Day 41: Ulugbek Observatory

Affairs of the state often kept Ulugbek from his passion for the stars, but being Sultan comes with its perks.  In addition to founding three madrassas to advance the world's understanding of astronomy and mathematics, the Timurid ruler also built one of the most important observatories of the Middle Ages in his capital city of … Continue reading Day 41: Ulugbek Observatory

Day 42: Ulugbek Madrassa – Bukhara

It helps to know your madrassas, especially in a country where such a prolific statesman as Timuriud ruler Mirzo Ulugbek built at least three centers of higher learning to his name.  Ulugbek Madrassa in Bukhara was the first, and also served as an architectural example for many more which followed in the proceeding centuries. During … Continue reading Day 42: Ulugbek Madrassa – Bukhara

Day 43: Bukhara’s Trade Domes

In addition to the Tim-Abdullah Khan Trade Dome, there are three other covered bazaars in the historic core of the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bukhara that should be on your radar, and once they are, will be impossible to miss since you'll know what you're looking at.  Established during the late 16th century, these … Continue reading Day 43: Bukhara’s Trade Domes

Day 47: Navoi

When Soviet planners were considering a location to process the output of the rich gold and uranium deposits of Uzbekistan, rather than build new infrastructure in an existing city, the USSR Ministry of Atomic Energy instead chose to lay out a brand new city from scratch in the valley of the Zeravshan River about 100km … Continue reading Day 47: Navoi

Day 49: Kok-Gumbaz

Our supr-of-the-moment decision to take a side trip to Shakhrisabz turned out to be well worth the extra expense of $50 for the whole day.  We met our taxi driver (as I was reminded after erroneously reporting our hotel arranged it) when we arrived at the Samarkand train station.  He was waiting patiently well past the … Continue reading Day 49: Kok-Gumbaz

Day 57: Jahongir B&B

Immerse yourself in the Uzbek "mahalla" lifestyle when visiting Samarkand and stay at our favorite guest house in Uzbekistan, the Jahongir B&B.  With an amazing location just steps from Registan Square and local national food options, this idyllic mom and pop option totally lives up the hype generated by positive mention in the guidebooks. The … Continue reading Day 57: Jahongir B&B

Day 58: Abdulaziz Khan Madrassa

A fine example of the Central Asian "Kosch Principle" of urban planning, whereby the facades of two opposite buildings face each-other along the same axis, Bukhara's mid 17th century Abdulaziz Khan Madrasa does so directly across from his much older companion, the Ulugbek Madrassa, which dates from the early 15th century.  Together, the Abdulaziz Khan … Continue reading Day 58: Abdulaziz Khan Madrassa