Bukhara – ancient and eternal


Bukhara – ancient and eternal

In the past era on the Great Silk Road was built, burned and rose from the ashes of the holy city – Bukhara. Ancient and eternal Bukhara has never lost its beauty and wealth. All of them are reflected in its striking sights.

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Paikend settlement

Paikend settlement

Paikend was formed in the 4th–2nd centuries BC. It was called the "city of merchants". He had neither a ruler nor a ruler. Later, a square citadel was built in the northeast corner. In 706, the city was captured by the Arabs. They captured a rich booty: many gold and silver vessels with a total weight of 150 thousand gold miskals, a silver idol weighing 4 thousand dirhams.

In the late 8th – early 9th centuries, craft suburbs and military camps (rabats) of fighters for the faith appeared outside the fortress walls. From the 9th century. Paikend turns into one of the centers of Islam. During the reign of the Samanid dynasty, significant construction was carried out here. A large cathedral mosque was built in Paikend.

At the beginning of the 11th century, life in the city comes to a standstill, most likely due to a lack of water. In the 12th century, Karakhanid Arslan Khan made an unsuccessful attempt to build a separate canal from Zaravshan. A lot of effort and money was spent, many people died, but the project was not crowned with success. The territory was still partially inhabited until the 15th century, but in the end it turned out to be abandoned.

Ark Citadel

Ark Citadel

A monumental fortress, towering almost 20 meters and covering an area of about 4 hectares. This is the oldest architectural and archaeological monument in Bukhara.

According to legend, the young youth Siyavush wanted to marry the daughter of the ruler of Afrosiab. To which he replied that he would marry his beloved daughter to him only if he had the strength to build a fortress on a bull's skin. The young man agreed. He made a carpet of hide, on which he erected an incredible citadel, from the sight of which is breathtaking.

The exact date of the construction of the Ark Citadel is unknown. In the 1st millennium, important persons of the city lived there. The citadel has always reliably protected the rulers of Bukhara. In addition to the shahs, there was also a home for scientific and cultural figures of Asia – Avicenna and Omar Khayyam.

Now it is a museum-reserve. It contains over 70 thousand exhibits. The throne room, a bathhouse, 2 mosques, the courtyard of the Prime Minister and greetings, a stable and a khanaka have survived to this day.

7 shrines of Bukhara

Bukhara is the homeland of the seven great Sufis of the Naqshbandi Brotherhood. The great representatives of Sufism lived here, led a religious and social life, contributed to the formation and prosperity of the Blessed Bukhara, the upbringing of spirituality, and the raising of the emotional spirit. Here are the burial places of the saints of the Sufis – feasts – Muslim sanctuaries.

7 shrines of Bukhara

Mausoleum of Khoja Abdulkhalik al-Gijduvani

Khoja Abdulkhalik al-Gijduvani was a murshid (spiritual mentor) who paved the path of the Naqshbandi teachings.

During his life, the mausoleum was a chillyakhona, where people came to pray during the forty days of sweltering heat. The holy place of supplication then becomes a cherished place of worship. Most pilgrims begin their blessed journey with a visit to this mausoleum. In the recent past, the shrine was abandoned. Now the Mausoleum, as a part of the Ancient East, shows the connection between earth and sky.

Mausoleum of Khoja Muhammad Arif ar-Revgari

Khoja Arif Revgari ibn Ismail (1165–1262) was born in the village of Revgar. He was a student of the great Abdulkhalik al-Gijduvani. After the death of the great teacher, he received permission to be a spiritual mentor. Until the end of his life, he was actively involved in religious activities.

Mausoleum of Khoja Mahmud Anzhir-Fagnavi

Burial place of the greatest Sufi, spiritual teacher. He was born near the city of Vabkent. At the beginning of his career he was a craftsman and carpenter. Having passed the student's path, he became a murshid. Mahmud Anzhir-Fagnavi was the first to pronounce dhikr loudly, believing that "those who sleep must wake up".

Memorial complex of Khoja Ali Ramitani

Burial place of the famous spiritual master of the Sufi school of Hajagan. The people called the Sufi "Azizkhon" (venerable sheikh).

