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Kutlug Murad-inak madrasah

The Kutlug Murad-inak madrasah is located on the east side of Ichan-Kala, opposite to the Khodjamberdybiya madrasah. It is one of the earliest of many madrasahs, which remain in Khiva. The madrasah was built by the uncle of the Allakuli-khan - Kutlug Murad-inak in 1804-1812.

According to legend, the way to the ancient trading city of Khazarasp ran through the madrasah, so the masters, participating in its building, were invited from there. The madrasah lay-out was constructed according to strict traditions. The facade with its high portal and two circles of loggias is rather modestly decorated with a blue mosaic. The more well-known Khivan carved majolica art flowering was not used until several decades later. There is a darskhona (premise for study), and also a mosque, overlapped with a low cone-shaped dome inside. The square court yard is surrounded by an arch gallery of two-storeyed khudzhras. There are 81 khudzhras in the Kutlug Murad-inak madrasah and it was the first two-storeyed madrasah in Khiva. The towers-guldasta with raised lights were positioned on the madrasah's four corners. They are decorated with glazed and terracotta tiles with a stamped drawing. The Kutlug Murad-inak madrasah is distinguishable from other similar constructions by its ornamental panel of impressive and unique terracotta and stalactites, on the facade of the arch apertures. Such decor did not appear on other structures until the beginning of the XIX century.

Legend about the Kutlug Murad-inak madrasah

According to legend, Kutlug Murad-inak wanted to be buried in the madrasah, which he had constructed by himself. However he died in Dishan-Kala, and the body of the dead man could not cross the city walls according to Khivan custom. However the clergy in a rather cunning move destroyed the Ichan-Kala walls at their eastern gate and the madrasah then appeared in the territory of Dishan-Kala. The body was transferred through a hole in the wall and buried in the madrasah under the central room floor.