Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace, Bukhara

Bukhara, Uzbekistan, 1 October 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

(This post is out of sequence.  It should have been the second last post for Bukhara).

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Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, Embroidery, Harem, History, Landscape, Photography, Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace, Street photography, Suzani, Textiles, Travel, Uzbekistan

The first thing that struck me when arriving at Sitorai Mohkli-Khosa Palace were the near perfect reflections in a pool. 

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And here is a wider view of the source of the reflections.

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Sitorai Mohkli-Khosa Palace is the Summer Palace for the Emir, originally outside Bukhara but now on the outskirts.  It was built three times by the last three Emirs and the surviving version dates from 1912 to 1918.  It was built using Russian engineers and traditional Bukharan craftsmen, in a sometimes strange mix of traditional Bukhara and early 20th century architecture.

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Courtyard ceiling decoration.

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The small “minaret” has a very realistic depiction of a pigeon on top.  It even moves and flies away.

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Eurasian magpie (unrelated to Australian magpie).

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The Russian engineers and architects were from St Petersberg.  The last Emir used to frequently visit there on his own private train.  He had attended military school there and sent his son to the same school.  The is the White Hall.  I would presume it was inspired by the Winter Palace of Peter the Great, in turn inspired by Louis XIV’s Versailles (including the Hall of Mirrors) which was in turn inspired by Vaux-le-Vicomte of Nicolas Focquet (and this last one possibly more impressive than the other two).

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The last two Emirs of Bukhara.  Said ‘Abd al-Ahad Khan (1885-1911) on the left and Said Mir Muhammad Alim Khan (1911-1920) on the right.

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Stepping back a bit…

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The Emir’s collection of Chinese Vases.

. Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, Embroidery, Harem, History, Landscape, Photography, Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace, Street photography, Suzani, Textiles, Travel, Uzbekistan … and the ceiling above…

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Outside in the courtyard.

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Historical costumes on Bukhara on the nineteenth century.

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Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, Embroidery, Harem, History, Landscape, Photography, Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace, Street photography, Suzani, Textiles, Travel, Uzbekistan

There were some impressive wall niches.

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(I tried to have these appear on this page side by side by was defeated by WordPress formatting).

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Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, Embroidery, Harem, History, Landscape, Photography, Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace, Street photography, Suzani, Textiles, Travel, Uzbekistan

Maybe an earthquake; maybe just the building shifting…

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Architecture,

Outfits of the Emir.

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Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, Embroidery, Harem, History, Landscape, Photography, Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace, Street photography, Suzani, Textiles, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is the building for the Harem.  Mind you, there were 400 in the Harem, so they can’t all have lived here.  When the Bolsheviks turned up in 1920 and the Emir fled to Afghanistan, the women of the harem were paired off with soldiers.

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Nowadays the building is a textile museum for suzanis from Urgut and Shahrisabz.

. Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, Embroidery, Harem, History, Landscape, Photography, Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace, Street photography, Suzani, Textiles, Travel, Uzbekistan . Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, Embroidery, Harem, History, Landscape, Photography, Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace, Street photography, Suzani, Textiles, Travel, Uzbekistan . Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, Embroidery, Harem, History, Landscape, Photography, Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace, Street photography, Suzani, Textiles, Travel, Uzbekistan . Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, Embroidery, Harem, History, Landscape, Photography, Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace, Street photography, Suzani, Textiles, Travel, Uzbekistan . Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, Embroidery, Harem, History, Landscape, Photography, Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace, Street photography, Suzani, Textiles, Travel, Uzbekistan . Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, Embroidery, Harem, History, Landscape, Photography, Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace, Street photography, Suzani, Textiles, Travel, Uzbekistan .Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, Embroidery, Harem, History, Landscape, Photography, Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace, Street photography, Suzani, Textiles, Travel, Uzbekistan

A curiously ornate drainpipe at the harem.

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Next, Samarkand….

 

Last Night in Bukhara

Bukhara, Uzbekistan, 1 October 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

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Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, Chor Minor Madrassah, History, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Trading Domes, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is one of the four towers of the Chor Minor Madrassah though the nest and storks are not real.

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A bit further back, here are the four towers.

. Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, Chor Minor Madrassah, History, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Trading Domes, Travel, Uzbekistan … And the whole madrassah.  Not sure what the mats and reeds on a platform in the foreground are for.  Merchandise? Camels?

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Despite the name, it’s actually a gatehouse for a madrassah, built in 1807, but the madrassah no longer exists.  The four towers apparantly contain symbols to represent the four main religions but I wasn’t aware of that at the time and did not look for them.

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There was not much inside (though good acoustics) but we did climb up to get a view from the roof.

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Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, Chor Minor Madrassah, History, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Trading Domes, Travel, Uzbekistan 

In 1925, before the domes were restored, there was a stork nest on each of the domes.

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Stopping at one of the many remarkable ancient doors on the street in Bukhara.

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On our way back to the hotel, we are passing through one of the bazaars, probably Tok-i-Sarraton (“The Moneychangers’ Bazaar”).

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This and the next two images are from Abdulazizkhan Madrassah, from under the archways rather than in the interior.

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Back out on the street, another ancient door.

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From this point on we were on a rooftop restaurant for dinner, also hoping to take some photographs of the Poi-Kalyan Ensemble as the sun went down.  I’d guess that this is the roof of a trading dome.

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It’s getting late but there is still a restoration workman on the roof of the Kalan Mosque.

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While it looks similar, this is not Kalan Minaret.  Not sure exactly where and what it is.  interesting back view of Bukhara, though.

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The two domes of the Amir-Allimkhan Madrasah.  You don’t see the restoration debris from ground level.  There are a couple of workers in the shadows too.

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Part of an interior gateway of the Kalan Mosque.

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There were some friendly locals on our rooftop restaurant and one of them asked to pose for me to take a photo….

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The dome of Kalan Mosque.

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We’re not in ancient Egypt but clearly Ra is fighting against against being swallowed by Nut and having to travel through the World of the Dead for twelve hours before being reborn the following morning….

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There’s an electric version of Ra inside this building though.

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Madrassah? Caravanserai? (Don’t know).

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Kalan Minaret, just after sunset.

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Closer view.

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The dome of Kalan Mosque.

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Amir-Allimkhan Madrasah again, in much lower light.  No more workers in the shadows.

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It’s now dark. I perhaps remember that building but don’t know its function.  Probably a madrassah or a hotel built in the style of a madrassah.

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The Ark, Bukhara

Bukhara, Uzbekistan, 30 September 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

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Ark is the Persian word for fortress, so this is the Ark of Bukhara.

The area in the foreground and out to the left is part of what was the Registan, an open area bustling with life and functioning as a market place, public square and execution ground.

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We have nine images of the outside walls.  The first six are taken with a Fuji 10-24mm lens (equivalent to 15-36mm in full frame) and they show perspective distortion.  Say you take a photograph of someone holding their fist out to the camera, you are very close to the fist and everything is in focus.  The fist would appear huge and the rest of the person very small.  So that is perspective distortion and it’s what we logically see, though our brain processes it to make more sense.  The the last three images are taken with a 12mm Samyang fisheye lens, so they go beyond that to also have fisheye distortion, though the last two are partially corrected.

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There has been a town here since maybe 500BC, though people were here before then and not much is known about that.  At that time it was part of the Persian Empire and was taken by Alexander the Great in 329BC. Over the years there was a succession of different invaders, often with devastating results for Bukhara.  It was part of the (Greek) Selucid Empire, the Kushan Empire, then the (Mongol) Hephalite Empire.  From 650 to 750AD, the Arabs slowly and intermittently took control, displacing Zoroastrianism and other religions with the Islam.  

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Then the Samanids took power in Bukhara in 892 and brought a restoration of Persian culture and language.  During the tenth century Bukhara was the capital of their empire, that at its peak (in modern terms) included Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and north-east Iran.  It also during that period became a world centre of learning, far surpassing anywhere in the decadent post-Roman West.  

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After that was a period of decline.  Bukhara fell to the Karakhanids in 999, the Karakhitai in 1141 and Koresemshah in 1206.  Genghis Khan took and razed the city in 1220, declaring himself the Scourge of God.  “If you had not committed great sins, God would have not sent a punishment like me.”

