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Attractions in Bukhara


The Mausoleum, which is the family burial of Samanids sovereign's dynasty, corresponds to one of the best architecture samples of the Samanids governing period (875-999).

Samanids Mausoleum's shape is cube covered with a half-sphere dome. The walls inside and outside the Mausoleum are faced with fashioned brickwork from alternate column of horizontal laid bricks and vertical insertion creating the tracery mat motive. Brick rings, lined into the chain, surround the mausoleum's frieze. The Samanids Mausoleum reasonable considered the Middle East an architecture masterpiece.


On the way to exit from the park, one more Mausoleum Chashma-Ayub (i.e. Spring Jove) was preserved. It is a complicated repeatedly memorial rebuilt durlng the 14th -15th centuries, it was shaped into oblong prism, crowned by different in shapes domes above rooms of different size and shapes. Sharp, memorable silhouette is configured by double little dome with conical calotte, lifted on cylindrical barrel, marking itself the general room with spring.

Memorial legend is related to Prophet love. During droughts or dying from thirsty, local people asked him for water. As soon as he stroked the ground by his crook, the salutary spring appeared which from till nowadays you can drink fresh water.


There was a bazaar in this place before Arabian conquest, where idols, drug potions, and spices-attorn trade took place. There iras also the Moon (Mokh) goddess temple. Later on, the place of this temple was replaced by the construction of the Mosque. The first part of the Mosqije title “Magok" means "pit', because it was half hidden by the fast-growing cultural depositions.

In the 12th century the new building was constructed by the same plan, which from in the south was preserved the portal with unique monochrome decor. The building was damaged in the 15th century. T'he Mosque revival in the place centuries dated back to 1546, due to scripts on the new orient portal,
leading to half-underground hall.


The Cathedral Mosque of Bukhara primarily situated near the walls of Bukhara's Citadel and was strongly damaged in 1067 during one of the civil wars. The governor of Bukhara Arslan-khan has removed the mosque far from dangerous place in the 12th century and attached to the Minaret built Mosque. amazed contemporaries by its magnificence. “There wasn’t anything of its kind, so workmanlike and beautiful was made” indicates a medieval chronicler. However this Minaret stayed during a very short period and suddenly came down onto the constructing building of the Mosque, it was strongly damaged. Minaret was built again in 1127.

The Kalyan Minaret is the one of outstanding construction in the nature of things in the Muslim East.

The Minaret's height is 45.3 m, foundation diameter is 9 m. The Minaret is connected to Mosque's roof with a bridge-passage.


The minaret is located in Vabkent district of Bukhara region. It was built during 1198. At madrassah and mosque (not preserved), the donor of which was one of the representatives of the famous Bukharan family of theologians (Sadrs) Abd al-Aziz Sadr.


Shaykh Seyf ad-Din Boharzi (died in 1261) - a pupil of the outstanding Khorezm Sufi Nadjm ad-Din Kubro (died in 1220) - elected Bukhara as a place of sermon, where he founded the famous khanaka of the "kubroviyya" Sufi flow followers. Sheikh Boharzi has converted Golden Horde’s Khan Berke to the Muslim faith in Bukhara.

In the mid-thirteenth century he headed the Bukhara madrasah, founded by the Mongolian Muslim dignitary Ma’sud-bek. After the death, sheikh was buried in Bukhara in the area of Fatkhabad. A mausoleum was built over his grave at the end of the XIII century and domed building of khanaka with the portal was added to it in the XIV century. This khanaka was a place of Sufi rituals until the end of the 18th century.


One of Seyf-ad-Din Boharzi students was the Chagatai khan Buyan-kuli (died in 1358), the grandson of the famous Duva-khan (died in 1307). In 1346, the power in the western part of the Mongol’s Chagatai ulus, to which Bukhara belonged, was seized by the Amir Kazagan. He formally elevated Buyan-kuli-khan to the throne and ruled on his behalf. When the power passed Amir Abdullah, son of Kazagan, he executed Buyan-kuli-khan. One of the reasons for this is called Abdullah's desire to get the wife of Buyan-kuli-khan. The dead Khan was buried near the memorial of his teacher Sheikh Boharzi. A small mausoleum was built here, faced with carved glazed terracotta of blue, dark blue and white tones.


