Kalon is among Top 5 Places to Visit in Bukhara and recommended to visit!
Like every old city Bukhara and its monuments have also changed all the time. The battles, earthquakes, new rulers etc. have always led to constructions of different sometimes more brilliant monuments. And only a few monuments resisted all these regular changes and have survived for centuries. One of such places of Bukhara is the architectural complex Poi-Kalan.
In the 12th century (1121y) the highest construction of the city – Minaret Kalon and the mosque Kalon had been erected. This old, grand minaret is well conserved up to our days but the mosque had been burned by Genghis Khan’s fierce army in 1220s.
In the sixteenth century only Bukhara becomes again the centre of Central Asia as the capital of Sheibanids’ empire who succeeded the throne from Tamerlane’s descendants. Colossal constructions in Bukhara included the Kalon complex and the minaret was restored. A new mosque and big madrasah – Madrasah Mir-I Arab had been erected.
Mosque Kalon (16t c.)
The mosque is the biggest religious center of Bukhara since 16th century. It can receive over 10,000 followers of Islam at the same time. A few centuries ago the emirs of Bukhara also came to this mosque for realizing the prayers of Friday. The mosque has a large courtyard with 4 portals on 4 sides. 208 columns around the courtyard and 288 domes make the mosque a beautiful monument of Silk Road Architecture in Bukhara.
Madrasah Mir-I Arab (16th c.)
The biggest madrasah of the city was dedicated to the first spiritual leader of Sheibanid empire – Sheikh Abdullakh Yemeni. Abdullakh Yemeni was a spiritual guide of Ubaydulla Khan, one of the most renowned ruler of Bukhara. In the 16th century Bukhara really became the center of Muslim world and even the kings were obliged to show respect to religious traditions. Following that Ubaydulla Khan was buried in this madrasa.
During Soviet times Mir-I Arab was the only Muslim Educational Institution of the former USSR. Still visitors can see students studying in the madrasah.