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In 1500, an Uzbek Shaybanid dynasty took over.  The Timurids had a brief comeback under Babur in 1511 but he was defeated in 1512 and left, instead to conquer India.  The Shaybanids for a while brought a new period of prosperity and artistic accomplishment.  The Ark has been created and destroyed many times over the years but the present for dates from the Shaybanids and the buildings are all from within the last three centureies.  An Astakhanid dynasty took over in 1552 and slowly Bukhara declined from a major force to a regional power.

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In 1840, most of the brickwork in the walls you see here did not exist.  There was instead an artificial hill with a much smaller wall at the top.  The brickwork was added later in the nineteenth century.  In 1868, Russia defeated Bukhara and it became a Russian protectorate, though the Emir retained arbitrary and absolute power within the city of Bukhara.

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In 1918, a Bolshevik army from Samarkand arrived to take the city but the locals preferred to stay with the Devil they knew (or Islamic Emir as the case might be) and the army was defeated.  So Bukhara remained as a relic Mediæval enclave for a couple of years.

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In 1920, a more competent Soviet army appeared at the city gates, the city was taken and in the fighting the wooden buildings inside the Ark were destroyed by bombing and fire.  Most of what lay within the walls of the Ark remains destroyed.  From 1920 to 1924 there was the Bukharan People’s Soviet Republic and then it became part of Uzbekistan (which itself became independent in 1991).

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So here we are at the gate to the Ark.

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I think this is the former living quarters of the Emir’s kushbegi (Prime Minister), now housing an archaeological museum.

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An ancient petrograph from the museum.  Perhaps a leopard and a pair of ibex.  The label only said it came from Uchtut, which is a location about 150 kilometres south east of Bukhara.  They are probably from something like 3,000 to 4,000 BC.

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The Reception and Coronation Court, a large open-air iwan, where the Emir could meet or address people en masse.

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And here he is, the Emir, terror of the population, from a nineteenth century photograph using a digital camera smuggled in by a European.

In 1838, Colonel Charles Stoddart arrived in Bukhara, seeking to reassure the Emir about British troop movements beyond the border.  However, he was not acquainted with local custom and rode into the Ark rather than leaving his horse behind and later prostrating himself before the Emir.  He was cast into a caged hole that he shared with rats.  When the British occupied Kabul and might later have had designs on Bukhara,  he was taken out to the custody of the Chief of Police and allowed proper food and clothing.  Then when the British were defeated in Afghanistan, he was cast beck in the hole again.  In 1840, Captain Arthur Connelly turned up to try to persuade the Emire of the benefits of closer association with Britain and after a while he was thrown in the hole as well.  In 1842 they were executed.

Nineteenth century Bukhara was a somewhat polygot city including Jews, Afghans, Armenians, Russians, Persians, Chinese and Hindus.  It was also a health disaster, with fetid water for long periods producing epidemics and reshta, a vile parasitic worm.  It was also cruelly despotic and a strange mixture between licentious depravity and ruthless enforcement of minor religious norms.

Ah, that’s right, I remember now.  I actually took that photograph.  It’s not from the nineteenth century.  The boy’s father paid a small amount for him to dress up and pose on the throne.  Unaccompanied in nineteenth century Bukhara though, the boy would have been in severe danger from the Emir.

Nowadays though, Bukhara and Uzbekistan generally is very friendly and welcoming.

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A tourist being led around the Ark on a camel ride, in a faint echo of a now distant past.

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We are now inside the Bolo-Khauz Mosque, part of the few surviving structures on the Registan.  It was built in 1712 by the Emir’s wife.  I do not seem to have photographed the outside.

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This is the main prayer hall.

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This time, with the fisheye lens.

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This is the Chasma-Ayub Mausoleum.  I don’t seem to have photographed inside so perhaps it was closed or photography not permitted.  It has four domes from different periods and with different architecture.  The earliest, the conical one, is from the time of Timur in 1380.

