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Bukhara

Welcome to Bukhara

Bukhara is one of the ancient and famous cities of Uzbekistan. Once it was the largest trade centers at Great Silk Road. According to the legend, Afrosiyob, legendary ruler of Turan and hero of famous Persian epos “Shakhname”, founded Bukhara before the century. Archaeologists have found remains of buildings, pottery, coins, tools and jewelry, which dated back to the 4th century BC, in Bukhara. This means that the age of the city is over 2,500. It is known that in ancient times Bukhara was a part of the Sogdiana state. Bukhara acquired its modern look during the reign of Sheibanids dynasty in 16-17 centuries.

 At that time, the city was surrounded with walls and mosques, madrasahs, mausoleums, caravan-serais and bathhouses were built within the city.  Beside its architectural ensembles, Bukhara is famous for its inhabitants – poets Narshakhi, Rudaki and Dakiki, as well as scholar Avicenna. Old city of Bukhara has about 150 historical monuments.

Bukhara tours is a travel to the real city-museum. Its historical center is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. There are hundreds of medieval monuments in and around Bukhara. Apart from that, the city is known for a great number of Muslim sanctuaries. The Mausoleum of Samanids, Kalyan Minaret, Ark city citadel, Chor Bakr and other sights will be revealed to you in individual tours around Bukhara accompanied with fascinating stories from our experienced guides.

ICAT offers tours to Bukhara with variety of sightseeing programs including visits to Holy Bukhara, the ancient fortress city in Central Asia with well-preserved architectural monuments of the oriental Middle Ages. Here you will find a lot of Muslim mosques and tombs of Islamic saints: it is not for nothing that Bukhara is called “the support of Islam.” You will find rich and interesting programs of tours to Bukhara, accommodation at the best hotels, professional guides and interpreters.

Popular destinations of the city of Bukhara:

Fortress walls and gates of Bukhara

The majestic and impregnable fortification was on the Registan Square. The length of the thick walls with the 16-20 m in height was almost 800 m. A large leather whip was installed in one of the wall. It was a symbol of the power of the Emir of Bukhara.

Lyabi-Khauz Ensemble

Lyabi-Khauz: historical source of water supply in Bukhara

which means “by the pond”, is one of the central squares of Bukhara. It gas form of irregular polygon. Architectural complex was constructed in the 16-17th centuries.

 The complex includes: Kukeldash Madrasah (do not confuse with Kukeldash Madrasah in Tashkent, madrassah of Divan-Begi, khanaka of Divan-Begi and hauz (pond) of Nadir-begi.

In the Middle Ages, the Labi-Hauz Square was always crowded. As main shopping streets of Bukhara with trade domes were located in the distance of five-minute walk. At the same time, residential buildings in Bukhara were very close to each other, so citizens also like its open space.

Ismail Samany Mausoleum

Samanid Mausoleum was constructed in the 9th century in line with the order of founders of Samanid dynasty, Ismail Samani. The building is in the park, which was ancient cemetery and is the burial place of the famous dynasty (875-999).

Inside there are three graves, one of which belongs to the son of Ismail Samani – Ahmad ibn Ismail. However, it is not clear if Ismail himself was buried here.

When Genghis Khan approached the city, residents of Bukhara covered Samanids Mausoleum with the ground. They knew that the Great Mongol troops would destroy everything in their path. Therefore, instead of the beautiful building, the army saw a small mound – hill and passed by. When the danger passed, the Bukhara citizens carefully excavated it.

Poi Kalyan

Architectural ensemble of Poi Kalyan is located at the foot of Kalyan minaret, on once main city square Registan. That’s why it is named as “the foot of the Great”.

Poi Kalyan includes three buildings of 12 and 15th centuries: Minaret of Kalyan, Bukhara mosque of Kalyan and Miri Arab madrasah.

During their invasions, Mongols usually destroy all buildings. But when Genghis Khan stepped to square and looked to lamp of Kalyan minaret, his helmet fell to land. He bent to take it and said: “I never bowed to anybody. But this structure is so great that it deserves a bow.” He left the Great Minaret intact.

Kalyan Minaret was constructed in the beginning of 12th century. Since, it was not repaired even once. It served both for religious and punishment purpose. Emir ordered to dump up unwanted people mercilessly. Trade caravans, heading to Bukhara, used it to get direction. At that time, it was the highest building – 46.5 meters. The builders constructed minaret in the form of cone, narrowing to the top. But its walls decorated with embossed masonry.

Cathedral Mosque of Bukhara was constructed near city fortress in the 8th century. While modern Kalyan mosque, which means Great Mosque, was constructed aloof in the 15th century. It is the second largest mosque in Central Asia after Bibi-Khanum mosque in Samarkand. About 12,000 people can pray at one time in its yard. Architectural traditions of Timurids epoch can be seen in the mosque. The walls of the mosque are decorated with rich oriental glazed mosaics.

Miri Arab, which means Emir or Arab, madrasah was built in 1536. Ubaidullah-khan dedicated it to Sheikh Sheikh Abdullah Yamani of Yemen. He sold 3,000 Persian captives. Along with 111 hudjrs, it has two halls. One of them served as mosque and darshona or classroom. The second is mausoleum for Sheikh Abdullah Yamani and other elite.

So, the ensemble took its current look and became the most memorable during six centuries.

Chor-Bakr Necropolis

translated as Four Brothers, is last haven of sheikhs from Djuybarsk seids. It is located in Bukhara suburb, in Sumitan village.

The order of dervishes Hodjagons, who actively supported the Khan, lived here once.

Sitorai Mohi-hosa

Sitorai Mohi-hosa means “Star like a Moon”. The countryside residence of the last Emir of Bukhara is named as Sitorai Mohi-hosa. Currently, the museum of the arts and crafts is operating here.

In the middle of the 19th century, Nasrullahan decided to build a new palace. To select the coolest place, the architects resorted to the well-proven method. They spread the carcasses of sheep on the possible construction sites. And in the end, they chose the place, where the meat was rotten last. Unfortunately, the first palace was not preserved.

After several decades, Emir Mir Sayid Alimhan constructed new beautiful palace and named it after his wife Sitora. Architects from Bukhara, who visited Russia, could combine western discretion and oriental color. But it also collapsed over the time.

New complex in the European style was constructed in 1918. It is divided into male and female part. However, interior of the place has oriental character.