Idea #630 – Visiting the city of Bukhara, capital of the chaybanid dynasty
The historic center of Bukhara, located on the Silk Road, dates back over two thousand years. It is one of the best examples of well-preserved Islamic cities in Central Asia from the 10th to the 17th century, with an urban fabric that has remained largely intact. Bukhara has long been an important economic and cultural center of Central Asia. The ancient Persian city served as a major center of Islamic culture for many centuries and became a major cultural center of the Caliphate in the eighth century.
With the exception of some important remains dating from the pre-Mongol invasion of Genghis Khan in 1220 and Timur in 1370, the old town is a witness to the urban planning and architecture of the Chaybanid period of kings Uzbek, from the early sixteenth century. The citadel, rebuilt in the sixteenth century, marks the civic center of the city since its origins.Important monuments still standing since ancient times include the famous tomb of Ismail Samanai, impressive in its sober elegance and the finest surviving example of the tenth century architecture throughout the Muslim world. From the karakhanid period of the 11th century dates the remarkable Poi-Kalyan minaret, a masterpiece of brick decoration, as well as most of the Magoki Attori mosque and the Chashma Ayub mausoleum. The Ulugbek madrasa is a surviving legacy of the Timurids.
The Chaybanids are home to some of the most famous monuments of Bukhara: the Poi-Kalyan ensemble, the Lyabi-Khauz ensemble, the Kosh madrasa and the Gaukushon madrasa throughout Hodja-Kalon. Later buildings of this period in Bukhara’s history include monumental madrassas at important crossroads: Taki Sarafon (Chanter of the Money Changers), Taki-Tilpak-Furushan (Dome of the Hatters), Tim-Bazzazan and Tiro-Abdullah-Khan. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, beautiful buildings were added, including a new great mosque, Magoki Kurns (1637) and the imposing Madrasa Abdulazziz-Khan (1652). However, the real importance of Bukhara is not its individual buildings, but rather its entire urban landscape, demonstrating the high and constant level of urbanism and architecture inaugurated by the Chaybanid dynasty.
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