"Desert oasis" Top 5 Page for this destination Uzbekistan Things to Do Tip by TheWanderingCamel
Uzbekistan Things to Do: 141 reviews and 358 photos
Bukhara's position at the crossroads of the great trade routes of Central Asia, has kept the city alive, if not always thriving, through the centuries and of all the cities of Uzbekistan , this is the one with the most layers of history waiting to be explored.
The 19th century British stateman and Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, called Bukhara "the most interesting city in the world" and among Muslims it was known as 'the Holy, the Noble, the Dome of Islam".
Those days of glory are long gone, but there can be no doubt that Bukhara remains one of the most romantic cities anywhere in the world. From the massive walls of the old citadel - known as the Ark, to the fabulously tile-bedecked and domed buildings standing cheek by jowl all around the old city, centering on the lovely mulberry-tree ringed pool of the Lyab-i Khauz where the old men still gather to while away the days with talk and maybe a game of chess, Bukhara quietly holds on to the ways of life that have prevailed here through invasion, decline and its latest incarnation as the restored trading centre of the country as tourism brings new customers to its ancient trading domes and the small shops that fill the cells of the madrassas where once young men studied the Koran. The city's importance as a religious centre is renewed as well, with the biggest of Central Asia's seminary attracting students and Muslim visitors alike.
2009 update It was in Bukhara that we really saw the impact of Uzbekistan's burgeoning tourist industry. Several new hotels and B&Bs have appeared in the old city since we were there in 2005, some of them sympathetic restorations of old houses, others newly built to harmonise with the historic architecture all around. There were certainly more fellow-tourists here than anywhere else we went, nowhere near enough to impact on our enjoyment of the city but Bukhara was definitely the most tourist-oriented of all the places we visited.
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