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SIGHTS: Bukhara


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Bukhara is mentioned in the Holy Avesta book as one of the most ancient Uzbek towns built on the sacred hill of springtime offerings put by Zoroastrians. The name 'Bukhara' derives from the Sanskrit word 'vikhara' denoting 'temple, cloister'. In the course of centuries it had different names Numizhkat, Madinat-us-Suphia, Madinat-ut-Tudjar, Fakira, etc.

This royal town-within a twin is the most ancient edifice in Bukhara, dating back to the 5th century AD. Bits of its original walls could be kept thousand years. Drum being walls are less than 300 years old. The interior needs restoration and some parts collapse as time goes by.


Chor-Minor (1807)
This picturesque small building built in 1807 together with medressa of Caliph Niyazkul, a rich dealer from Turkmenistan, reminds more an Indian style rather than Bukharian. Chor Minor - Persian for "Four Minarets". However, more likely, there are four imitations of minarets only. One of the "minarets" fell in 1995. Storks have nested on minarets till recently.

Lyabi-Hauz Ensemble (+17th century AD)
Labi-Hauz is a square built around reservoirs in 1620. Labi-Hauz means "around the pool" in Tajik. It is the most peaceful and fascinating spot in the city where aged vendors get together, and elders are bending over chessboard or are drinking tea.



Ismoil Somoniy Mausoleum (10th century AD)
Ismoil Somoniy Mausoleum. The most ancient architectural monument of the city is situated in the park of Ismoil Somoniy, the founder of Samanids Dynasty. The mausoleum was built 905 AD and is one of the most elegant edifices in Central Asia. Ismoil Somoniy's father and grandson were buried here in the mausoleum as well. The mausoleum is delicately built of terracotta bricks (Muslim bricks). Although it has no bright paints, no brilliant ceramic tiks, the edifice does not concede to other ancient architectural monuments, that are stuffed with glaze and other bright ornament. The bricks create shadow effects substituting unnecessary paints. The walls are almost 2 meters thick helping it to survive 11 centuries without any restoration.

Other historical and architectural monuments of Bukhara

Bolo-Hauz ensemble (beginning of the 18th-20th cc.)
Chashma-i-Ayub Mazar (1380 or 1384/85)
Abdullah-Khan medressa (1596/98)
Modariy-Khan medressa (1556/57)
Baland Mosque (beginning of the 16th c.)
Gaukushon Ensemble (Mosque, Minaret, Medressa 16th c.)
Hoja Zaynuddin Mosque (1555)
Poi-Kalan Ensemble (12th-14th cc.)
Kukeldash Medressa (1568/69)
Nodir-Divan-Begi Khanaka (1620)
Abdulaziz-Khan medressa (1652)
Bolo-Hauz Mosque (1712)
Saifuddin Bukharzi Mausoleum (16th c.)
Buyan Kulikhan Mausoleum (14th c.)
Namozgokh Mosque (16th c.)
Faizabad Khanaka (1598/99)
Bukhara Emir's Palace Sitorai-Mokhi-Hosa (end of the 19th c. - the beginning of the 20th c.)

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