The Abd al-Azis-khan Madrasah in Bukhara

Abd al-Azis-khan Madrasah(1652-1662) makes up an architectural ensemble with Ulugbek Madrasah but is more luxurious in its decor. The portal is distinguished for its height and rich exterior ornamentation. The complete range of building techniques of its time were applied in the courtyard and rooms, namely carved tile and brick mosaic, relief majolica, marble carving, alabaster murals and gilding.

As the legend tells, Abd al-Aziz-khan (1645-1680), the sixth khan of Ashtarkhanid (Janid) dynasty (established in 1599) was a follower (murid) of Khalifa Hudoyod, as well as of other famed eshon - Mavlano Sharif. Both eshons struggled for khan's favor. The khan himself had health problem. To his old age the disease made his body almost completely paralyzed. Therefore, it seems to be true, that he desperately needed of supernatural guidance. At least Khan's connection to Sufi Mavlano Sharif explains a choice for the place of the Abd al-Azis-khan Madrasah construction, which though locates on territory of historical urban quarter Azizon, but nevertheless was constructed just at the northern border of quarter Mavlano Sharif. The tomb of Mavlano Sharif - the main relic of historical quarter - was inside mausoleum, built nearby mosque-khanaka. Mausoleum is kept safe.

Abd al-Azis-khan Madrasah is became the last structure of such scale in the Bukhara khanate. The wilting period for Bukhara ensued after the death of Abd al-Azis-khan. Nevermore Bukhara was so rich and stable to fulfill construction of such splendid structures as Abd al-Azis-khan Madrasah. For example, Madrasah of Tursunjon (1796-97) built up at the end of relatively stable period (1758-1800) under emirs Danyal-biy and his son Shahmurad looks very ascetic without exterior decoration.

The choice of decoration means exhibits a tendency of release of pressure from religious bans of formal Islam. In terms of decoration the madrasah follows to such prominent precursors as Sher-Dor Madrasah in Samarkand and Nadir Divan-begi Madrasah in Bukhara. Instead of modest geometrical ornamental patterns here were used more complicated mythical elements such as phoenix birds and even dragons. The color palette of decoration includes chrome, which imparts luster to unusual appearance of madrasah.