Lyabi Hauz, which means “by the pond”, is one of the central squares of Bukhara. It gas form of irregular polygon. Architectural complex was constructed in the 16-17th centuries.
The complex includes: Kukeldash Madrasah (do not confuse with Kukeldash Madrasah in Tashkent, madrassah of Divan-Begi, khanaka of Divan-Begi and hauz (pond) of Nadir-begi.
In the Middle Ages, the Labi-Hauz Square was always crowded. As main shopping streets of Bukhara with trade domes were located in the distance of five minute walk. At the same time, residential buildings in Bukhara were very close to each other, so citizens also like its open space.
Kukeldash Madrasah was erected in the northern part of the square in 1569. Its well decorated domes can be immediately seen. The building includes mosque, darshona (lecture rooms) and 160 hudjrs (living rooms).
In 1619-20s, hauz and small khanaka of Divan-Begi, which was named after its sponsor, were constructed simultaneously. Sufis mediated and rested here. Two-floor hudjras are located around its central dome hall. At the edges of main façade, decorated with mosaics, there are two towers.
Octagonal pond has a depth of five meters. Its walls are stone steps. In the Middle Ages artificial ponds served as a source of drinking water. However, at the beginning of the XX century they began to drain because the water is often provoked intestinal infections. However, hauz of Divan-Begi was preserved due to its high artistic value to the entire ensemble of the square.
Madrasah of Nadir Divan-begi is located in eastern part of Lyabi Khauz. Initially it was constructed as caravan-sarai. But at the opening ceremony, the building was announced as educational institute. Afterwards, all necessary facilities were constructed at Nadir Divan-begi to turn it to madrasah. For that reason, its design is not typical for educational institutions of that time. There are no mosque and classrooms.
A monument to folk hero – Hodja Nasreddin – was erected last in the square.
As in the Middle Ages, Lyabi-Hauz Square is a favorite walking place. Old friends are also meeting here to learn the latest news and prices.