Day 13 – Friday, May 3rd
It’s our last day in Bukhara. It is bound to be a lucky one.
Today we drive for half an hour to the Bahuddin Nagshband Museum. He was a 14th century Sufi mystic.
The site has grown over the centuries into a large complex and cemetery and surrounds his crypt.
It is a sprawling place with open walkways and a covered place to pray. The cemetery is an ancient one.
He was a moderate man and believed in working and living a normal life among his peers rather than living alone in the mountains.
We then drove to the Emir’s summer palace. We saw the Museum of National Crafts which is in the former building which housed the harem.
The Suzani or embroidered coverlets hang on all of the walls. Uzbekistan is known for these works of art.
The palace is also known as The Palace of the Moon and Stars.
It was built at the turn of the 19th century. It was built for the Emirs comfort and far from the political center for his safety. He was kept in isolation and political impotence.
The main palace is a mixture of materials, local influence and Russian taste. It is made mostly of wood and reflects traditional Uzbek taste with its decorations.
The rooms contain many priceless relics given to him from foreign heads of state. One room contains many Chinese vases.
After lunch we went to a marionette studio where they are created and sold. We saw a short performance which was very interesting and then the owner found marionettes that looked like each of us. Lots of fun.
We then drove a short distance and were dropped off on the main street. We crossed over the busy avenue and walked into the narrow shaded alleys and went into the unknown neighborhood.
We rounded a corner and there it was, The Chor Minor Madrassah. The Chor (four) Minarets give the structure its name. It was built in the 17th century with donations from Khalif Nijazkul.
Each tower is designed with a motif to reflect one of the four major religions in the world.
Tomorrow we leave this wonderful place and head out into the desert to arrive at Khiva. The weather here will be missed as we head into the desert.
One thing apparent here so far on this trip is the moderate state of Islam and the cultural awareness of other religions.