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Encyclopedia > Bokhara

Bukhara (بُخارا in Persian, Buxoro or Бұхара in Uzbek; Бухара in Russian; also Boxara in Tatar) is one of the major cities of Uzbekistan, capital of the Bukhara region (Bukhoro Wiloyati). The majority of city's population are Persian-speaking Tajiks. It forms together with Samarkand the two major centers of the Tajiki-Persian culture and history. During the Soviet times these two Tajiki centers were annexed to the Uzbekistan SSR, much to the disgust of the Tajiks of Central_Asia. Ever since a harsh program of assimilation and cultural confinement has been carried out on the Tajiks of Uzbekistan by the Uzbek authority.

Bukhara is also home to a large number of Jews, whose ancestors settled in the city during Roman times. The term 'Bukharan Jew' is frequently used to describe all Jews who come from Central Asia.

Alim Khan (1880-1944), last emir of Bukhara


Bukhara has been one of the main centers of Iranian civilisation during the history. Its architecture and archaeological sites form one of the pillars of the Persian history and art. The region of Bukhara was for a long period a part of the Persian Empire. The origin of its inhabitants goes back to the period of Aryan immigration into the region. The Iranian Soghdians inhabited the area and some centuries later the Persian language became dominant among them.


  • Moorcroft, William and Trebeck, George. 1841. Travels in the Himalayan Provinces of Hindustan and the Panjab; in Ladakh and Kashmir, in Peshawar, Kabul, Kunduz, and Bokhara... from 1819 to 1825, Vol. II. Reprint: New Delhi, Sagar Publications, 1971.


The historic center of Bukhara has been listed by UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites. It contains numerous mosques and madrassas.

A statue of the populist philosopher and wise man Nasreddin can be found on a central square. It shows him riding his donkey backwards and grasping its tail, as he is traditionally depicted.

Study of a Stork's Nest at the top of a palace wall, before 1915
Citadel of Bukhara
City skyline of Bukhara, dominated by the Kalon minaret
Ark fortress walls, home to the Khans of Bukhara
A view from the inside of the Poi Kalon mosque, showing the Kalon minaret
Chor Minor, the gatehouse to a now-disappeared madressah



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