Born at the end of the 12th century in the city of Ramitan. He was engaged in weaving and was a student of Mahmoud Fagnawi. He succeeded in the impossible - he converted the Mongols to the Islamic faith. He helped to restore scattered lands, was engaged in healing. Throughout his long and righteous life, he had many disciples, among whom were his sons. He bequeathed to his youngest son Khoja Ibrahim to continue his teaching.

Memorial complex of Khoja Muhammad Bobo Samosi

Burial place of the famous Sufi, follower of Khoja Ali Ramitani. Khoja Sammasi (1259–1354) made an invaluable contribution to the development of Sufism, predicted the birth of the great personality Bahauddin Muhammad Naqshbandi and his contribution to the development of Sufism.

He said that the greatest son of Sufism and enlightenment would be born, and the place of his birth would be called the “Village of the Enlightened”. The teacher passed away at the age of 95. On the site of his holy burial, a mausoleum, a mosque, a well and a beautiful garden were erected everything that this non-trivial person personified with his teachings.

Memorial complex of Khoja Said Amir Kulal Bukhari

Burial place of the Hanafi scholar-theologian, Sufi murshid, pir, spiritual mentor Bahauddin Naqshbandi. During his lifetime he had the nickname "Kalon" (the Great).

Said Amir Kulal (1287–1370) was born in the town of Suhar, in a family of hereditary potters and was professionally engaged in this craft all his life. He was a renowned talented potter and became famous long before becoming a Great Teacher. He was a spiritual authority and had over a hundred followers. He introduced Naqshbandi to the basics of Sufism, the correct reading of dhikr, and the traditions of the mystical path of Hajagan.

Bahauddin Naqshbandi Complex (16th century)

The unique memorial complex of Bahauddin Naqshbandi or Baha ad-Din was built over 5 centuries and became a religious shrine for the followers of Islam.

In the center of the courtyard is the grave of the sheikh himself. In 1544 Abdalaziz Khan designed the burial place of Bahauddin in the form of a rectangular ground marble crypt – a dakhma with a carved marble fence on top. A spacious khanaka was built on the initiative of the emir. At the beginning of the 18th century, a minaret and two mosques – a man's and a woman's – were added to the complex. Muzaffar Khan (reigned 1860–1885) ordered to build another mosque, which now bears his name.

During the years of the Soviet Union, the necropolis fell into disrepair. In 1993, for the 675th anniversary of the famous Sufi, restoration work was carried out in the complex. The memorial was expanded in 2003. An entrance building with a dome was built in the style traditional for Central Asian religious buildings. The cemetery adjacent to the memorial was restored, where representatives of the ruling dynasties of ancient Uzbekistan are buried.

The complex has become not only a religious Islamic shrine, but also a tourist attraction visited by many guests of Bukhara.

Magoki-Attari Mosque

Magoki-Attari Mosque

The oldest surviving monument of medieval architecture.

In this place, the Zoroastrians in the 1st millennium built the Temple of Fire and the bazaar, where they traded in Zoroastrian idols, medicinal herbs and spices. The construction of the mosque in 714 is associated with the name of the Arab sheikh Kuteiba ibn Muslim – one of the first people who brought Islam to the territory of Central Asia. The name of the mosque has changed more than once. In the 9th – early 13th centuries it was called Mach (Lunar); in the 16th century – Magok or Magoki Attari (pit of pharmacists); in the 17th century it was renamed Magoki kukhna (Old Magok).

Usually the steps leading up to the building go up. But in Bukhara, the opposite is observed at the monuments the steps lead down. Through the steps of time deep into history. The older the monument, the more powerful the cultural layers around it. The difference from the 21st century to the 12th century is felt when approaching the Magoki-Attari mosque. It is more than 4.5 meters below ground level.

In the 9-11th centuries, there were two monumental buildings on this site. The lower mosque burned down during a great fire in 937 and lay in ruins for a long time. In the second half of the 12th century, a new building was built in its place. It gradually collapsed. In the 15th century, the arch of the southern portal collapsed. By the first half of the 16th century, the mosque was so "plunged" into the ground that during the major reconstruction of this part of the city in 1540–1550 they even wanted to demolish it.

