Main Guide to go Restaurants Hotels Articles


Abdukholiq G'ijduvani kuddisu sirrihu. Khoja Muhammad Arif ar-Revgari. The mausoleum of Khoja Mahmud Anjir Fagnavi. Memorial complex of Khoja Ali Romitani. Khoja Muhammad Baba Samosi memorial complex. Khwaja Syed Amir Kulol Bukhari memorial complex. Bahouddin Naqshband.

A city like a fairy tale, Bukhara was called worldwide. In medieval East, it wa "noble," "glorious adobe." In the Middle Ages Bukhara was an important trad located at the crossroads of caravan routes. But these routes were followed traders and diplomats, travelers and dervishes, but also by the invaders. Ma its history, the city was destroyed and burned but later reborn from ruins. Sir foundation until 1920 this amazing city has never exceeded its walls, reinfor XVI century. The original plan of the city, established according to the relief, seen. There are buildings of all ages, from the IV century BC up to XX centu name of the city "Bihar" is derived from the Sanskrit "Vihara", which means ’ place of Buddhist monks." Legend attributes the foundation of Bukhara to Si hero of legends in Central Asia, charming young man, defamed by his stepn forced to flee to Turan, where he was first a warm welcomed, but then murd king Afrasiab. Modern Bukhara is situated in Zarafshan Valley, on the area < hectares, at 220 m. Since 1993, Bukhara is listed as a UNESCO World Her



Paykend is a major city of Bukharian part of Sogdiana. The first settlement in place of Paykend was established in the III century B. C. Later in the northeast corner of the city it was built Citadel in square shape. In the Citadel there was Fire Sanctuary. In the early Middle Ages, Paykend and Samarkand became important trade centers in Central Asia. Firdausi in his poem “Shahnameh” tells, that in Paykend Khosrau built a Temple of Fire, where Holy Book of Zoroastrians “Avesta” was created. At the beginning of the XI century life in the city was stopped probably due to lack of water. Karakhanid Arslan-Khan in the XII century undertook unsuccessful attempt to create waterway from Zeravshan. a lot of efforts and resources were spent there, but nevertheless it had to leave this matter because of the inability to carry out this work.




Varakhsha was the capital of "Bukhar-Khudates" - Bukhara kings before the Arab invasion. In 1937, the first excavations began in Varakhsha and discovered outstanding cultural values that allowed having a new look at the importance of the cultural heritage of Central Asian peoples and their contribution to the development of global civilization. Varakhsha provided art historians with rich information for there were discovered pre- Islamic wall paintings including pictures of humans and animals, of the animated world. This was the first monument of palace architecture of the period before the Arab conquest. The palace was located near the southern walls of the city, west of the citadel. There were three large rooms located on the same axis - the East Room, Red and the West. The Varakhsha palace amazes by its size and the beauty of paintings


The Gates of Ancient Bukhara

The city appeared in the middle of the I millennium BC. The researchers have proved that age of Bukhara is more than 2500 years. The preserved part of the city wall with breaches is a unique defensive monument of Bukhara's architecture. In the late XVI — early XX centuries, the city wall of Bukhara with a total length of 12 kilometers had 116 rounded half-towers and 11 pairs of towers. Of the 11 gates, only two have been preserved, the Karakul gate and the Talipach gate, four have been restaured: Samarkand Gate, Hazrat Imam Gate, Sheikh Gate and Jalal Gate, Sallohkhona, five gates have been lost -Shergiron Gate, Mazar-I-Sharif Gate, Uglon Gate, Namozgoh Gate and Karshi Gate.


Ark means “a citadel” - residence of governors of Bukhara. Ark has been constructed 2000 years ago, on an artificial hill. A citadel is encircled with by a defensive wall. The wall's height fluctuates from 16 to 21 meters. The surface is more than 4 hectares. This monument is dated by 16 century. Ark was a city administrative centre. The only enter is turned to the West where there are the wooden gate made by order of the Nadir-shah in 18 century. There are two towers on the sides of the gate. The towers unite with each other on the top and form gallery which were named as «Nogora khona» means - “a place for musicians”. Meanwhile the Emir was awake, music had to sound. At going up in Ark, there are three zindans- prison cells, from the left side of a corridor. Till 1920, there lived nearby 3000 persons in the Ark. There were three mosques in citadel, one of which has remained up to now. Now this is a manuscript museum. It is a mosque of 18 centuries. In Ark there were mosques, an arsenal, a stable, treasury of Emir, a mint, a throne-room, a court yard for greeting of Emir (Salomhona).

