‘The noblest public square in the world’. In Samarkand
Updating this blog on a Cyrillic keyboard, Russian win xp, and with a
partially working space bar has given my brain a nice workout. Arriving
in Samarkand is really going back in time, not just with no Wi-Fi and
waiting 2 mins for a page to load, but to be in the city of the beautiful Registan.
The square surrounded by Madrasah was first used in the 14th century, being a place for proclamations by the ruler, and executions. The Islamic architecture has survived invasions, wars and major earthquakes, with the help of a little rebuilding at times, particularly of the Minarets, which have toppled down on several occasions. Remember this if you ever bribe the Policeman at the bottom of them, who will pocket $5 and let you wander up an incredibly narrow and steep set of stairs with an incredible view of the square from the top.
The Victorian traveller Curzon noted that the Registan was ‘…the noblest public
square in the world in it’s massive simplicity and grandeur’. It still
sends adrenalin thumping through my veins to see it. Three madrasah,
each accompanied by towering minarets, a photo can only give a taste of
it. The Registan is probably the most amazing human monument I have ever
And today it was closed.
Heavy security prevented anyone getting near
it as rehearsals for the upcoming independence day were in progress.
‘NO PICTURES!!!’ Shouted the local Police. Luckily I knew a back street
from my previous visit, which got me, via the tradesmans entrance, a
great position to watch the dancing, and take photos to my hearts