By the beginning of the 20th century, the mosque was covered with earth almost to the roof, only dilapidated domes and part of the 16th century portal towered. In the 1930s, significant archaeological research and restoration work was carried out here, and the remains of carved decor and foundations from the 10th century were discovered. The southern portal of the mosque with unique blue ornaments and carved majolica was opened under a layer of soil. The double quarter columns on the sides of the portal are an echo of the pre-Islamic era, and the decorative trim of five carved ganch slabs with exquisite compositions in the form of elegant ornament speaks of the power and greatness of Islam.

Since 1991, an exposition of the Museum of Carpets has been functioning in Magoki-Attari.

Mausoleum of the Samanids

Mausoleum of the Samanids

The Samanid mausoleum was erected in the 9-10th centuries by the founder of the state, Ismail, on the grave of his father. As a result, it became the family tomb of the dynasty. It is the oldest Islamic architectural monument in the Middle East.

It is built in the likeness of a Zoroastrian temple – a cube covered with a hemispherical dome. The tomb is made of baked bricks. Wall thickness up to 1.8 m protected the building from destruction. It has no facade and all sides of the tomb are the same. A through gallery with 40 window openings runs along the top of the mausoleum.

The building shimmers in five shades, depending on the time of day. The artistic effect was achieved with the help of combined masonry. There is no similar decoration on any monument of world architecture. Depending on the direction of sunlight, the pattern on the walls of the mausoleum changes its ornament.

According to legend, the monument was not destroyed by Genghis Khan, since he did not notice him because of the large cemetery surrounding the mausoleum.

Chor-Bakr necropolis

Chor-Bakr necropolis

The Chor-Bakr necropolis is a fairly large architectural complex. This is a cemetery in the suburbs, in which there are burials of sheikhs from the Djuybar seyid clan. The necropolis consists of mausoleums and tombs. In the center of the necropolis there is a mosque, khanaka and madrasah.

The erection of the necropolis began in the time of the Samanids, when the Djuybar sayyids already occupied important government posts in Bukhara. The most ancient part of the necropolis is the burial place of Abu-Bakr Sad, who is considered a "descendant of the prophet" and the ancestor of the head of the Djuybar sheikhs, that is, the founder of the entire dynasty of Djuybar sayyids. The rest of the main buildings were built in the 16th century during the Sheibanid dynasty.

The name of the necropolis "Chor-Bakr" means "Four brothers", but it is better known under the name "City of the Dead" which it is in fact. It has streets, courtyards, gates, but instead of houses, there are family dakhmas and tombstones everywhere.

Pilgrims believe that if in one visit to the necropolis they visit four burial vaults of the Bakrs, then the wish made will certainly come true.

Poi-Kalyan architectural ensemble

The complex was built near the Arka citadel and consists of three structures built in the 12th-16th centuries: the Kalyan minaret, the Kalyan mosque and the Miri Arab madrasah.Poi Kalyan is located on the ceremonial Registan square and is the central architectural ensemble of Bukhara.

Poi-Kalyan architectural ensemble

Kalyan Minaret

The Kalyan Minaret or the Big Bukhara Minaret is the oldest building on the square. In the 12th century, Arslan Khan conceived a grandiose reorganization of the city: he dismantled the city palace, recreated the citadel, which had turned into ruins by that time, and moved the city mosque with a minaret. The minaret was beautifully made, but it was not strong. Shortly after completion, he falls and destroys two thirds of the mosque. A new mosque and Kalyan minaret were built in 1127. For 900 years, it has never been repaired, but it has survived to this day. Its height is 46.5 meters, its base is 9 meters in diameter.

Kalyan Mosque

In the 16th century, the present Kalyan mosque was built on the site of the Arslan Khan mosque. Its construction is completed in 1514. It accommodated 1,200 people. Inside and out, it is decorated with mosaics and inscriptions.

Miri Arab Madrasah

In 1536, Ubaidulla Khan, opposite the mosque, builds a madrasah on the advice of his confidant Miri Arab Yemensky, and the ensemble takes on its modern look. The madrasah consists of 114 rooms (hujras) and 2 halls. After the death of Miri Arab, his tomb was erected in the courtyard of the madrasah, and the khan himself also rests here.

