Bukhara is one of the oldest cities in Central Asia. Its history is connected with the Arabs and the Mongols, who at various times owned this territory. The location of the city can be called strategic, so it was often subjected to invasions. The Silk Trade Route passed through the city, which helped in the development and strengthening of ties. There was little crime in Bukhara of the past, so almost no prisons were built. Only one zindan has survived to this day - a real fortress.
The architectural ensembles of the district were sometimes formed over the centuries, but they look like a single whole. Each ruler wanted to leave behind a legacy, so new mosques, madrasahs, minarets and tombs appeared regularly. Some of them have retained their functions, while others have become museums.
What to see and where to go in Bukhara?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
Architectural ensemble Poi-Kalyan
In the XII century, under the command of Arslan Khan, the city was completely rebuilt. Among other things, the ruler conceived the creation of the Poi-Kalyan complex. The minaret appeared at the same time, and the current cathedral mosque and Miri Arab madrasah - only in the 16th century. The place was not chosen by chance: in the past there was already a mosque here. At the time of the creation of the project, only ruins remained from it. The new building accommodated about 12 thousand people for simultaneous prayer. According to this indicator, it became the second in the country. The minaret is over 46 meters high. It has never been renovated. The madrasah is still used for its intended purpose.
The oldest archaeological site in Bukhara. Construction was carried out in the 10th century, but the earliest surviving buildings inside the walls date back to the 17th century. Legends attribute the foundation of the fortress to the local hero Siyavush. Omar Khayyam also lived here for some time. The unique library did not survive due to regular wars and attacks on the citadel. Now the architectural and art museum is based here.
Trading domes of Bukhara
The Silk Trade Route passed through Bukhara. For this reason, they traded willingly and a lot. At the intersection of roads, domed buildings were erected - something like covered bazaars, called "currents". Markets of different directions united under one roof. Four currents are traditionally distinguished: Toki Sarrafon, Toki Telpak Furushon, Tim Abdulla Khan, Toki Zargaron. You can buy everything from jewelry to old books.
Mausoleum of the Samanids
It is located on the site of an ancient cemetery, which was revered in the past. It was erected in the 9th century in the traditional Sogdian style, but with the use of more durable materials. The external features of the building refer to the vision of the creators of the world. At the base is a square - a symbol of the earth, and crowned with a dome - the vault of heaven. Three theologians are buried in the mausoleum, including the founder of the Samanid dynasty.
Mausoleum of Chashma-Ayub
The name is translated from Persian as "the source of Job." There is a spring near the tomb. According to legend, he appeared thanks to the prophet Job: with his staff, he touched the ground to give water to the locals. Although the mausoleum was built in the 12th century, there are no burials from that period. The building was rebuilt many times, including under Tamerlane. Now inside there is a water museum and an exhibition of carpets.
Baha ad-Din Complex
The area was in the past the center of one of the Sufi orders. The brethren got along well with official Islam and had no inclination to seclusion. The burial of the head of the brotherhood, a mosque, a khanaka, a minaret and a madrasah - all this is available on the territory of the complex. The structure of the arched sakkahana is also curious. According to legend, if you quench your thirst here and leave an offering, then any desire of the asker will be fulfilled.
It was originally located in the village, but the territory was later included in the city. Dzhuybar seyids are buried here. The history of their dynasty dates back to Muhammad himself. The necropolis was created to preserve the unique tombs. Over several centuries, the district was gradually overgrown with buildings, and the entrance was made in the form of an original gate. The last burials date back to the beginning of the last century.
In the central part of Bukhara there is Lyabi-Hauz square. Around it is a complex of old buildings. The development of this area was carried out in the XVI-XVII centuries. Kukeldash Madrasah was the first to be built. It combined a mosque, residential areas and classrooms. And Nodir-Divan-Begi initially served as a caravanserai, therefore it is devoid of many features familiar to a madrasah. Hanaka Divan-Begi is small in size, but it has a rich finish. A full-fledged component of the complex is a fountain. During its history, it managed to visit a pond, a water reservoir, and also, after draining, a sports ground.
