"Bukhara occupied a very..." Uzbekistan Things to Do Tip by tanianska

Uzbekistan Things to Do: 141 reviews and 358 photos


<b>Bukhara</b> occupied a very special place on the Silk Road. It is one of the oldest cities in Central Asia and is to be found mentioned in Chinese records of the 5th century A.D. Regarded as the holiest Islamic city in Central Asia, it once possessed nearly two hundred and fifty medressehs (theological colleges), although only the Miri Arab Medresseh and one or two others have survived. It was also famous for its handicrafts, and it is reported that on his conquest of the city, the Mongol Emperor Genghis Khan carried off the craftsmen of the city to employ them in his own service. At the same time, he ordered all the citizens of Bukhara, excluding the women but with the ulema (the learned and religious elite) to the fore, to gather in the largest mosque in the city. Addressing the assembly, Genghis Khan declared: 'You are not the beloved servants of God you claim to be. If God had loved you as you say, he would not have sent me to chastise you.' This was followed by the most terrible massacre in the history of Bukhara, but despite this disaster the city lost nothing of its importance on the Silk Road.
The recovery of Bukhara dates from the 16th century. At one time, several migrants who had belonged to the Golden Horde and who had settled in Central Asia began to call themselves 'Uzbeks' on the strength of their descent from Uzbek Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan. The khanate of Bukhara was one of the khanates founded by Uzbek tribes. under the rule of Shahbani Khan after the descendants of Tamerlane had been driven out of Central Asia. In 1868, under the third, Mengit dynasty, the khanate of Bukhara, after having led an independent existence for over two hundred years, became a semi-autonomous region of Tzarist Russia. Like the other Central Asian provinces that had accepted Russian rule, such as Khiva and Khokand, Bukhara preserved its semi-independent status until the Bolshevik Revolution.

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  • Written Aug 25, 2002
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