The entrance façades of the Mir-i Arab Madrasa and the Kalyan Congregational Mosque face each other across a small square named the Poi Kalyan, 'at the foot of the Great One'. The 'Great One' is the 46 meter high Kalyan minaret, predating the other structures by several centuries. A domed library forms the third side of the square.
Qarakhanid ruler Arslan Khan (1102 - 1129) initiated building activity on this site, commissioning several structures including a wooden mosque with a wooden minaret, of which little is known. His own tomb was also located here. Tradition relates that the wooden minaret fell some time after its erection, destroying in its fall the adjoining mosque. The existing brick minaret was built as a replacement in 1127, and the standing mosque was constructed in phases over the first half of the fifteenth century and during the sixteenth century. The madrasa was built in 1535-6.
Golombek, L. and Wilber, D. eds. 1988. The Timurid Architecture of Iran and Turan. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 228-230.
Michell, G. 1995. Architecture of the Islamic World. London: Thames and Hudson, 259.