Yakutiye Medresesi
Erzurum, Turkey

The Yakutiye Madrasa (Yakutiye Medresesi) was commissioned by Khwaja Yaqut, the Ilkhanid governor of Erzurum, in 1310.

The madrasa is a rectangular structure centered on a covered courtyard. The main entrance is on the building’s west side through a monumental portal. The portal consists of a double door with a shallow arch surmounted by a muqarnas hood. Framing the hooded alcove is a rectangular façade that projects from the building’s west side and that is covered in carved ornament on all three sides. On the west side, surrounding the hooded entryway, the ornament consists of an inscription band around the spandrels of the arch, followed by a band of vegetal ornament based on split palmette motifs, followed by a geometric pattern based on twelve-point stars, and then followed by a more sculptural vegetal pattern and a molding element also covered with vegetation. The two sides (north and south) contain a blind niche at their bases with a motif consisting of a tree of life with confronted lions at its base and an eagle at its crown. Above this the space is filled with vegetal patterns.

A cylindrical tower surmounted by a conical roof rises on either end of the west façade. On the southern end, the tower is thinner and taller and decorated with a monumental strapwork motif in brick. The tower on the northern end is shorter and wider, and lacks decoration.

Entering the madrasa, one passes through a square vestibule onto the north west side of the central covered courtyard. Four barrel vaulted bays converge on a central bay surmounted by a pyramidal vault embellished with muqarnas and capped with a large skylight (now covered in glass). Four large piers support this central bay. The barrel vaulted bay on the west side gives onto the aforementioned entrance vestibule while the bays on the north, south, and east sides give onto open iwans. The iwan on the southern side contains a mihrab, while the iwan on the east side leads onto an octagonal tomb tower affixed to the eastern façade of the building. Between the iwans, cells line the roofed courtyard.  

From the outside, the octagonal tomb tower is decorated with blind arches and a conical roof.



Sinclair, T. A. Eastern Turkey: An Architectural and Archaeological Survey, 2:197-200. 2 vols. London: The Pindar Press, 1989.
Erzurum, Turkey
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Associated Names
1310/709-710 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Yakutiyye Medrese
Yakutiye Madrasa
Building Usages