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This is the Israel Samani Mausoleum.  It dates from the tenth century, the period of the great cultural flowering of Bukhara and is named after the founder of the Samanid Dynasty.  It incorporates elements of earlier Sogdian and Sassanian/ Zoroastrian architecture.  It escaped the depredations of Genghis Khan because it had become buried under sand and earth and was rediscovered in 1934 by a Soviet archæologist.  The tombs were then removed by the Soviets.  This Samanid mausoleum was a model for many of the fourteenth to seventeenth century mausolea of India.

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A view of the symmetrical interior.

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Looking up at the dome (with some fisheye distortion)…

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… and a closer (rectilinear) view.

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I’m not sure what structure this is; I presume it was visible from the rooftop restaurant we attended that night.

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And this is the top of the Kalan Minaret from a distance.  we saw it more close-up in daylight in the previous post.

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Kalan Mosque, Bukhara

Bukhara, Uzbekistan, 30 September 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

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Amir-Allimkhan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, History, Kalan Minaret, Kalan Mosque, Landscape, Photography, Poi-Kalyan Ensemble, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

You are looking at the Poi-Kalyan Ensemble.  Kalan Mosque is on the right, Kalan Minaret in the centre, Amir-Allimkhan Madrasah behind the minaret to the left, and a wall of the Miri-Arab Madrasah at far left.

Only a generation ago this was the site of a cotton bazaar, including huge piles of cotton atop swaying camels.

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Amir-Allimkhan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, History, Kalan Minaret, Kalan Mosque, Landscape, Photography, Poi-Kalyan Ensemble, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

The Kok Gumbaz (or Blue Dome) of the Kalan Mosque.

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Amir-Allimkhan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, History, Kalan Minaret, Kalan Mosque, Landscape, Photography, Poi-Kalyan Ensemble, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Looking through at the main entrance-way to the interior of the Amir-Allimkhan Madrasah, with a lone student framed by the lattice-work.

The madrasah was built in 1535 and remains the foremost centre of religious education in Bukhara.  It still operates as a madrasah, with around 180 students and is consequently closed to tourists.

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Going into the Kalan Mosque.

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Amir-Allimkhan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, History, Kalan Minaret, Kalan Mosque, Landscape, Photography, Poi-Kalyan Ensemble, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Under one of the 288 domes of the mosque.

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Amir-Allimkhan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, History, Kalan Minaret, Kalan Mosque, Landscape, Photography, Poi-Kalyan Ensemble, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Earthquakes are not unknown in Uzbekistan.

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Amir-Allimkhan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, History, Kalan Minaret, Kalan Mosque, Landscape, Photography, Poi-Kalyan Ensemble, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

In the great rectangle of the mosque, looking west. 

The Kalan Mosque is one of the oldest in Central Asia and also the second largest.  It was intended to house the whole population of the city and the rectangle can hold 10,000 to 12,000 people.  The original was built in 795, collapsed twice in the early tenth century, burned to the ground in 1068 and was destroyed by the Mongols under Genghis Khan in 1219.  The current mosque was finished in 1541.

The recess in the huge rectangular structure is the mihrab and that structure is the qibla wall so together they indicate the quibla, or the direction to face in order to pray towards Mecca.

The small octagonal structure dates from the nineteenth century and is probably where a second Imam would echo the words of the first.  Alternatively, it may be the site of an ancient well or a shelter for the Emir on his weekly visit.

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Looking south.

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Amir-Allimkhan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, History, Kalan Minaret, Kalan Mosque, Landscape, Photography, Poi-Kalyan Ensemble, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Looking east.

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Near the west end of the rectangle, still with a wide angle lens but not as wide an angle as the previous image.

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Amir-Allimkhan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Ceramics, History, Kalan Minaret, Kalan Mosque, Landscape, Photography, Poi-Kalyan Ensemble, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Looking up at the main portal of the west end of the mosque rectangle.

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A couple of views looking back through that portal.

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Looking up at the dome.  The writing around the dome reads “Immortality belongs to God”.

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There’s always a need for washing….

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Down a long corridor, probably on the south side.

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Another dome.

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Walking back out to the portal behind the tree….

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Back outside the mosque to the Poi-Kalyan Ensemble.  So the Amir-Allimkhan Madrasah is on the left, showing in this image only one of its two domes.