It is the most ancient madrasah from three madrases, built by Tamerlan's grandson, Ulugbek, the astronomer. It corresponds the rectangular building with yard and front access door, decorated by high portal peshtak. The entrance bifurcated by crosscut corridor (mionkhona), in one end of which a lectorium (derskhana) was housed, the other end a mosque. There was a library (kitabkhana) situated on the second floor, above the entrance. The facade corresponds with the two-high arcade and has two wings. Two turrets (guldasta) close it from both sides. Madrasah amazes with exclusive strictness and compliance with constructive Dart and decoration.


Abdullah-khan madrasah built in 1588-1590, is one of the most outstanding objects of Central Asian architecture.

The main principle of the structural building remained unchanged - the premises are located around the front yard. However, the construction is much more complicated: the main entrance has a tall portal which is linked to the wings with two-stored premises and the gallery on the upper floor. lmpressive size of the facade and the variety of the decorative ornaments grant the building with colorful and majestic view. In bright sun light, the cold tones of majolica plates (blue, green and white) shine very brightly. The doors of madrasah are designed with astonishing artistic input, gathered from separate parts of the tree with thin carvings all without a nail. Abdullah-khan madrasah is one of the biggest in Bukhara after Kukeldash and Mir Arab.


Khoja Abd al-Khalik-Gijduvani (died in 1180/1220) was born and died in the village of Gijduvan near Bukhara. He was a pupil of the outstanding Khodja Yusuf al-Hamadani Sufi and was the founder of the Central Asian "Khodjagan" Sufi school - "the path of Khodjas (teachers)". Supporters of the "Khodjagan" had to recognize the voluntarily poverty, adhere to asceticism and celibacy, and refrain from contacts with the authorities. The followers of the Khodjagan tradition were Amir Kulyal, Baha-ad-Din Naqshband, Khoja Akhrar Sufis. The modern memorial of al-Gijduvani was built at the beginning of this century next to the madrasah built by Ulugbek at the burial of the great Sufi teacher.


Seyid Amir Kulyal (died in 1370) was born and died in the village of Sukhor not far from Bukhara. His father moved to Bukhara from Medina. Sheikh "Khodjagan" Muhammad-baba al-Samasi was the teacher of Amir Kulyal. In the middle of the 14th century Amir Kulyal was considered as one of the most significant religious figures in Central Asia. He was the spiritual mentor of Amir Temur and his teacher Shams ad-Din Kulyal. One of Amir Kulyal main merits is his contribution to the training of Bach ad-Din Naqshband the founder of the "Naqshbandiya" Sufi school. The mausoleum over the burial of Amir Kulal was erected at the beginning of this century due to charitable means.


Friday Kalyan mosque is considered one of the most ancient in Middle Asia. Archeological excavations point out on the presence of several ancient ground floors on its territory. The inscription at the entrance indicates that the construction of the building had begun approximately in the 1Sth century and was over in1514.

The building occupies the area of 1 hectare and has the space for about 10000 of worshipers. The main entrance; the Eastern one, is decorated with a big portal perfected by mosaic. The portal is situated on the top and few steps lead to the front Yard of the mosque. With every step the vaults of the pendentives slide apart and visitors can enjoy the view of the main building of the mosque. Two blue domes rise up at the sides. Kalyan mosque has a rectangular shape with four premises. Colored coverage of the facades is created with the help of mosaic and bricks glared with special frost. The dome of the mosque rises up above all the constructions of the city and blends with the blue of the sky. Across the mosque, on the same axis the Mir Arab madrasah is situated.


Mir Arab is one of the most sacred lslamic educational places throughout all of the post soviet territory. lt was built during the governing period of Shaybanids in the 'l 6tn century on the trophy means won over from Ubaydulla khan who died in 1539. The construction of Mir Arab madrasah is attributed to Sheikh Abdallakh Yamani who is more well-known as Mir Arab, the spiritual mentor of Ubaydulla khan.

Mir Arab madrasah is located across Kalyan mosque. Madrasah is designed with the traditional planning scheme - square yard surrounded with two built in stores, two domed halls in the right and left corners. The main facade in the center is emphasized with the portal which is connected to two- level terrace. The façade is flanked from both sides with small towers. The decoration of the madrasah includes curvy mosaic, multicolored styled ornamentation. In the center of the vault (gurhana) there is a wooden gravestone of Ubaydulla khan. At its base there is grave of Mir Arab. At present a seminary is located on the madrasah territory.


