Bukhara is sometimes called a "museum" in the open. Amazingly old buildings and monuments are totally integrated into the fabric of the city.
The "Fortress" is probably the most dominant thing in Bukhara. It is huge, and was originally built way back in the third century. It was basically the home for the emirs, a kind of city inside a city. That's Ko standing in front.
The Tomb of the Samanids is a very old building, over 1000 years ago if I remember right. The Samanids were a dynasty which ruled around the area for a while. Because this building is so old, there is none of the fancy blue tilework and other Islam-style decoration. Instead, everything is decorated with different kinds of carved bricks. Walking around this building three times is said to bring good luck (we did).
The dominant feature in Bukhara is the Great Minaret. It was a beacon to the caravans. It dates back 800 years. The Bolsheviks, stupidly, bombed it in 1920 when they came into Bukhara. It was fixed a few years later with stone of a color which didn't exactly match.
Supposedly you are not allowed to climb the minaret, but someone came out of the shadows, took 200 soums from us, and showed us the entrance. The picture above is a view from the top of the minaret.
Another view from the top of the minaret.
This is a view of the Bukhara old town. If you look closely, you may be able to see Prince Charles; he was visiting Bukhara the same day as us! He is said to be an expert on Islamic architecture.
This is a really, really old mosque which may date back more than two or three thousand years. They have found lower levels which are apparently temples for paganistic and Zoroastrian religions. Above that, they found remains of a mosque apparently built right after Islam was first brought to the area, in the 9th century. Genghis Khan failed to destroy this mosque, because it was buried when he came around looting and destroying.
Ulug Bek built a medreseh in Bukhara. Here is a shot of it.
Here are some scenes from daily life in Bukhara.
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