Fortress walls and gates of Bukhara

From ancient times, city walls were main element of defense. Only part of the walls survived till our times. Despite many breaks, pieces of wall are unique military-architectural monument of Central Asia and Bukhara.

First walls of Shahristan were constructed in the VII century in the epoch of Tahirids. Due to regular growth of population, new walls were constructed in the middle of IX century. But later the walls became shabby and could not protect citizens. Therefore, at the beginning of the XII century Arslan Khan of Karakhanids dynasty ordered to strengthen walls with new raw rampart. Later Masud Klych Tamgach-khan made a new wall from burnt bricks.

After some time the walls started to fall and in the beginning of XII century Khorezm-shakh Muhammed reconstructed both walls. But in 1220, powerful army of Mongols ruined the fortress.

After the Mongol invasion, Bukhara could not recover for a long time and was in ruins. The city began to revive in the second half of the XIII century. By order of the governor two large madrasah - Masudiye and Haniyeh – were erected. By the XV century, two circle of fortified walls defended Bukhara: the external with area of 5184 km² and interior with area of 36 km².

In the middle of XVI century, Abd al-Aziz-khan ordered to construct additional circle of walls around Bukhara outskirts.

Northern gate Talipach and southwest gate Karakul survived till our days. Judging that their construction styles were similar, such building type was commonly accepted.

Archaeologists and historians believe that eleven city gates were in Bukhara. At the same time, five of them were in preserved area of the fortress walls.

Sheikh Jalal gate protected Bukhara in south from nomadic tribes. Unfortunately, the gate did not survive till our days.

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