Bakhouddin Nakshbandi Complex is the most sacred place in Bukhara. The memorial of Bakhouddin Nakshbandi has been constructed throughout 5 centuries. lts center is the rectangle front yard where the grave of sheikh is situated.

Funeral mosques of the 19th century are connected to the front yard. Along the perimeter of the yard the terrace with wooden pillars takes its organic stand. Right by the entrance the visitors may observe a necropolis of Shaybanid governors among whom are buried lskander-khan (died in 1583) and his son Abdullah-khan the Second (died in 1589). The biggest building of the memorial is the khanaka with massive dome ceiling at the base of arks. The khanaka is given the name of Abdalaziskhan (died in 1550) which gave the order of its construction

ln the 80s of the 20th century the complex had been reconstructed and today includes: a separate yard with the housing, painted mosques of Kushbegi and Muzaffarkhan, the minaret, a small madrasah, the gravestone on the burial of a saint and the burial vault of Bukhara governors. Spirituality of the expressive architectural constructions, silence and the intimacy of this complex inspire the desire for worship of Allah (God).

Standing at a distance of 12 km away from the city, this sacred lslamic place attracts many people. Both young and older pilgrims, men, women and children coming from the nearest and farthest locations, gather together for the blessings and prayers in this quiet place.


Modari-khan madrasah was built in the honor of mother of Abdullakhan the second, this is how the madrasah had obtained its name which in translation from Farsi means "the mother of khan". The building is located at an angle from the road, therefore the construction does not have any symmetry. By the composition this is a "typical" seminary with the dormitory for students and lecturers around the front yard, public halls of the mosque and auditoriums by the entrance of the building, The main facade of Modari-khan madrasah is impressively decorated with the paintings made by brick mosaic that form various geometrical ornaments. The design of the facade fill the tympanum made of curvy majolica plates representing the flowers. The entire artistic design of madrasah looks verv restrained.


Abdullah-khan madrasah built in 1588-1590, is one of the most outstanding objects of Central Asian architecture.  The main principle of the structural building remained unchanged - the premises are located around the front yard. However, the construction is much more complicated: the main entrance has a tall portal which is linked to the wings with two-stored premises and the gallery on the upper floor. lmpressive size of the facade and the variety of the decorative ornaments grant the building with colorful and majestic view. In bright sun light, the cold tones of majolica plates (blue, green and white) shine very brightly. The doors of madrasah are designed with astonishing artistic input, gathered from separate parts of the tree with thin carvings all without a nail. Abdullah-khan madrasah is one of the biggest in Bukhara after Kukeldash and Mir Arab.


Chor-Bakr is a suburban necropolis of sheikhs of the Djuybar seyid family, located in Sumitan village, 5 km to the west of Bukhara. Djuybar seyids occupied the highest state posts in Bukhara since the time of Samanids. Their memorial arose at the burial of the Abu Bakr Sa’d dynasty founder, which constitutes the oldest part of the necropolis. The main architectural complex was created in the second half of the XVI century by Abdullah Khan II due to the burials of Sheikh Khodja Muhammad Islam (died in 1563) and his son Khodja Abu Bakr Sa’d (died in 1589). Muhammad Islam was the successor of Mahdum-i Azam Kasaniya, who was the head of the Naqshbandiya brotherhood.

Chor-Bakr necropolis is like a "city of the dead" with streets, courtyards, gates, family dahmas and numerous tombstones. Central part of the memorial is occupied by a mosque, a khanaka and a madrasah. The main facades of the mosque and the khanaka are allocated with spacious vaults portals, and the lateral ones are decorated with two tiers of loggias. Halls of mosques and khanakas are covered with domes on slender drums. Their interiors are decorated with intersecting arches, a web of mesh sails and stalactites. A small minaret, imitating Kalyan minaret was erected in the XX century in front of the complex on its main axis.


Balyand mosque is located in the southern part of Bukhara' lt was built in the beginning of the 16th century in a wealthv Bukhara neighbourhood' Balvan'd mosque (in translation - "the its name to a high stone base.

