One of Uzbekistan’s most recognisable landmarks — the Samarkand Registan — has been reconstructed inside the video game Minecraft.
Built between 1417 and 1660, the Registan comprises three intricately-decorated madrasahs, clustered around a public square.
Reddit user pkmncar spent over a year recreating the landmark in the virtual world of Minecraft, using more than 15 million digital blocks.
Large mega builds aren’t unusual in Minecraft, which encourages users to forge materials to build their own digital worlds. Users even made a one-to-one recreation of the entire planet Earth back in 2020.
The Minecraft Registan is part of a wider series called the Cultural Wonders Project, which aims to bring the world’s architectural wonders to a wider, online audience.
Led by the three-person team of Caleb Liu, Julien Denis, and Saihej Singh, the project has already recreated Bulgaria’s Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, and the Hungarian Parliament Building in pixel-perfect precision.
They are now inviting other users to download the buildings and explore them for themselves using the Minecraft platform.
“We seek to address the accessibility barrier that plagues cultural exchange, where money is the chief determinant to exploration,” the team say on their website. “Every month, we seek to release a new interactive project for all to explore, alongside a short article about [the building’s] history and significance. With rising intersectional hostility and regional instability, travel to certain regions becomes difficult and risky. Our works will address this issue.”