The minaret is 48 metres high (155 feet) and there has been a minaret here since 919.  The original one was destroyed in an earthquake in 1068 and a replacement collapsed a few years later.  This one dates from 1127 and Ghengis Khan was so impressed with it that he ordered it to be exempt from the razing of the city.

The small Miri-Arab Madrasah behind and to the left of the minaret was also a bath house.

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Trading Domes and Madrassahs, Bukhara

Bukhara, Uzbekistan
30 September 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

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You can see the mass of domes ahead and to the right.  There are five Trading Domes in Bukhara and for centuries these enclosed markets protected customers from wild swings in weather.  This is Toqi Telpak Furushon (or the Cap Makes’ Bazaar).

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Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Carpets, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Trading Domes, Travel, Ulugbek Madrassah, Uzbekistan, Weaving

This is looking up at the largest dome.  You could see one of the “dome windows” in the previous image.

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A closer look at the centre of the inside of the dome.

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A knife making workshop.

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Looking back at Toqi Tilpak Furushon, having walked through.

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Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Carpets, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Trading Domes, Travel, Ulugbek Madrassah, Uzbekistan, Weaving

We’ve walked through Toqi Telpak Furushon and probably around another Trading Dome we will get to soon.  To the right there are two madrassahs facing each other.  This is Ulugbek Madrassah.

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Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Carpets, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Trading Domes, Travel, Ulugbek Madrassah, Uzbekistan, Weaving

The inside of Ulugbek Madrassah.

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This is the top of the arch at the entrance to Abdulaziz-Khan Madrassah and the next twelve images are inside that madrassah.

The fractal profusion of connected objects under the central arch and the three smaller “window arches” are muqarnas.  In their simplest form they can be cubes and they have a function for corner bracing, paradoxically enhanced by their profusion.  They can also take many forms including stalactite and also have aesthetic and religious associations.  The stalactite structures lead the eye upwards and speak to the connections between heaven and earth.  Their geometric complexity is also an echo of the Pythagoreans who looked upon numbers as the fundamental element of the universe and numbers were thus to them divine.  Muqarnas are a fundamental element of Islamic architecture since the eleventh century.

The two madrassahs facing each other form a single ensemble called Kosh Madrassah.  They also represent the heritage of two different dynasties, the Timurids and the Ashturkhanids.  Ulugbek Madrassah was built by Timur the Great’s grandson Ulugbek in 1420, whereas Abdulazizkhan Madrassah was built by the Emir of  Bukhara, Abdulaziz Khan in 1652. 

(So Abdulazizkhan Madrassah was built in the same period as Nicolas Focquet built Vaux-le-Vicomte in France.  He was subsequently thrown in prison by Louis XIV and Vaux-le-Vicomte used as a model for building of Versailles.  If you study them carefully, you may find some differences in architectural style between Vaux-le-Vicomte and Abdulazizkhan Madrassah.)

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This was an attic for scholars, dating back hundreds of years. I believe we are looking at shelves for books and perhaps writing materials.

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We walked up some stairs to enter here.

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A wider view of the room.

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This image and the following eight are looking up at the ceilings within the madrassah. 

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Though they are different views of the same interior they nonetheless show great variety.

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Many other instances of muqarnas are on display.

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(I’ll just let you talk to the images for a while).

. Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Carpets, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Trading Domes, Travel, Ulugbek Madrassah, Uzbekistan, Weaving .

. Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Carpets, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Trading Domes, Travel, Ulugbek Madrassah, Uzbekistan, Weaving .

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. Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Carpets, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Trading Domes, Travel, Ulugbek Madrassah, Uzbekistan, Weaving .

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Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Carpets, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Trading Domes, Travel, Ulugbek Madrassah, Uzbekistan, Weaving .

.Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Carpets, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Trading Domes, Travel, Ulugbek Madrassah, Uzbekistan, Weaving

Now back in the open, looking west and heading back to the nearby Trading Dome Toqi Zaragon.

