About Registan of Samarkand
The Registan, a public square where people gathered to hear royal news and see justice administered, was the heart of the ancient city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan. Samarkand was founded in approximately 700 BC and its location along the vital trade route known as the ‘Silk Road’ transformed it into a prosperous centre of commerce.
Today, the Registan is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Samarkand.
Registan of Samarkand history
Over the centuries, Samarkand was occupied by various different peoples, including being ravaged by Genghis Khan. However, it was under the Mongol warrior leader Timur the Lame, known as Tamerlame who lived between 1369 and 1405, that some of the city’s most beautiful surviving structures including Registan were constructed.
Now made up of 3 ornate madrassahs – Islamic college – facing onto a central courtyard, Registan was the medieval centre of Samarkand. Of these symmetrical buildings, each of which is elaborately adorned with glazed clay tiles, the Ulugh Beg Madrassah is the oldest and dates back to 1420.
The other 2 madrassahs, Sher-Dor and Tillya-Kori, were built in the 17th century under the rule of Yalangtush Bakhodur. However, by this time Samarkand had lost much of its previous wealth and was in decline. The Soviets revived the square with party rallies, mass veil burnings and trials of counter-revolutionaries. The new occupiers also restored much of the crumbling Registan.
Registan of Samarkand today
Open between 9am and 6pm, the Registan of Samarkand remains a beautiful symbol of Samarkand’s prosperity as a city along the Silk Road, and is spectacularly lit up at night. Entry to the complex costs around 6 US Dollars and the madrassahs are now filled with souvenir shops where you can grab a memento.
Getting to Registan of Samarkand
Within the centre of Samarkand, just off the M37, the Registan and is a short drive from Samarkand’s International Airport. Otherwise, you can get buses 122, 30, 54, 77, 92 or 99 that pass near Registan.