In the northeastern part of the city over the Labi-Hauz on one of the old streets in the direction Mazar gate stands open space an unusual monument to the beginning of the XIX century - Chor-Minor Madrassah ("four minarets"). This well-preserved building, erected with the money the rich Turkmen - Khalif Niyazkul.
Its architecture is different from the traditional scheme. The building of madrassas attached four small minarets crowned with blue domes, minarets and the decor is different. Hence, the building got its name "Chor-Minor" ("Four minarets"). Three towers have been used as a storeroom. In the fourth arranged in a ladder that goes to the second floor in the domed hall, which housed a surprisingly rich library.
The unusual design of Chor-Minor leads to conf usion. So sometimes Chor-Minor consider only as a gateway to the lost madrasah. However, on closer examination shows that the Chor-Minor, even in its current state - is a complete complex of buildings that have at least two purposes - a ritual and residential.
The main building with the towers - it is a mosque. Despite its unusual exterior design, the mosque has a rather ordinary interior. She served for the daily five-time prayer. The presence of the dome gives the audience the value of “zikr-khana”, then there are places for Sufis, their rituals, which often include recitation, singing and instrumental music.
By the side walls of the central building attached living quarters. Thus, for the functioning of madrassas lacks only the classroom - "darskhona" and certain other areas, such as the dining room - "oshhona". However, there is not even any hint that they ever existed. But it was a common occurrence in Bukhara, in the so-called madrassa was not classrooms, or even if they were, they still were not conducted studies. These madrassas have been u sed as student dormitories. Madrasah includes patio surrounded on two sides one-story “hudjras” (cells), columned “aywan” (gallery), a summer mosque, pool, lined with stone blocks.
It is noteworthy that each of the four minarets of Chor-Minor has a different shape and different decor. Some elements of the design of minarets can see something resembling a cross, the Christian fish and Buddhist prayer wheels. It is believed that it was such a decoration creators madrassa wanted to reflect comprehension of four world religions.