This building is a typical example of a block mosque. The mosque consists of two parts - the summer and the winter ones. The winter part represents cube-shaped building. lt is surrounded and shadowed with the terrace and astonishes with its decorated interior' The terrace is a summer mosque' The pillars of the terrace are shaped in a form of stalactites made in the 19th century from wood and is supported by the fundamental base. Inside the building' both the walls and the premises are painted with golden ornaments. The ornament is an intricate ornate lettering and the omament made of flowers and plants. The hall of the mosque is designed with golden plates.

It was believed in the region that Balyand mosque is worth imitation' At present time, the age of this mosque is equal to 500 years. lt is considered as part of the world heritage by UNESCO' Balyand mosque is located in the southern part of Bukhara' lt was built in the beginning of the 16th century


The Karakhanid nature reserve was located to the south of Bukhara in the XI century. At the beginning of XII century, here, by the decision of the ruler Arslan Khan III, a mosque-namazgokh is being built.

Namazgokh is a special type of mosque, in which the prayers were served only during two large Muslim holidays – Kurban-hait and Ramazan-hait. Arslan Khan mosque was rebuilt in the 14th century, and in the 16th century there an arched-domed gallery with a high portal and a minbar was built. The preserved mosque is a frontal structure in the form of a long brick wall with a socle. There is a mihrab in its center, decorated with bricks and tiles of carved terracotta.


ln medieval.era, Bukhara was a centralized trading city visited by the merchants from Central Asia, lran and India, Russia and China. The trading center of Bukhara had influenced the construction and planning of the city. Huge streets in the center had been occupied by bazaars, each of which specialized on a definite type of a product. For the improvement on the squares and crossroads of the streets, specially designed dome buildings called "toki" (ark) had been constructed.

Toki Zargaron

In 1569-] 570, according to the 16th century chronicler Hafizi Tanish, the biggest trade markets Toki Zargaron had been built. Its name means "the jewelers dome", the building that is marvelous of its type. The dome ceilings of Toki Zargaron are very beautiful, their forms are complete and sharp. They do not obtain any type of decoration, everything is prevailed by constructive logics: massive arks step out with their sharp elastic ribs above thin covers of the domes and ceilings.

Toki Sarrafon

With active participation of moneychangers, various currency operations took place under the trade dome of Toki Sarrafon located near the ancient stream Shahrud. Moreover, various types of embroidered headwear, fur clothes, earrings, precious harnesses and the dishes had been sold in this place.

Toki Telpak Furushon

Marvelous headwear could be bought in Toki Telpak Furushon: gold embroidered skullcaps, fur hats and unique kinds of turbans. This was also the location of a gallery with the niches, closets and goods storehouses.


Kukeldash madrasah was constructed in the 'l6th century during the rule of Abdullah-khan the second. This is one of the biggest madrasahs in Bukhara. Lt has 160 premises located on two storeys along the perimeter of the front yard. One of the most well-known middle Asian writers of the 20th century, Sadriddin Ayni (1878-1954) was a student of this establishment. Traditional facades of madrasah are designed with majolica. The main facade near Lyabi-Hauz contains a hall, a 'mosque and the lesson room (darskhana). The interior of madrasah intrigues the visitors with its mysterious star-shaped lamps made of burned bricks. The decoration of the central portal has been accomplished without using glue or nails.

The premise of the madrasah makes an impression of tightness with its heavily leaning entry, ladders and small rooms. The most marvelous feature of the madrasah's architecture is the decorative design of the two main halls of its mosque and the lesson rooms. The dome ceilings of the corridors are impressive; they lead the way from the gates to the front yard.


Behind the Lyabi-Khauz in the northeast part of town, on the opened square there is an extraordinary memorial of the 17th century Chor Minor, Four Minarets. It is a well preserved construction erected from the money of rich Turkmen Khalif Niyaz-Kula. Dating of Madras construction relates to 1807, needs in accuracy, as far as Khalifa Niyaz Kula madrasah, as coming from archive documents already existed in the end of the 17th century.

