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Bukhara

 

Bukhara

General Info.

The holiest city in Central Asia, honoured as 'Noble Bukhara' among Muslims (one of the seven holy cities of Islam) with its population of 263,400 has been inhabited for at least 5 milennia. Bukhara also has many names centuries ago, one of it was 'Numijkat'. It has also been called 'Bumiskat' or in Arabic was 'Madinat al Sufriya’ (The Copper City) and 'Madinat Al Tujjar ‘ (The City of Merchants).


Situated on the Silk Road trade centre, it is more than 2,000 years old. It is known as one of the most complete medieval cities in Central Asia. Monuments include the famous tomb of Ismail Samani, a masterpiece in the 10th century on top of large numbers of Madrassah in the 17th century. Before the Arab conquest, Bukhara owed its prosperity to the rich oasis. However, the great economic growth came to an end when Genghis Khan sacked the city in 1220. A second lease of life came in the 16th century when the Uzbek Shaybanids made it their capital known as Bukhara Khanate. After a long period of unrest and short-lived dynasties, it absorbed into Soviet Union in 1920 under the newly created Uzbek (USSR) in 1924.


With the view of keeping intact the original beauty of Bukhara, UNESCO decided to commemorate in 1997 a 2500-year anniversary since the date of the city’s foundation and establish an international fund called ‘Bukhara-2500’. Significantly, the real importance of Bukhara lies not in its individual buildings but rather in its overall level of urban planning and architecture which began with the Shaybanid dynasty.