Fortress Ark in Bukhara represents itself as Eastern Kremlin. There is no precise data on its age, the walls of fortress reliably protected the local rulers in the VI century.
At the beginning of XX century, about 3,000 people lived in the citadel. Mainly they were close people to Emir and the elite. Palace service, craft shops and treasury were also located here. Ark was center point for everything, which represented special value for Emirate of Bukhara.
It welcomed the great scholars and figures. The world-famous doctor Avicenna read ancient manuscripts in the unique library of Ark. Poet Omar Khayyam, whose wise rubai translated into many languages, also lived here.
The history of creation of Ark is shrouded in mystery. According to legend, handsome young person Siyavush fell in love with a local princess. But the governor agreed to permit them to marry provided that Siyavush would first build a palace on the area bounded by a bull skin. Smart Siyavush found the way out quickly. He cut the bull skin into slender strips, connected the ends, and inside this boundary built the palace.
Design and architecture
The majestic and impregnable fortification was on the Registan Square. The length of the thick walls with the 16-20 m in height was almost 800 m. A large leather whip was installed in one of the wall. It was a symbol of the power of the Emir of Bukhara.
All the remaining buildings in Ark belong to XVII - XX centuries. The front entrance to the fortress is decorated with two towers. Using a special gallery, they are connected to the guard rooms and terraces. Ascent to the main gate looks like a ramp. It leads to Jome mosque through long roofed corridor.
Ark Fortress is the oldest architectural and archeological monument of Bukhara. The fortress was destroyed several times. But it was rebuilt again and again. Now Bukhara State Architecture and Art Museum-Reserve is located at the fortress.