There have probably been trading domes in Bukhara for as long as there has been the Silk Road but Bukhara itself has been wiped away from time to time.  For example, Genghis Kan, a hero in Mongolia but possibly the world’s most genocidal ruler, razed it to the ground in 1220.  So the five surviving trading domes are more recent than that.  Toqi Zaragon dates from 1570 while Toqi Tilpak Furushon, which we visited earlier, dates to the later sixteenth century.  Historically, the entrances to the trading domes were large enough for a fully-laden camel to pass through, though seemingly much larger these days.

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In the far background is the Kalon Mosque and the Kalon Minaret (next post).

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Inside the Trading Dome we see women weaving carpets by hand with incredible skill and meticulous attention to detail.

. Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Carpets, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Trading Domes, Travel, Ulugbek Madrassah, Uzbekistan, Weaving .

. Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Carpets, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Trading Domes, Travel, Ulugbek Madrassah, Uzbekistan, Weaving .

. Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Carpets, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Trading Domes, Travel, Ulugbek Madrassah, Uzbekistan, Weaving .

. Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Carpets, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Trading Domes, Travel, Ulugbek Madrassah, Uzbekistan, Weaving .

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. Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Carpets, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Trading Domes, Travel, Ulugbek Madrassah, Uzbekistan, Weaving .

. Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Carpets, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Trading Domes, Travel, Ulugbek Madrassah, Uzbekistan, Weaving

You can of course buy carpets, with a huge array on offer.  You just need lots of money including for shipping it back home.

. Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Architecture, Bukhara, Carpets, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Trading Domes, Travel, Ulugbek Madrassah, Uzbekistan, Weaving .

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Arrival, Bukhara

Bukhara, Uzbekistan
29-30 September 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

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A truck on the road between Khiva and Bokhara. Likely advice to any pedestrians on the right side of the road – run!

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The sign at the restaurant at the left says “ШАШЛИК СОМСА КЕПСИ ТОВУҚ ЖИЗ”, or as you might have guessed “Shashlik Somsa Kepsi Chicken Jiz”.

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A dome in the late afternoon light in Bukhara.

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This looks like a sunset but the sun is well above the horizon, so it’s an exposure directly into the sun which is shining through the window in the cupola. Rather than a low light exposure, it is actually 200 ISO, 1/8,000 sec, f11.
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A little later with a cloud of birds in the distance. These two were probably taken at dinner.
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An hour later, a wedding group on the streets.
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This is above the main portal of the Nadir Divan-begi Madrasa.

It was built as a caravanserai (prosaically, if you like, a motel with camels instead of cars) but either dedicated as or later converted to a madrassah (or school, often religious) and the architecture more resembles a caravanserai than a madrassah. It was built during the reign of Imam Quli Khan (1611 to 1642, a time of prosperity and peace) and built by his Vizier Nadir Divan-begi, after whom it is named. In the image above, the sun has a face as do the serpents below him. Traditionally, Islam strongly disapproved of depiction of humans and animals but this was relaxed in the Persian-influenced world in the early seventeenth century.

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This image and the next eight are also in the Nadir Divan-begi Madrassah.
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Wall and ceiling details…..
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A silk weaver.
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Discussion of potential purchases, perhaps.
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Looking up….
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A variety of textile wonders on offer…..
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This is the ancient Magoki-Attori Mosque.
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This southern entrance dates to the 12th century and you can see the trace of carved blue majolica tiles.
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There was originally a Zoroastrian fire temple and later a Buddhist temple. The Moslem religion arrived about 650AD but its takeover was gradual. At one time both Jews and Moslems were said to have worshiped here concurrently though this may have been at different times of the day. Bukhara burnt down in 927 and the mosque was built or rebuilt at this time. It was rebuilt in the 12th century using the design of the previous mosque and restored in the 14th and 17th centuries and the 1930s and 1970s. It had to be dug out in the 1930s because over the years it had sunk below rising levels of sand.
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It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the oldest mosques in central Asia.
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Carved doorway.
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Looking up in the top level, from the 1930s.
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Not far away is the foundations of an ancient structure but I can’t remember what our guide said and I can not find information on what it was.

(The edge of the Toqi Telpak Furushon Trading Dome is in the background at the far right. We go there in the next post.)
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