The Citadel of Arc

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город Бухара, улица Бахавуддина Накишбанди
Республика Узбекистан, Бухарская область
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The Ark Citadel is the most ancient historical monument of the city of Bukhara, dating from about the 5th century AD, although modern buildings were erected in the late XVIII — early XX centuries. Ark is located in the western part of the city and is a large hill over Registan Square, which includes the citadel (from the Italian word cittadella, which means «small town») — the fortified interior of the fortress, and the residence of Bukhara emirs. The great Minaret Arch — the citadel has a very unusual shape — the shape of an elongated asymmetrical quadrangle. The total length of the Arch walls is 789.6 meters, the area is 3.96 hectares, and its height from the Registan level is about 16-20 meters.

The history of the Arch, or as it was called in ancient times by Kuhindis, is still shrouded in mysteries and mysteries. After all, until sir time is not determined the exact date of the emergence of the citadel. However, it is known that the first mention of Kukhindis appeared in the work «History of Bukhara» by Abu Bakr Muhammad Narshahi (899-960), where it was said that a certain Bidun Bukhar Khudat erected this magnificent palace, which soon, unfortunately, collapsed . Subsequently, the building was renewed several times, but it all the same collapsed … Soon, the scientists still found a solution, how to build the citadel of the Arch, so that it would last a century. It was decided to build according to the plan, similar to the constellation of the Great Bear, that is, on 7 stone pillars. Scientists have not lost! The construction plan was very successful, the construction of the citadel still did not collapse. In addition, it is worth noting the following fact: in order to build this majestic structure, towering on an artificial hill, the forces of thousands of slaves were employed, which under the burning sun worked almost manually, without powerful equipment!

The Ark Citadel, located above Registan, which, in turn, is a sign of greatness and inaccessibility, in ancient times was considered a symbol of state power, where Bukhara emirs carried out the supreme command of the whole country. At the same time, the great fortress witnessed many bloody wars and uprisings. However, not only the rulers of the state lived in the Arch, but also many other great people who left behind themselves an invaluable contribution in literature, philosophy, medicine — poets, philosophers and scholars of the time: Abu Ali Ibn Sina, Rudaki, Ferdousi, Farabi, Omar Khayyam, etc. And in order that they could fully realize their creative activity there was a unique library containing a huge number of scientific and literary books.

In addition to the library, inside the majestic Arch there was a whole complex of buildings. So, in the eastern part of the citadel and to this day the Childukhtaron mosque rises. It is noteworthy that this mosque even has its own legend — the legend of forty beautiful girls who were tortured and thrown into a huge well.

And on the opposite side of the gate of the fortress Ark is located the oldest mosque Bolo Hauz, in which Bukhara emir performed his prayers. It is a classic composition of the Central Asian mosque with a painted ceiling and wooden columns.

In addition, at the entrance staircase of the citadel is another mosque — the Juma Mosque, however it is more modern, it was built in the XVII century. On the porch of the mosque there are tall columns made of maple wood. Inside the mosque there is a historical museum, where a collection of manuscripts and documents of the XIX and XX centuries are kept.

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