Friday in Tashkent

Tashkent001003Today was a relaxed but full day in Tashkent. First stop was the mausoleum of Abu Bakr who was an Islamic scholar and poet.

The Barak Khan Madrassa is from the 16th century. This one no longer functions as a madrassa but is a souvenir shop and has artisans as well. There are only ten madrassas in the country: two for women and eight for men who from age 16 to 20 study all subjects but with a concentration in Koran. From there they can then continue to study and become an imam. Women are not allowed to be imams however can teach Arabic and assist the imam.

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My guide demonstrates the traditional street dress until the time of the arrival of the Russians.

Tashkent005048The Moyle Mubarek Museum houses the 7th century Uthman Quran. Tamerlame brought it to Samarkand and then the Russians took it to Saint Peterburg, then the Soviets returned it in 1924.

Tashkent005803This mosque was built in the 20th century. I asked my guide why I have not heard the imam calling people to prayer 5 times a day. Although the country is at least 85% muslim, the government forbids this practice because they are a secular democracy not an Islamic country. I asked about the bells at the Orthodox church and she said the government allows the ringing of Christian bells.

Tashkent011632I then went to wander around in the old town which is a maze of dirt streets with mud brick houses. We stopped by a bread baker.

Great bread

On the way to market

Old town

Chorsu bazaar

Tashkent015631I have yet to try to the markets which are full of life and energy.


On the horizon is a new mosque built in 1990 on the site of a mosque that the Russian Czar built for the city but then the mosque was destroyed by the Soviets.

The Kulkedash madrassa is a functioning school for Islamic studies.

The courtyard of the madrassa.

Tashkent031258This museum is housed in the residence of a diplomat from Russia in the early 20th century prior to the revolution.

The ceiling is very beautiful and colorful.