Bukhara Historical Center – World Cultural Heritage in Uzbekistan

Bukhara, located on the Silk Road, is over 2,000 years old. It is the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia, with the urban fabric largely intact. Monuments of particular interest include the famous Tomb of Ismail Samani, a masterpiece of 10th-century Islamic architecture, and a large number of 17th-century madrasa.

Accreditation year: 1993
Minor boundary modification year: 2016
Criteria: (ii)(iv)(vi)
Area: 216 hectares
Buffer zone: 339 ha
Bukhara . region

Outstanding global value

The historic center of Bukhara, located on the Silk Road, is more than two thousand years old. It is one of the finest examples of well-preserved Muslim cities in Central Asia from the 10th to 17th centuries, with the urban fabric largely still intact.

Bukhara has long been an important economic and cultural center in Central Asia. The ancient Persian city was a major Islamic cultural center for many centuries and became the major cultural center of the Caliphate in the 8th century.

With the exception of some important vestiges from before the invasions of Genghis Khan in 1220 and Temur in 1370, the old town is a testament to the urbanism and architecture of the Sheibani period under the rule of Uzbek rule, from the early 16th century onwards. The citadel, rebuilt in the 16th century, has marked the town’s administrative center since its earliest days to the present,

Important monuments that have survived from the early period include the famous Ismail Samanai mausoleum, striking for its elegant elegance and the finest surviving example of 10th-century architecture in the world. the entire Muslim world. From the 11th-century Karakhanid came the striking Poi-Kalyan minaret, a masterpiece of brick ornamentation, along with most of the Magoki Attori mosque and the Chashma Ayub shrine. Ulugbek medresseh is a surviving contribution from Temurid. With the advent of the Sheibanids, some of Bukhara’s most famous buildings appeared: the Poi-Kalyan group, the Lyabi-Khauz ensemble, the Kosh Medresseh and the Gaukushon medresseh in the Hodja-Kalon ensemble. Later buildings from this period of Bukhara’s history include the monumental medresseh at important intersections: Taki Sarafon (Dome of the Money Changers), Taki-Tilpak-Furushan (Dome of the Vendors), helmet), Tim-Bazzazan and Tiro-Abdullah-Khan. In the early 17th century, beautiful buildings were added, including a new grand mosque, the Magoki Kurns (1637), and the majestic Abdullaziz-Khan Mosque (1652).

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However, the real importance of Bukhara lies not in the individual buildings but in the overall townscape, which exhibits a high and consistent level of urban planning and architecture that dates back to the dynasty. Sheibanid.

Criterion (ii): Examples of Bukhara’s urban layout and buildings that profoundly influenced the development and planning of towns in a large region of Central Asia.

Criterion (iv): Bukhara is the most complete and pristine example of a medieval Central Asian town that has preserved its urban fabric to this day.

Criterion (vi): From the 9th to the 16th centuries, Bukhara was the largest center of Islamic theology, especially of Sufiism, in the Near East, with over 200 mosques and over 100 madrasas.


The property contains all properties that maintain its Outstanding Universal Value. Its boundaries and buffers are consistent and complete. Although most of the new construction from the 1920s until the 1950s was insensitive to earthquake damage, Bukhara has retained much of its historic atmosphere and largely intact urban structure. town.

However, the integrity of the property is being threatened by the strong impact of salinity and groundwater and termites that cause erosion of wooden structures. In addition, a large number of earthen buildings stand out in some areas extremely vulnerable to the deterioration of historic structures.


Bukhara has preserved much of the urban layout dating back to the Sheibanid period. The modern buildings that have been erected in the historic center over the past half-century have destroyed the appearance of some quarters, but in others the medieval townscape has survived. However, the proportion of old structures, especially public and religious buildings, remains high, and the historic center is certainly of outstanding significance as an exceptional example of a Muslim city. medieval period mainly in Central Asia.

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In the context of Bukhara Historic Center as a complete entity – expressed through many attributes including urban context, form and design, use of materials and techniques, function and tradition – a number of factors can be recognized as potentially detrimental to the authenticity of the property, namely: (i) the reduction in the use of traditional materials and traditional construction techniques and introduce new building materials, as well as new architectural details; (ii) incomplete documentation of major monuments and urban structures; (iii) urban development pressure leads to inappropriate design of new works.

Protection and management requirements

Relevant national laws and regulations relating to World Heritage properties include the Law on Protection and Exploitation of Cultural Heritage Properties, 2001. The existing law, together with the urban planning regulations, provides determine the protection of cultural heritage sites and their buffer zones. These documents are reflected in the Master Plan of the city of Bukhara 2005. In addition, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan approved Special Decree No. 49 of March 23, 2010 “On the state program on research, conservation, restoration and adaptation to modernity. use the cultural heritage properties of Bukhara until 2020”. This state program is currently underway to provide an additional layer of property protection and preservation.

The management of cultural heritage sites in Bukhara is carried out by the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Uzbekistan at the national level and the Bukhara Area Inspector for the Protection and Use of Cultural Heritage Sites and the authorities. local at the regional level.

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Within the framework of protecting the cultural heritage of the historical center of Bukhara, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan approved the State Program for complex activities of research, conservation and restoration of heritage monuments. culture of Bukhara Historical Center and their adaptation to modern needs in the period 2010-2020. The intervention is strictly regulated to ensure the integrity and characteristic elements of the monument. During the implementation of the State Program, the monitoring of relics will be carried out regularly. Management plan, including computerized database, Master Conservation and Development Plan, scientific monitoring system, infrastructure plan, design guidelines, guidelines and regulations for all tourism services, is necessary to maintain the Outstanding Universal Value of the heritage and balance the needs of sustainable development. In order to maintain conditions of integrity and authenticity, a comprehensive conservation strategy is required, in particular removing cultural layers built up from later periods and minimizing street surfaces. down to their historical level.

Another important aspect is capacity building in traditional construction techniques. Currently, the Urban Planning Project and Scientific Research Institute is developing a detailed planning project of Bukhara’s historic center that will further address these issues.

Map of Bukhara . Historical Center

Video about Bukhara . Historical Center

See also: UNESCO World Cultural/Natural Heritage Sites

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