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"The Ark" Top 5 Page for this destination Ark - Bukhara Fortress Tip by nepalgoods

Ark - Bukhara Fortress, Bukhara: 23 reviews and 41 photos

  The Ark
by nepalgoods
  • The Ark - Bukhara
      The Ark
    by nepalgoods
  • The Ark - Bukhara
      The Ark
    by nepalgoods
  • Mosque Kalan seen from the Ark - Bukhara
      Mosque Kalan seen from the Ark
    by nepalgoods

The ark, on a hill of about 20m, has been the former administration disctrict and the palace of the rulers of Bukhara. Its majestic gate and its impressive walls dominate this part of the town. It has been destroyed and rebuild many times since its beginning in the 9th century. Today's it shows the conditions of the 19th century. Inside you'll find mosques of the 17th and 18th century. At the beginning of the 20th century about 3000 people were living in the walls of the Ark.

Actually I did not go inside as I was not feeling very well and it was very hot. I was impressed by the power of the walls and spent some time just watching people passing by and enjoying the panorama of the old town with the Mosque Kalan not far.

The square in front of the Ark is the Registan of Bukhara. This used to be a lively market place in former days with fruit and vegetable stalls, magicians, fairytale-tellers and doctors.

A small story about the founding of the ark:
According to the Persian epic poem Shahnameh the city was founded by the mythical Persian King Siavush. As the legend goes Siavush was accused of seducing his mother by the Vizers. To test his innocence he underwent trial by fire. After emerging unscathed from the flames he crossed the Oxus into Turan. The king of Samarkand Afrosiab gave Siavash his daughter Ferganiza and a vassal kingdom in the Bukhara Oasis. There he built the Ark. Some years later Siavash was again accused of seducing his father-in-law's wife. Afrosiab killed Siavash and buried his head under the Haysellers Gate. In retaliation Shah Kavakhous killed Afrosiab, and took his son and daughter-in-law back to Persia.

Also they say that before Afrosiab gave Siavush his daughter he stipulated that pretender should be able to build a fortress on a piece of land under an ox-hide. However Siavush was very ingenious. He slit ox-hide into slender ribbons then he joined ends together and inside this ring he later built the Ark.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 3, 2007
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