Historic Centre of Bukhara (1993)

Back to index

Bukhara, which is situated on the Silk Route, is more than 2,000 years old. It is the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia, with an urban fabric that has remained largely intact. Monuments of particular interest include the famous tomb of Ismail Samani, a masterpiece of 10th-century Muslim architecture, and a large number of 17th-century madrasas.  

Uzbekistan 1997. 2500th anniversary of the Silk Road. Souvenir sheet #1.

Uzbekistan 1997. 2500th anniversary of the Silk Road. Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Bukhara.

Uzbekistan 1997. 2500th annivrsary of the Silk Road. Citadel Ark, Bukhara.

Bukhara (Bokhara in XIX century English, Buxoro or Бухоро in Uzbek is the fifth-largest city in Uzbekistan and capital of the Bukhara region. It has a population of 237,900, the majority of whom are Persian-speaking Tajiks. Bukhara and Samarkand are the two major centers of the Tajiki-Persian culture and history. During Soviet times these two Tajiki centers were annexed to the Uzbekistan SSR, much to the disgust of the Tajiks of Central Asia. Ever since, a harsh program of assimilation and cultural confinement has been carried out on the Tajiks of Uzbekistan by the Uzbek authority.  

Bukhara has been one of the main centres of Iranian civilization during its history. Its architecture and archaeological sites form one of the pillars of the Persian history and art. The region of Bukhara was for a long period a part of the Persian Empire. The origin of its inhabitants goes back to the period of Aryan immigration into the region. Iranian Soghdians inhabited the area and some centuries later the Persian language became dominant among them. The last emir of Bukhara was Muhammad Alim Khan (1880-1944). A statue of the populist philosopher and wise man Nasreddin can be found in a central square. It shows him riding his donkey backwards and grasping its tail, as he is traditionally depicted.

Bukhara is also home to a large number of Jews, whose ancestors settled in the city during Roman times. The term "Bukharan Jew" is frequently used to describe all Jews who come from Central Asia. 

Sources and links:

World Cultural Heritage Properties in Uzbekistan (on this web site). For more information about the individual properties, please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Uzbekistan-section.

Back to index

Click the banner to return to Heindorffhus

Revised 21 jul 2006  
Copyright 1999-2007 Ann Mette Heindorff 
All Rights Reserved