The mausoleum of Ismail Samani

The Samanid's mausoleum is a monument of architecture of 9-1 Oth centuries. It was built for Samanid's main ruler, Ismail Samani, who ruled from the end of the 9th to the beginning of the 10th centuries. Besides, other representatives of this dynasty are buried here, such as: Ismail's father Ahmad, nephew Nasr and others. The mausoleum represents a cubic construction which reminds of a Muslim relic Kaaba. The building is roofed by a dome, personifying a firmament that is a symbol of whole universe. The dome is constructed from burnt brick. It is four-front construction, i.e. all four parties are decoratively processed equally under a facade, though only one of facades has an entrance bay in a building. A total symmetry is observed in all architectural forms. The same techniques of ornament are used both inside and outside of building. The ornament is represented in the form of various brickworks. There are about 18 different patterns created with the help of burnt brick. Looking at this mausoleum, one can understand one of the themes of Islam: leaving from the transitory world in the eternity world: «Moslems do not die, but only pass from one door to another®


Chashmai-ayub is a group of the constructions, which differ one from another in the lay-out and architecture. The most ancient constructions were built in 12th century, at the time of government of the Karahanids dynasty. Later the mausoleum was constantly completed and supplemented by many other governors. Shaibanids dynasty was the last in the 16th century. The special attention attracts a conic dome, which is not typical for architecture of medieval Bukhara. It is an element of architecture of ancient Khoresm. To this fact there is a historical substantiation. At Amir Timur's military campaign to Khoresm, khoresmians have been taken as prisoners, including architects who have been involved in reorganization of a relic of Moslems of Chashmai-Ajub. The name means - «a sacred source of bible Job® who, according to a legend, has rescued ancient Bukhara from a drought. To this day, believers consider water from this source to be sacred and curative. Every day here assemble a great number of pilgrims to drink a little bit from this wonder­working water.


The Magoki-Attori mosque was built on the former site of a Zoroastrian temple of sacred fire. Nowadays, the foundation of the mosque is deeply embedded in the ground. Indeed, the historical city center of Bukhara, Shakhristan, based on an old cultural layer of many meters, is old of over two millennia. The oldest part of the mosque dates back to the XII century, however the upper part was rebuilt in XVI century. From an original building remained only the main front with asymmetrically located portal. The primary foundations of the portal arch include two double columns, identified as reminiscences of the architecture of the early Middle Ages. The decoration of the facade combines brick mosaics with typical carving ceramics of the period of Karahans. The arch is decorated with an inscription made in naskh (Arabic writing style).

The architectural ensemble of Kosh madrasahs

Modari-Khan madrasah was built by Abdulla-khan in 1566-1567 in the honor of his mother. A historian of Adbulla-khan wrote: “His (madrasah's) high arches and domes, the rooms upstairs and downstairs, and the foundations as well are robust." The building is located at an angle, so there is no absolute symmetry. The decoration of this madrasah can be recognized as one of the most modest in Bukhara. Abdulla-khan madrasah was built ten decades later, in 1588-1590. The basic principle is the same: the courtyard framed by the building. However, the building structure is much more complicated. The main entrance has a very high portal providing access to the two-storey wings with balconies and an upstairs gallery. Big dimensions of the fagade and abundance of decorative elements give to the building a spectacular view. Besides, cool colors of majolica (blue, blue­green, white) shine in the sunny days. The doors of the facade, covered with fine sculpture, are made with a lot of skill and without a sinqle nail.


The mosque of Bolo-Hauz has been constructed in 1712. The mosque is located against the Arch. Bolo-Hauz means - (the Mosque standing over pool). From time to time the mosque was visited by the Emir of Bukhara. From the Arch to a mosque were laid red carpets. In the beginning of 20th centuries a big Ayvan was constructed near the mosque. Aivan consists of 20 columns (wood of elm). The height of Aivan is 12, 5 m. the ceiling of Aivan is decorated by multi­colored paints. When the water in the pool was pure and transparent, these 20 columns were reflected there. Since 20th centuries the mosque was renamed to Chilstun. It means - “a mosque consisting of 40 columns”. Several years ago the mosque has been restored by the best masters of architecture. Now the mosque serves both as a quarter, and a Friday mosque. Generally there are 3 types of mosques construction: 1 - a Friday mosque, 2- quarter mosque, 3- place of prayer (Namozgoh) which is situated in the country




