Aerial viewAerial viewEarly cavemenEarly cavemenTribal religionTribal religionHindu displayHindu displayDesert KalaDesert KalaDesert KalaDesert Kala
Front viewFront view
Dummy familyDummy family
Originally designed as a place of Islamic instruction in 1905, the Matpana Baya madrassah was transformed into a museum of atheism under the Soviets before being changed again after independence into a museum of religion. While none of the exhibitions are particularly interesting in their own right, they offer a fascinating glimpse into present-day Uzbekistan.
The madrassah cells house displays showing cavemen, ancient and polytheistic religions as well as mono religions. The former communist exhibits have been taken away, leaving an empty space that has yet to be ideologically filled. Instead there is an Uzbek family of dummies sitting round a low table, drinking tea and staring at a television screen.
Look out for the models of the desert kalas near the entrance.