Day 2: Kokildor-Ota Khanaka

15th century Termez was a city on the brink of transition.  The Timirud epoch was in full swing, decedents of Amir Timur fighting amongst themselves to maintain the vestiges of his once great empire, and putting their own personal stamp on things with monumental construction projects all over Central Asia.  The Sayyids were still hanging … Continue reading Day 2: Kokildor-Ota Khanaka

Day 7: Minor Mosque

Situated along the left bank of the ancient Angor canal running through the center of Tashkent, the Minor Mosque is a brand new example of monumental architecture in the post-independence era of Uzbekistan.  The first President of the Republic, Islam Karimov, ordered its construction through an executive order that a mosque should be built within … Continue reading Day 7: Minor Mosque

Day 9: Zangiata Complex

In 12th and 13th century Tashkent there lived a well respected Sufi mystic, Sheikh Ay-hoja Zangi-Ata, literally "Dark Father" owing to his dark complexion, who was revered by the local people, and subsequently by 14th century Uzbek national hero, Amir Timur.  Having hailed from abroad, likely from a noble family in Saudi Arabia, Zangiata spent … Continue reading Day 9: Zangiata Complex

Day 12: Mausoleum of Al-Hakim al-Termizi

The Al-Hakim al-Termizi complex on the edge of old-Termez is a conglomerate of several structures built from the 11th to 15th centuries dedicated to the 9th century Sufi mystic, great early Islamic author, and most important representative of Central Asian Sufism, Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ali bin Hasan bin Bashir Al Hakim At-Termizi.  Born in … Continue reading Day 12: Mausoleum of Al-Hakim al-Termizi

Day 13: Sultan Saodat Ensemble

Termez may be best known for its many Buddhist archeological sites, but the 2,500 year old city also boasts several important architectural landmarks from the Islamic era.  For those travelers already familiar with the Sah-i-Zinda Necropolis in Samarkand, the Sultan Saodat Ensemble may seem underwhelming, however those who make the effort to explore this ancient mausoleum … Continue reading Day 13: Sultan Saodat Ensemble

Day 17: Jarkurgan Minaret

Jarkurgan is a small dusty town about 60km north of Termez, the last place you'd expect to find a standalone medieval minaret, but in the early 12th century, this place was a bustling stop along the ancient silk road, and the minaret served as a beacon to travelers guiding them to the safety of the … Continue reading Day 17: Jarkurgan Minaret

Day 40: Bolo-Hauz Mosque

Perhaps the most picturesque mosque in Bukhara, the 18th to early 20th century Bolo-Hauz Mosque was built during the tumultuous reign of Abulfaz Khan under the Bukhara Khanate.  The mosque was constructed in the year 1712 in a time of political chaos which included separation of the Khanate of Kokand, and invasion by Iranian conqueror … Continue reading Day 40: Bolo-Hauz Mosque

Day 42: Ulugbek Madrassa – Bukhara

It helps to know your madrassas, especially in a country where such a prolific statesman as Timurid 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 44: Ulugbek Madrassa – Registan

Prior to construction of the Ulugbek Madrassa, Registan Square would have been unrecognizable to the the modern visitor.  In the time of Amir Timur, the place where today stands one of the world's most spectacular architectural ensembles was the main market square of medieval Samarkand.  Ulugbek Madrassa, built exactly 600 years ago between the years … Continue reading Day 44: Ulugbek Madrassa – Registan

Day 51: Kalon Minaret

Landmarks are by their very definition supposed to leave you with the impression of greatness, but the Kalon Minaret is a special case.  Not only was it built with that purpose in mind from the very beginning, but it was supposedly spared destruction by Genghis Khan because he was so impressed by how great it … Continue reading Day 51: Kalon Minaret