"Bygone days" Top 5 Page for this destination Bukhara Favorite Tip by TheWanderingCamel

Bukhara General: 27 reviews and 47 photos

  Come and try, melon of mine, sweeter than honey ..
by TheWanderingCamel
  • Come and try, melon of mine, sweeter than honey .. - Bukhara
      Come and try, melon of mine, sweeter than honey ..
    by TheWanderingCamel
  • Textile trader - Bukhara
      Textile trader
    by TheWanderingCamel
  • Now, say after me ... - Bukhara
      Now, say after me ...
    by TheWanderingCamel
  • On guard - Bukhara
      On guard
    by TheWanderingCamel
  • Sacred waters - Bukhara
      Sacred waters
    by TheWanderingCamel

Favorite thing: Looking at these marvellous photos, you could be excused for thinking they are modern day set-ups, people dressed and posed in vintage dress and settings. They're not - they are in fact entirely authentic, even to the colour. They were taken by Tsar Nicholas II's photographer, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskill in the years just before the start of WWI. Prokudin-Gorskill was also a chemist who understood how colours worked together. He achieved these beautiful images by taking first a black and white image and then three photos in rapid succession, using red, blue and green filters. He then used a light projector with the same three filters to show the photos. The projector he used no longer exists, but modern digital technology has enabled the reproduction of his photos and you can see some of them displayed in one of the museums in Bukhara's Ark.

Fondest memory: Photo 1 shows a melon seller in the bazaar. Today's melon sellers still tie their melons in exactly the same raffia slings. The melons of Uzbekistan were famously considered the best and sweetest to be had anywhere. They were packed into ice in special brass containers and sent by caravan as far afield as the courts of Baghdad, Isfahan and, once the railway arrived, Moscow and St Petersburg.

Photo 2 - a textile seller in the bazaar in Samarkand. It's possible he's wearing his chapan inside out - floral fabrics were often used for the lining. The outer fabric was more likely to be adras - a cotton and silk mix, often dyed with ikat patterns.

Photo 3 - A group of Bukharan Jewish boys with their teacher in the courtyard of the synagogue. The teacher wears the proscribed black and Jew's hat, the boys were not required to do so until they were older.

Photo 4 - an official of the Emir's court, photographed outside the Summer Palace. His chapan is made from ikat dyed adras (cotton and silk) . He's not wearing the chapen of a taller man - the long sleeves were customary. We can see from the photo how the facade of the palace, now all white, was originally brightly painted.

Photo 5 - the sacred well at the shrine of the sufi, Bahauddin Naqshband , Bukara's holiest place. A photo in the tip about the complex (see Off the Beaten Path) shows the well as it is today restored and brightly coloured.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 1, 2009
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