Places to Visit

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Places to Visit in Bukhara

The Ark of Bukhara

The Ark of Bukhara is a tourist attraction of a royal town-within-a-town and is known as Bukhara’s oldest structure, occupied from the 5th century right up until 1920. The Ark includes the whole city consisting of closely attached houses, courts and yards with state institutions, emir (prince), his wives and relatives. At the top of the entrance ramp is where the 17th century Friday Mosque is located with its beautiful stalactite style carving of column heads. Bukhara was described as an oasis on the Silk Road, a trading post for wool, silk, crafts of embroidery and metalwork which are continued till today.

Ismail Samani Mausoleum (Ismoil Somoniy maqbarasi)

The Ismail Samani Mausoleum is the oldest building in Bukhara, located in the west of the city centre in a park built during the Soviet times. The mausoleum served as the family tomb of the Samanid dynasty (819 - 1005), who were the descendants of a noble Persian family which governed Transoxiana on behalf of Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad. The tomb is named for Ismail Samani (r. 892 - 907), the dynasty's most esteemed ruler, who was often celebrated for his virtues and worshipped by the 11th century Seljuk vizier Nizam al-Muk, who had referred to Ismail Samani as a model of good leadership in his Book of Government.

Bolo Hauz Mosque (a part of Bolo Hauz Complex)

In Bukhara lies the Bolo Hauz Mosque, a historical mosque that was built in 1712 on the opposite side of the citadel of Ark in the Registan Square. Its magnificent carved wooden pillars are one of the many main attractions and the mosque itself is known for its overall diverse and unusual but unique architecture in Central Asia. In 1917, thin columns made of painted woods were added to the front part of the iwan in which additionally supports the bulged roof of the summer prayer room. During the time that the Emir of Bukhara was subjugated under Bolshevik Russian rule in the 1920s, it operated as a Friday mosque. The Bolo Hauz Mosque is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list along with the other parts of the historic city.

Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum

Chashma Ayub Mausoleum is a historic building with sacred spring located in the heart of the ancient city of Bukhara. It was built in the 7th century beside a holy spring that features a Harezm-style conical dome. The architecture style of the mausoleum is not something common in Bukhara and it might be the only building in its type of style. The building of Mausoleum started back in the 12th century by the order of Karakhanid rulers. It was reconstructed over centuries. The Mausoleum was completed during the ruling of Tamerlane. During his reign, Tamerlane brought the best craftsmen from Khorezm to complete the mausoleum’s structure and that is the reason the final look of Chashma Ayub is similar to the Khorezmian architecture.

Modari-Khan Madrassah (1557 - 1597)

Modari-Khan Madrassah was completely built around in 1567 in honour of Abdullah-khan's mother. Abdullah-khan II (1557-1597) from the Shaybanids built an architectural piece of Kosh-Madrassah. It consists of two madrassah placed opposite of one another. The first is Madrassah of Modari-khan. The Modari-Khan and Abdullah-Khan are two parts of the Kosh-Madrassah ensemble. Kosh means “double” and the two madrassah are across the street from one another. Modari-Khan was built by Abdullah-Khan II in between 1566-1567. The madrassah contains a hostel for students and teachers, courtyard, and a mosque.

Abdullah-Khan Madrassah (1588 - 1590)

The Abdullah-Khan Madrassah was built in 1855 at the behest of the wife of Kutlug Khan - Murad named Inak in honour of their son Abdullah, who was killed at the age of 17 in a battle with the Turkmens. From the aspect of architecture, it is more complex compared to the structure of Modari-khan Madrassah. The entrance hall leads to a gallery with two passages to the courtyard. A mosque and classrooms are located inside the gallery. The mosque is located at a specific angle which was done to be focused towards a praying niche right to Mecca.

Kalyan Mosque (a part of Poi-Kalyan Ensemble)

Kalyan Mosque, which is a part of the architectures in the Poi-Kalyan Complex, is one of the ancient buildings of Poi-Kalyan Square and it acts as a capital mosque of all Muslim towns and people. It is not just a temple but is also a public life centre and according to sources, it once served as a beacon for the caravans coming across the desert surrounding Bukhara. Poi-Kalyan Complex operates as a main ensemble in Bukhara that is situated along the way to the trade crossing of “four bazaars”. Poi-Kalyan means “The Foot of the Great” and it consists of 3 medieval architectures, the Kalyan Mosque, the Mir-i Arab Madrassah, and Kalyan Minaret.