Madrasah of Ulugbek and Abdulaziz Khan

Madrasah of Ulugbek and Abdulaziz Khan

Madrasahs of Ulugbek and Abdulaziz Khan form a single ensemble, although the first was built in 1417, and the second – 230 years later.

After returning from his sixth trip to Mecca, Abdulaziz Khan summoned all the prominent masters and gave instructions to build a new educational building. A feature of the decoration was to be such a refraction of light so that the image of the ruler was displayed on one of the walls. But, according to the holy Koran, images of people on the walls were prohibited. Despite this, construction began, in which the chief court architect Mohamed Salih took part.

The work of the craftsmen exceeded the expectations of the ruler. On the southern walls there were images of snakes and scorpions, which personified difficulties and troubles. And in the northern part of the building, the gates of paradise were depicted, opening for people with patience, enduring the troubles and hardships of this world. On the western wall of the khanaka, two images of a bear indicated that rank and wealth were given to people for testing. The eastern part of the walls was painted with verses from the Koran with a mention of Allah.

But his order was not carried out, the image of the ruler was not depicted. There was no limit to the indignation of Abdulaziz Khan, and he decided to punish the master. But he asked the ruler to carefully examine the mehrab of the building, in which a bouquet of flowers was depicted in the middle and a small portrait of the ruler was placed. Abdulaziz Khan was so impressed by the skill of the artists that he decided to renounce the throne and indulge in prayers. And the construction of the madrasah remained unfinished.

Despite the fact that the Abdulaziz Khan madrasah is not completed, it can be called the most beautiful work in the city. It was with the beginning of the construction of the Abdulaziz Khan madrasah that the rapid development of eastern Central Asian architecture began.

Lyabi-Khauz square

Lyabi-Hauz square

The majestic Lyabi-Khauz ensemble (translated from Uzbek "Near the pond") is one of the central monuments of ancient Bukhara. The square was formed in the 16th century around the Nadir-Begi reservoir.

First, the madrasah of Nadir Divan-begi and the eponymous khanaka (Sufi monastery), a pool and a caravanserai appeared here.

The second building, the Kukeldash madrasah, built in the 16th century, is one of the largest Bukhara madrasahs. It consists of 160 hujras. Its facades are decorated with majolica.

Lyabi-Hauz was once a trade point on the Silk Road, which contributed to the location of a shopping street nearby. Now there is a cafe that saves you from the heat on a hot summer day. A fountain was built on the site of the reservoir. There is also a bronze monument to Khoja Nasreddin, the hero of folk tales, erected at the end of the 20th century.

Monument to Khoja Nasreddin Efendi

Monument to Khoja Nasreddin Efendi

Monument to the legendary character Efendi Khoja Nasreddin as a spark of light among the imperturbable masterpieces of ancient architecture. This cunning old man with a donkey is revered as a folk hero.

Many people know this oriental hero of legends, anecdotes and fables – a wit, a balamut and a joker who fought against the vices of mankind. He ridicules the vices of greedy rulers and beys, hypocrisy and cowardice, bribery and litigation.

Why is his monument in Bukhara? Soviet writer Leonid Soloviev wrote 2 novels about the adventures of Khoja Nasreddin. A film was made based on one of the works, in which Khoja Nasreddin travels around Bukhara and ends up in the courtyard of the Bukhara Emir. And this character took root in Bukhara so much that he even became a national symbol and in 1979 a monument was erected to him. Every spring in Bukhara, a humor festival is held in honor of Khoja Nasreddin. In Bukhara, there is even a belief that if you put a child on the donkey of Khoja Nasreddin, then his life will be filled with joy and a sea of positive emotions.

Toki Sarrophone

Toki Sarrophone

The traditional covered bazaar was built in 1534–1535 during the reign of Ubaydulla Khan from the Sheibanid dynasty. The building was built in the traditional Persian style and does not differ from similar covered bazaars of ancient Iran. Its name, translated from Persian and Tajik, means "Dome changed". The bazaar was built on the Silk Road and served as a foreign exchange market for traders. Since Muslims are not allowed to trade currency, this work was done by Hindus and Jews.

Toki Sarrophon is a popular attraction. Nowadays, the market sells ornamented scarves, knives, carpets, folk musical instruments and other folk craft products.

