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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back out on the street, another ancient door.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Part of an interior gateway of the Kalan Mosque.

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

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

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

The dome of Kalan Mosque.

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

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….

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

We walked up some stairs to enter here.

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

A wider view of the room.

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

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

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

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

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

Many other instances of muqarnas are on display.

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

(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.

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

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

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

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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