Ark fortress is the oldest architectural monument in Bukhara. It is located on 20 meters artificial hill and has a very impressive citadel look. It was built in the V century BC and served as the residence of emirs.
Ark Citadel occupies 4 hectares, the length of the fortress walls is about 790 m. The wall was reconstructed over centuries, but the best example of transformation can be viewed on the slopes of the mound that were first cased in earthen blocks and later were changed to mud bricks and baked bricks.
Before the invasion of the Arabs, the Ark fortress was the residence of bukhar-khudas (city rulers), scientists and poets. Here lived Firdousi, Farabi, Omar Khayyam, Avicenna and many other famous people of the time. During the reign of the Samanids dynasty, the fortress walls were strengthened but later the Mongol army destroyed the Ark. The present-day fortress was reconstructed in the XVI century. In the early 20th century there were 3000people living in the fortress.
The main entrance has two towers that are connected with a gallery and an open terrace. The long corridor leads from the arch to the centre. Along the corridor, there are rooms that were once used as prisons and storage for water and sand. In the territory of Ark fortress, there is an archaeological museum, a museum of regional studies, Chili-Duhtaron and Ulduhtaron mosque. Within the fortress wall, there is a Jomi mosque of the XIX century, baths and other buildings.
You can visit this site with our Highlights of Uzbekistan tour and Cultural tours to Central Asia.