Toki Telpak-Furushon

Toki Telpak-Furushon

One of several old covered bazaars in Bukhara. Built in 1570–1571, during the reign of Iskander Khan from the Uzbek dynasty of Sheibanids. Its name, translated from Persian and Tajik, means "Dome of headwear merchants". For some time it housed a large number of shops and stores selling hats. Various types of skullcaps, woolen hats, hats and the like were sold here. Warehouses, caravanserais, hotels were built around the bazaar.

This covered bazaar was known as Toki Kitobfurushon (Dome of Book Sellers), Toki Chorsukhi Ohanin (Dome of Iron Accessories), Toki Khoja Muhammad Parron (Dome of Khoja Muhammad Parron).

Toki Telpak-Furushon is a popular attraction. Now there are souvenir shops and shops selling products of folk artisans, carpets, souvenirs and much more.

Trading dome of Tim Abdullah Khan

Trading dome of Tim Abdullah Khan

Tim-Abdullah-khan's bazaar (also known as the "Trading dome of Abdullah-khan") was built in 1577 during the reign of Iskander-khan from the Sheibanid dynasty, but named after his son Abdullah-khan.

The bazaar is built in the Persian style of traditional ancient Iranian cities. The word "Tim" means a closed building for public use. The trade dome differs from other bazaars in that it is completely closed and has a gate on the west side. The sun's rays reach the shops only through the holes in the dome and it is cool here in any weather.

Tim Abdullah Khan is a popular attraction. Now there are souvenir shops and shops where you can buy famous Bukhara carpets, products of folk artisans, paintings, musical instruments and much more.

Toki Zargaron

Toki Zargaron

Togi Zargaron is the largest among several ancient domed bazaars and the most complex in construction and arrangement of bazaars in the city. The building has a large dome as well as several smaller domes. The bazaar was built in 1586–1587 from ceramic bricks during the reign of Abdullah Khan II from the Sheibanid dynasty for the jewelry trade. Its name, translated from Persian and Tajik, means "Dome of Jewelers". It housed over 35 jewelry workshops and shops.

Toki Zargaron is a popular attraction. Now there are souvenir shops selling antiques, handicrafts, as well as workshops of jewelers and blacksmiths.

Magoki-Kurpa Mosque

Magoki-Kurpa Mosque

The Magoki-Kurpa Mosque was built by Sheikh Khoja Kalon in 1637 and is one of the two "underground" (magoki) mosques in Bukhara. The mosque consisted of two dome-type floors. Domes are located on both floors. The upper floor was intended for prayer in the summer, and the lower one – in the winter. For a long time, the mosque was covered with a cultural layer and its first floor remained underground. The second part of the name "kurpa" (from Tajik – blanket) is associated with the name of the quarter in which the mosque was located.

Sitorai Mohi-Khosa Palace

Sitorai Mohi-Khosa Palace

An incredibly beautiful palace is located 4 km to the north. At first glance, you can't tell whether this palace belongs to the eastern emir or the western prince.

The residence of Sitorai Mohi-khosa is divided into two parts: the old (in the oriental style) and the new (in the European style). Its first buildings of the 17th century have not survived to this day. The new complex was completed by Emir Said Alim Khan from the Mangyt dynasty in 1911–1920.

The best architects of Bukhara and Russian architects were involved in the construction of the palace. The palace is divided into a male part and a female part.

Sitorai Mohi-Khosa in translation means "Star like the Moon" hence the moon-like shape of the building. The first thing that catches your eye is the richly decorated gate with the burgundy-red finishing of the portal, which is not at all typical for Central Asian architecture. One of the main entrances to the palace is guarded by two lions. The facade of the palace is decorated with a relief, along the edge of the roof there is a balustrade with decorative vases. The terrace is made in delicate turquoise colors and is decorated with columns. In the middle of the residence there is a courtyard with a fountain. The inner hall impresses with its luxury, beauty and decor.

Now the palace houses a museum of arts and crafts.

Bolo Khauz complex

Bolo-House complex

The Bolo Khauz Mosque was built in 1712 by the Bukhara Emir Shahmurad for public prayers together with ordinary people. Before the Revolution it served as the main Friday mosque in Bukhara. At that time, the complex consisted of a mosque and a pond. 205 years later, in 1917, a small minaret was built by the architect Shirin Muradov. The shape of the minaret imitates the main city minaret – Kalyan.