The complex Poi-kalon

The complex "Poi -kalon" is considered to be "a heart" of Bukhara, established during several centuries. This complex of ancient architecture consists of madrassah Mir-Arab, a mosque and a minaret of Kalon. It is also named a unique silhouette of a city. The complex's name means - «At a foot of the big minaret». Not once here has been filming, as this object has grandiose east atmosphere. The mosque Kalon - is a Friday mosque which is one of the most ancient constructions of medieval Bukhara. It is the second-large historical mosque after the mosque of Bibi-Hanym in Samarkand. The original mosque has been constructed simultaneously with a minaret of Kalon, but it has been destroyed during Genghis Khan's invasion. Later the mosque were restored, it is dated by the 16th century, Sheaibanid's epoch. The big court yard is surrounded by the arcades, propped up by 288 massive columns. The area has the form of a rectangle its size 127x78 m. The minaret Kalon is a symbol of Bukhara. It has been constructed in 1127 by order of Arslankhan - the governor of Karahanid's dynasty. The minaret height is 46 meters. It is foreseen in design stability against earthquakes and pushes to what is the evidence of the base going deep into 10 meters. Diameter at the basis makes 9 meters, and at the highest top is 6 meters. The minaret served as a beacon for orientation of the caravans going to Bukhara. Also it served for an appeal to a prayer of townspeople. In the top part of a minaret it is possible to see glazed bricks, forming a turquoise girdle that is one of the first examples of use of colored painted glaze as an architectural decor. The minaret had the important strategic value for medieval Bukhara, endured even mongolo-tatar invasion under Genghis Khan's leadership as he understood the important strategic and practical value of this tower.

Mercant domes

At the main crossroads of the city of Bukhara were built trading complexes - Merchant Domes, Tok. Today they are distinguished by numbers: first, second and third dome. The third dome, located at the main crossroads of

the ancient Shakhristan (the oldest part of the city), has retained its old name - Toki Zargaron - "jewelers dome" (XVI century). This dome is an arcade whose dome covers the street, including several galleries with shops and workshops. The dome Toki Zargaron was a place of manufacture and sale of various jewelries. Toki Zargaron used to offload the traffic through the side passages including 36 boutiques and shops of jewelers sitting in the deep niches with all their tools.


This small solitary building was built in 1807 by the rich Turkmen merchant Halifa-Niyazkul. It consists of 4 minarets with turquoise domes. That is why it is called “Chor-Minor”- it means “4 minarets”. There was an ancient summer mosque in the southern part and a pool. Only ruins of former Hudshras- cells of students and a gate of complex held out till today. According to some legends these 4 minarets symbolize such great cities as: Bukhara, Samarkand, Damask and Bagdad. Chor-Minor is protected by the UNESCO.





Madrassah Abdulazizkhan

Madrassah Abdulazizkhan was erected in 200 years after the time since Bukhara became a capital of the of the same name khanat. The best architects and masters of that time were engaged for the building of this school of Koran. It is a typical example of the architecture of that period, where the techniques of decor and architecture were still developing. Abdulazizkhan wanted to excel his predecessors in architectural forms. One can see a real revival of Islamic calligraphy here. There are such elements as: vases, mythical birds, the scenery of gardens which dates back to Indian miniatures. The fagade of the madrassah is covered with majolica. The mosaic of the portal which goes to the inner yard is represented by plant design where the mythical bird “Semurg” and dragon are depicted. The most outstanding is the decor of the inner domes in summer and winter mosques and madrassah. This school of Loran had furnaces which were considered to be innovation of that time. Different methods and materials were used for decor: mosaic, majolica, fretwork on marble and “Kundal”- “gilding”.

Ulugbek’s madrassah

According to the tradition, if 2 madrassahs are built one in front of another they called “Kosh”- “Twins” madrassah. Ulugbek's madrassah was built by the order of Timur's grandson in 1417. the stars which are depicted on the fagade of this religious building remind about Ulugbek's passion for astronomy. There is an inscription on the madrassah's portal, which says; “aspiration for knowledge is the sacred duty of all Muslims, men and women”. It is also written there: “Ismail ibn Tahir- son of craftsman Mahmud from Isfahan”. The restoration works were made in 1994 in order to honour the 500th anniversary of Ulugbek.

Similar articles
Abdukholiq G'ijduvani kuddisu sirrihu.

In the Islamic world, the Khojagon-Naqshbandiya, Yassaviya, and Qubravia s…


Khorezm is the oldest oasis situated in the n…


Tashkent is the capital of the Republic of Uz…


Thousands of cities exist on earth, and each …


Kokand is one of the oldest cities in Central…