Bukhara: the Home of Avicenna

In the 9th and 10th century, Bukhara was the capital of the Samanid state as well as a leader in religious and cultural affairs. One of its famous residents that would have an impact on the development of medieval theology and philosophy was Avicenna, that is Ibn Sini. He is thought to be one of the figures in Raphael’s painting of the philosophers in the Vatican Palace.

Although the old center has developed in such a way to attract tourists, the center remains an architectural maze of madrassas, Islamic theological schools and minarets, mosques, caravanserai and covered markets and the royal palace. These remants of the old city give an impression of the vitality of the city on the silk road.

Genghis Khan in 1220 destroyed the city and in 1370 it fell under the domination of Timur Samarkand.

In the morning I set out to enjoy the Mir Arab Madrassa and mosque from the 16th century.

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Although most of the madrassas today are markets and hotels, this one is a functioning school. The tile work and double domes are striking.

The minaret built in 1127 was one of the tallest structures in central Asia at a height of 47 meters. Genhgis Kahn spared it. Notice the beautiful oramental brick work with blue tiles that would soon dominate Islamic art of Central Asia. Next to the minaret is a mosque built after Genghis Khan destroyed the earlier one. The Soviets turned it into a warehouse however in 1991 it became a functioning mosque.


These are doors to a caravanserai, that is a hotel for merchants and their carsvan animals and goods for trade

Bukhara005233The Ismail Samani mausoleum is the oldest monument in the city. It was covered with dirt so it escaped the destruction of Genghis Kahn.

This is the Chashma Ayub mausoleum built over a spring. The legend is that Job struck his staff on the gtound and a spring appeared. There is so much religious folklore which creates many places of pilgrimage.

 

From the market:

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