Chorsu Square, next to the bazaar of the same name. It is only a 2-minute walking distance from Chorsu metro station.

  • Address: Tashkent, Rashidova ave., 3.
  • Opening hours: Everyday 9: 00-18: 00.
  • Entrance: 5000 UZS.