The first and most important reason to visit Uzbekistan is to see the unique Uzbek architecture which reflects the long history of the country: from the ancient settlements to the first mud towns, which were built in the South during the Bronze Age: the Buddhist temples, the mud fortress Fayoztepa, the Zurmala Tower from the Kushan era around Termez, the Afrosiyob Museum with its frescoes in Samarkand, Varaxscha in Buchara, the fortress of Poykent, the mud fortresses, palaces and observatories in the Zoroastrian period of Choresm: Toprakkala, Jonboskala, Quykirilgankala, Kavatkala, the city of Axsikent in the Ferghana Valley, the Buddhist monastery in Kuva.
The ruins of the first town constructed as a fortress with the castle, the town centre, the palace, the Ark Citadel and its periphery, built in the time of Alexander the Great of the White Huns, also illustrate the highly developed nature of Uzbekistan’s architecture.
Herodotus wrote: the Greeks were amazed by this type of prefabricated constructions by Turkish nations such as: yurt, khirgoh, ok uy ( white house), kora uy (black house), tents, saroparda.
In the 5th to the 6th century AD, it became a tradition around the cities to build koshks (superior lightweight constructions in the garden with a beautiful Castle with aywan and pillars). According to works of the Arab historians Istakhri and Ibn Havkal and Narshakhi from Bukhara, there were 700 koshks around Bukhara, more than 4,000 in the city of Bukhara, and 12,000 around Mizdakkhon.
The Islam period (7th century) brought a great change in the local architectural style. New types and styles of decoration such as islimiy girrikh mukarnas were seen in the national architecture. Sculptures and frescoes of living creatures were completely banned. A completely new format in the buildings such as mosques, madrasas, mausoleums, minarets, kanagas appeared in local Central Asian architecture.
The most prosperous period of Uzbek national architecture was from the 9th to the 10th century until the beginning of the 20th century, during the reign of the Samanids, Karakhanids, Temurids, Shaibanids and Astrakhanid dynasties, when these unique, beautiful, colourful buildings were built.
Today, there are more than 4,000 architectural, cultural, historical, archeological and natural monuments. During the years of independence, 209 of them have been repaired and are included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
All the itineraries of DOCA Tours include Uzbek architectural treasures. Please consult our tours page.
Our experienced guides-interpreters will take you into the elegant world of the national architecture, will show you the pearls and jewels of the East: Registan, Shakhi Zinda, Bibi Khanum, Gur Emir in Samarkand; Kalon minaret, Ark fortress, Chor Chor Bakr, Labi Hauz, Bolo-Haus in Bukhara; Ichan-Kala in Khiva, Orda of Khudoyarkhan in Kokand.
Welcome to Uzbekistan with DOCA Tours!