Monument to Khoja Nasreddin
Established in 1979 by sculptor Yakov Shapiro. The author was given the task of conveying all the components of the complex image of the national hero. Khoja Nasreddin is popular in the East. He appears at the same time a man of great intelligence and a simpleton. From any problem, the people's favorite is able to benefit. Bronze Nasreddin was mounted on a donkey and given some playfulness to his features.
A single ensemble consists of several buildings at once: a mosque, a hauz and a minaret. In the past, this mosque was the main mosque in the city for Friday prayers. It is divided into two parts: winter and summer. Columns play an important role in interior design. They not only support the ceiling of the iwan, but also frame the entrance. The minaret appeared only in the last century. And the first buildings on the registan date back to the 18th century.
Built at the expense of a local merchant at the beginning of the century before last. Since the madrasah has 4 towers in the form of minarets, it got its name. It also has another name - Caliph Niyazkul in honor of its founder. The paintings on each tower are unique. It is believed that they refer to the main world religions. Subsequently, living quarters were attached to the madrasah. Their decoration is in the traditional style.
Madrassah of Ulugbek and Abdullaziz Khan
The complex was formed over a long period from the 15th to the 17th century. Madrasah Ulugbek was built earlier. More than 150 years after its foundation, its appearance has changed due to new cladding. Now the premises have been given to the Museum of the history of the restoration of city monuments. When decorating the madrasah of Abdullaziz Khan, yellow paint was used for the first time. The wall painting is very diverse, which is not typical for such buildings.
The complex consists of two madrasas, which stand opposite each other. Hence the name, translated as "double". The first madrasah in honor of Modari Khan was built in the 16th century, and the second, in honor of Abdullah Khan, a couple of decades later. These sights are not only examples of the architecture of their time. They were very popular educational institutions. Not everyone could get here.
Formed in the 16th century. Surrounded by residential area. On the territory of the complex there is a house lined with marble. Its spillway is made in the form of a dragon's head. Another notable building is the khanaka. The building was used as a quarter mosque. The walls have an unusual and extensive painting. The open gallery is also decorated with all sorts of decorative elements and patterns. At the same time, they are sustained in soothing colors.
Magoki Attari Mosque
It is located on the site of an ancient sanctuary. It was created to worship the moon, so the mosque is sometimes called Moh, which translates as "moon". The premises of the mosque literally went underground, but have now been restored in their original form. In ancient times, Jews could also perform rituals in Magoki Attari. Because of this, the followers of Judaism from Bukhara had a special wish for peace during prayers.
The palace was built at the beginning of the last century. It served as the country residence of the Emir of Bukhara. Although the complex was characterized by a European style, inside there was a division into male and female halves. Currently, the museum of decorative and applied arts is located inside. It has been operating since 1927 and has been seriously updated several times. One of the most popular expositions is the interiors of the palace.
House-Museum of Fayzulla Khodjaev
Faizulla Khodzhaev is a prominent fighter for equality, a political and public figure. He was repressed and executed in the 30s of the last century. The museum exposition is divided into 3 parts. The first is devoted to the life of Fayzulla himself. The other two are ethnographic in nature. They tell about the life of rich merchants of that period and about their cuisine. The museum is located in the house where the Khodzhaev family lived.
The cathedral mosque and madrasah form a single complex. It was formed towards the end of the 16th century. The yard device is typical for that time. But the minaret stands out, it is one of the highest in the city. Bulls were slaughtered at this place in the past. Hence the name, translated accordingly. Together with other objects of the historical part of the city, it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
One of two city prisons. The fortress was built in the 18th century and was used to detain debtors who did not appear at the morning obligatory prayer and other lawbreakers. The maximum term of imprisonment was 15 days, as the court sat on the square twice a month. Then the final punishment was given. Inside the zindan were rooms for torture and a pit with scorpions.
Shukhov water tower
Built in the 20s of the last century. Since the project belonged to Shukhov, the tower was named after the author. Until 1975, the tower was actively used as part of the city's water supply system. As a result of decay, it fell into disrepair and was taken out of service. Later, the object was included in the number of historical monuments. The authorities carried out restoration, and a restaurant was located inside, but not for long.