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Bukhara

Samarkand is the beauty of the earth, but Bukhara is the beauty of the spirit Bukhara the Holy, Bukhara the Noble, the Dome of Islam, the Pillar of Religion, the most intact city in the hoary East, the most interesting city in the world.

Bukhara is one of the most ancient cities of Uzbekistan, situated on a sacred hill, the place where sacrifices were made by fire-worshippers in springtime. This city was mentioned in a holy book "Avesta". Bukhara city is supposed to be founded in the 13th B.C. during reign of Siyavushids who came to power 980 years before Alexander the Great. The name of Bukhara originates from the word "vihara" which means "monastery" in Sanskrit. The city was once a large commercial centre on the Great Silk Road.

The city lies west of Samarkand and was once a centre of learning renowned throughout the Islamic world. It was here that the great Sheikh Baha-ud-Din Naqshbandi lived. He was a central figure in the development of the mystical Sufi approach to philosophy, religion and Islam. Also here were born and lived Imam al-Bukhari, Abulhasan Rudaki, Abu Ali ibn Sina (Avicenna), who made an important contribution to science and culture.

In Bukhara there are more than 350 mosques and 100 religious colleges. Its fortunes waxed and waned through succeeding empires until it became one of the great Central Asian Khanates in the 17th century.

Bukhara with more than 140 architectural monuments is a "town museum" dating back to the Middle Ages. 2,300 years later, ensembles like the Poi Kalon, Kosh Madrassah, Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Ark and the Kalian Minaret are attracting a lot of attention. The city consists of narrow streets, green parks and gardens, historical and architectural monuments belong to the different epochs, but locate very close to each other.

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