Construction singularity of Chor-Minor confuses. That's why sometimes Chor-Minor is considered only as lost Madrasah gates. However, by more attentive review, it is visible, that Chor-Minor even in its present condition is a self-sufficient complex, and the building had at least two purposes: ritual and habitable.


The most popular place of Bukharian is the reservoir Lyaby Khauz (in Khauz), built in 1620 by khan's dignitary Nadir Divan-Begi. The rectangular reservoir (46x36m) is oblong from east to west, and rolls in the shadows of ancient plane trees. Its banks designed with steps, descend into the water.

From old there was a "tea bazaar" with sweets, bread, and ready foods trays. People arrived here to listen to "medda" (public reader), and to take part in religious discussions, which were described in "The History of Indian Traveler" of Abd ar-Rauf. Lyaby Khauz ensemble constructed by three monument buildings, the Kukeltash Madrasah in the north, khanaka and Nadir Divan Beg madrasah in the west and in the east.


Khanaka (location for merchants) Nadir Divan-Begi is a rectangle-shaped building with dome cross-point ceiling with a unique elongated narrow portal and side towers. The main hall is singledomed; two premises are situated around it. There is also a mihrab (direction to Mecca) decorated with astonishing architectural design. The main portal is decorated with epigraphic painting. The front facade is a standpoint for two towers cut at the height of the walls. Besides the main one there are two side portals. Due to its location and the hall with wonderful acoustic, Khanaka Nadir Divan-Begi has been the cultural and religious center of Bukhara throughout many centuries.


Another large Sufi abode was the Fayzabad khanaka, built in 1598-1599 to the northeast of the medieval Bukhara. It has the main attributes of the Sufi house - a large domed hall for collective meditations (rituals) and hudjras for habitation. Khanaka is located far from close city streets and has a free open composition. Its central hall is surrounded by an arched-domed gallery on three sides. The facade has a three-stage construction, from the vaulted portal to the two-tier niches, and to the arcades of the gallery from them. Inside the cupola of the dome is raised on the plexus of net sails and painted with a silhouette pattern.


Next to the Kalyan mosque, in the depth of the apartment house, there is another Sufi khanaka. It bears the name of Khoja Zaynuddin and is built in the first half of the XVI century. The burial place of Khoja Zaynuddin, marked by a characteristic pole is located in the outer part of the khanaka. The interior of the main room is decorated with polychrome mosaics and paintings in kundal technique. Khanaka is surrounded by aivan with columns that have stalactite capitals and marble bases on the both sides. There is a hauz with stone ledges and a carved stone drain in the yard in front of the aivan. Since XIX century this khanaka is serves as a quarterly mosque.


Another square with a stone hauz in the center is located to west of Toki Sarrafon exchange dome at the beginning of the residential buildings of the old town. Two small madrassas and Gaukushon architectural ensemble related to Shaybanids construction of XVI century are located here. It’s a one-story complex consist of a mosque, small minaret that imitates Kalyan minaret and a madrasah with domed khudjras.


Bolo-Hauz is the only monument of medieval culture of Bukhara which consists of the reservoir (hauz), Friday mosque and a minaret. Friday mosque Bolo-Hauz is situated in front of the entrance to Ark, emir fortress.

The complex represents a classic composition of the Central Asian mosque: winter building built in1712, summer terrace (traditional ceiling) of the 20th century with ornamented ceiling and wooden pillars. Near a small hauz there is a miniature minaret built in 1917 by Usto Shirin. lt is believed that emir had been visiting this place covered with carpets for daily sacred worship.

The most impressive feature of the mosque is the terrace design, whose pillars are grown from two trunks and have complicated stalactitic parts, decorated with flowered and geometrical ornament.


The Ark Citadel (the residence and a citadel of Bukhara’ s sovereigns) is the most ancient memorial of Bukhara, on archeological rnatter dated to the 3rd century B.C. The Ark contained the entire city, constructed from yards with state chanceries narrow adjoining to each other, housing of emir, his wives, relatives and dignitaries. The total area of the casile is 34,675 square kilometers.

During its existing, Arq was destroyed repeatedly, but was reconstructed at once by a new governor. The Citadel was reconstructed by Sheybanids governing in the 16th century the shape, which in it was inherited to us and is looking for nowadays. All buildings in the Arq territory for today were constructed and built between the 17th to 20th centuies.