Bukhara is located on the Silk Road and was a center of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion. About 250,000 people live in the city now.
The historic part of Bukhara is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within it are many old buildings, especially mosques and madrasahs.
below: Kalyan Mosque
below: The entrance to the Nadir Divan Began Madrasah, first built in 1622.
below: Yes, I think that she’s really sticking her tongue out!
below: Like most of the old madrasahs in Uzbekistan, they are no longer used as schools. I’m sure that the interior space has not been as fully renovated as the exterior, especially the upper levels. Now most of them are used to sell things. Instead of small classrooms, they have small shops.
Because it is now a UNESCO site and because the government is doing more to encourage tourism, there are more visitors to the city. More visitors mean more souvenir sellers. There are many items that one can buy here including fur hats.
below: Closing up shop at the end of the day.
Carpets are also available for purchase. All sizes, all qualities, all prices.
Tsarist Russia occupied what is now Uzbekistan starting in the late 1800’s. In the 1920’s is became part of the Soviet Union. Very little visible evidence remains of the Soviet influence including the cyrillic alphabet. Uzbek uses the Latin alphabet. These safety posters were on the wall of a hammam in Bukhara.
below: These two boys are laughing as they walk away from me. We had a very disjointed conversation in broken English and broken French. School kids in Uzbekistan learn Russian as a second language. They then have a choice of English, French or German if they want to learn a third language.
Bukhara also has an amusement park. Because I was there at the end of October, the place was almost empty. Like Canada, Uzbekistan has a winter. It doesn’t always snow (desert, almost no rprecipitation) but it does get cold. Late October is the very end of the season for places like the amusement park.
below: The food stands were closed but we were able to ride on the ferris wheel.
In the Middle Ages, the largest Jewish settlement in Central Asia was in this area. Very few Bukharan Jews remain but a large section of the city is still known as the Jewish Quarter. I walked every alley in the Jewish quarter (it’s not too big). Most of the following photos are of the buildings in this area… I’m not sure if they all are as there are a couple of other sections where the buildings are just as old (but where I didn’t explore as much).
below: This building was made from mud and straw, a common building material.