Kukhna Madrasah: architectural monument of the XVII century
Opposite to the entry to the Gissar Fortress there is the Kukhna madrasah (Old madrasah), built in the XVII century and extant up to date. The Kukhna madrasah prepared scholars-theologians and clergy representatives. They learned the Koran, Arab language, khadises (Prophet’s sayings), kalam, Sheriat and history of Islam. By Central Asian standards the Kukhna madrasah was rather large because it taught up to 150 pupils.
The madrasah is a building of brick with an entrance portal crowned with a dome. The madrasah itself is of rectangular shape. When visitors enter inside they see a spacious yard surrounded by khujrs (pupils’ cells) located along the perimeter. In the courtyard of the XVI-XIX centuries there located a small garden and ayvans for rest of pupils and teachers. Besides the khujrs, the madrasah housed class rooms as well as a mosque, a canonical attribute of any madrasah. The domed mosque and class rooms were located opposite to the entrance portal of the main building. The madrasah’s interior décor was not very rich. Carved wooden doors and traditional carved grids on the windows – pajara, can be mentioned there.
Apart from the building itself, a rather large library which nowadays is a museum in some way is also preserved in the Kukhna madrasah. The library’s major part is devoted to religious subject.
Not far from the Old madrasah’s building there is the Nav Madrasah (New madrasah) with the two-storeyed façade only survived up to date. The new madrasah was built in the XVIII-XIX centuries, but in the course of the civil war, it was almost completely destroyed.