"Zindan or city jail" Bukhara Things to Do Tip by josephescu

Bukhara Things to Do: 221 reviews and 448 photos

  Nasrullah's emblem
by josephescu
  • Nasrullah's emblem - Bukhara
      Nasrullah's emblem
    by josephescu
  • the Zindan in Bukhara - Bukhara
      the Zindan in Bukhara
    by josephescu
  • the famous Black Hole in Zindan, Bukhara - Bukhara
      the famous Black Hole in Zindan, Bukhara
    by josephescu

The zindan, epicentre of Bukharan 19th century notoriety, lurks hidden behind the Ark, next to the former Shakhristan Gate. The heavy, sombre building was home to debtors, murderers, political prisoners, courtiers fallen from grace and 19th century European gusest all held in 3 diabolical cells, the most infamaous of which was the Black Hole ? a deep pit covered with an iron grill, accessible only via a long six metre rope ? the true horror of which can only be truly appreciated form the bottom. The English missionary Henru Landsell was given a guided tour of the jail by his terrified guide in 1882 and observed how the wretched prisoners, manacled and chained at the neck, went largely unfed, with those whose families were too poor to bribe the murderous jailers forced to beg for food every holy Friday through an exterior grating.

Today the cells hold hostage only a few unconvincing dummies and an abridged collection of dungeon memorabilia displayed in the old torture chamber. There is a famous photograph of the bloody back of Sadreddin Ayni, future president of Tajikistan, who was publicly whipped in 1917 for his revolutionary ideas.

Entry 1 usd.

Directions: outside the Ark walls, near the bazaar

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 17, 2007
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