Bukhara zindan

Bukhara zindan

Bukhara zindan is a dungeon built in the second half of the 18th century during the reign of the Uzbek dynasty of Mangyts. Outside, the dungeon looks like the Ark fortress. Zindan is built mainly of ceramic bricks, surrounded by high walls and resembles a kind of fortress or fortification, which can be entered through a large wooden gate.

Zindan was divided into two parts: zindani bolo – upper zindan and zindani poyon – lower zindan. The upper zindan consisted of several courtyards with rooms for prisoners, who were taken out of the dungeon to Registan Square twice a month, chained, usually barefoot, regardless of the weather. The lower zindan is a large pit 6.5 m deep and 5 m in diameter. The criminals were lowered to the bottom on ropes and food was also handed over to them. The imprisonment in a deep pit of prisoners or those convicted of serious crimes was used in many Muslim countries of that period. The prisoners were in the zindan in inhuman conditions, some of the prisoners did not know for how long they were imprisoned.

Only foreigners were taken into protection and supervision, since among the local residents there could be relatives of the prisoner who wanted to release him.

Now it houses a museum with mannequins of prisoners, instruments of torture and cameras.

House-Museum of Faizulla Khodjaev

House-Museum of Faizulla Khodjaev

Fayzulla Ubaidullaevich Khodzhaev (1896–15.03.1938) was an Uzbek Soviet party and statesman, chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Uzbek SSR (1924–1937), a philanthropist and leader of the Jadids-Young Bukharians promoting democracy. In 1938 he was repressed and later executed.

His house-museum is located in the wealthy and famous Gezien district. The house is divided into an outer and inner courtyard with stables and gardens. The museum displays furniture, clothing, a collection of tableware, vinyl records and other paraphernalia of that time.

Memorial Complex-Museum of Abu Ali Hussein ibn Abdullah ibn Sina (Avicenna Mausoleum)

Memorial Complex-Museum of Abu Ali Hussein ibn Abdullah ibn Sina, Avicenna Mausoleum

In 1980, in honor of the 1,000th anniversary, a memorial complex-museum of the Persian philosopher and scientist Abu Ali Ibn Sino (Avicenna) was built. Ibn Sina left a great mark on the exact sciences, philosophy, medicine, and the arts.

The museum includes several halls, a recreation room, a conference room, a video library and more than 400 cultural exhibits of the 10th-11th centuries – publications of manuscripts, material and spiritual culture, medical instruments associated with the era of Ibn Sino and the history of Bukhara in those centuries.

Museum-monument of blacksmith's craft

Museum-monument of blacksmith's craft

Museum-monument of blacksmith's craft was created in 1992 in the caravanserai, near the dome of Toki Telpakfurushon. In the museum you can not only learn the history of blacksmithing, but also take part in this business yourself and create some kind of souvenir as a keepsake. The museum displays swords, knives, daggers and other blacksmith works. There is also a preserved manuscript of the blacksmith's charter – Risola-i ohangari wa misgari.

The smithy owes the creation of the museum to Shakir Kamalov, a representative of the fifth generation of blacksmithing in his family.

Monument "Ancient and Eternal Bukhara"

Monument Ancient and Eternal Bukhara

The monument was erected on the territory of the cultural complex "Bukhoro Madaniy Markazi", which is located on 107 hectares and includes a drama theater for 700 spectators and an amphitheater for 2,000 seats.

On the pedestal of the monument weighing 32 tons and 18 m high, the planet Earth with a map of the country is represented. Architectural and historical sights of the city are depicted on the base of the pedestal. The monument itself depicts miniatures showing three main things that every man must do in his life – the birth of a son, a tree planted, a house built. The deeper meaning is to leave a healthy legacy to the world and ensure its prosperity.

Tashkent – monuments of our time
Tashkent – museums and theaters
Tashkent – historical monuments
Tashkent – mosques, churches
Tashkent – parks, squares, gardens
Samarkand – the crossroads of cultures
Khiva – a time portal to the past
Khorezm – country of a thousand fortresses

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