Abdulaziz Khan Madrassah (Museum of Wood Carving Art)
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The Abdulazizkhan madrasah, which is located opposite to the Ulughbek Madrassah in Buhara was built in 1652. Facing one another, these two madrasahs compose a single architectural ensemble called Kosh Madrassah, which is common in Bukhara. These two madrassahs, Madrassah of Ulughbek and Madrassah of Abdul Aziz Khan, stand facing each other for many centuries and represent two dinastieds once ruled Bukhara - Timurid and Ashtarkhanids.
Ulughbek Madrassah was built by the Great Temur’s (Tamerlane) grandson Ulughbek, whereas the Madrassah of Abdulazizkhan bears the name of the Bukharian Emir, Abdulaziz khan, who is the founder of the madrassah.
In Bukharan and Central Asian architecture, the Abdulazizkhan madrasah stands out with its rich decor of facede, portal and interior. The Madrassah was built on the Persian model, with a large courtyard, divided by four iwans. Of great interest is the decoration of walls with genre pictures, which was an innovation in the traditional architecture of that time. The portal of the madrasah is ornamented with the Chinese dragon and Semurg, a legendary Persian bird.
Museum of Wood Carving Art
The Museum of wood carving art, which is located in the Abdulaziz Khan Madrassah, exhibits finest collections of Bukharian wood carving art. The 16th – 18th centuries were marked in the history of Central Asian art as the flourishing period for Bukharan school of wood carvers. Wide range of works on wood carving were carried out in decorating mosques, madrasahs, gates, doors, and tombstones. The museum, which was set up in 1988, demonstrates carved doors, chairs, shutters, and stamps for block-prints made of a pear- tree (19th – 20th cc.).