Sunday, October 13, 2019

Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Bukhara, or Buxoro in Uzbek, was founded around the 6th century BC and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in Central Asia.  It's 240 km (149 miles) from Samarkand.  With a population of 272.000 people it is the 5th largest city in Uzbekistan.  

The city is located along the Silk Road and it was once a major intellectual centre in the Islamic world.  Bukhara is filled with architectural sights and the historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I never knew that there once was a Bukhara People's Soviet Republic.  It only existed from 1920 - 1925 and it then became part of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic.

The Ark is the massive fortress.  The true age isn't known but the military structure was in use around the 5th Century AD.  It remained in use as a fortress until it fell Imperial Russia in 1920.  Today it holds a few museums, a mosque, and stables.

The Kalyan Mosque was completed in 1514.  It can accommodate 12.000 people.  It's beautiful during the day but gorgeous at night when it is lit up.

The Kalyan Minaret was built in 1127.  It is made of bricks at is 45,6 meters (150 feet) tall and 9 meters (30 feet) wide at the base.  As a minaret it is used to call people to prayer.  During war times it was used as a watchtower.  It was also known as the Tower of Death because criminals were executed by being thrown from the top.  Apparently Genghis Khan was so impressed by the tower that it was spared when his men destroyed the city.

The Mir-i-Arab Madrassah was completed in 1535-1536.  It is still a functioning madrassah where future imams and religious leaders train.  At night it looks like something from "Alladin."

Mir-i-Arab Madrassah at night.

Collectively, the Kalyan Mosque, the minaret, the madrassah, and another small madrassah, make up the Poi-Kalyan complex. 

The Abdullazizkhan Madrasah was built in 1651-1652.

The Memorial Complex of Imam Al Bukhari is a small museum that opened in 2001.  It is shaped as a partially opened book.

The Chashma-Ayub mausoleum is on top of the the spot where it is believed that the prophet Job struck the ground with a stick and fresh water came forth.

The Carpet Weaving Museum opened in 1991.

The Sarrafon Bathhouse was built in the 16th century.  I'm not sure if it is still a functioning Hammam.

The Magoni-Attori Mosque was rebuilt in the 12th century.

The Bukhara Synagogue is one of only two remaining synagogues in the city.  Back in the 1920s, over 10% of the city's population was Jewish and there were 13 synagogues.

The Lyab-i Hauz complex sits around one of the city's last remaining ponds as they were all filled in during the Soviet era.  It's a great place to grab a tea and write postcards

The statue of Nasruddin Hodja is the central character of many Central Asian children's folk stories.

The Kukeldash Madrasah was completed in 1569 and it is the largest in the city.

The Samanid Mausoleum was built in the 10th century.

The Museum of Fine Art building was built in 1912.  The museum has been here since 1982.

Zindan is the 18th century dungeon.

The prison's 4th cell was the most notorious and it was known as the "bug pit" which was reserved for the least favourite prisoners.

The trading domes are filled with souvenir shops.   

The observation tower was originally a water tower built in 1920.  The observation deck on top provides views of the entire city.

At night it's all lit up.

In the centre are the remains of ancient caravans and bathhouses.

Chor Minor, also known as the Madrassah of Khalif Niyaz, was completed in 1807.  It was a gatehouse for a madrasa that has long since been destroyed.

The Emir's Palace was completed in 1898.  During Soviet times it was used as the Palace of Culture of the Railway Workers.  It is not used today and is in desperate need of renovation.

No comments:

Post a Comment