October 9, 2014

0660, 0661, 1273 UZBEKISTAN (Bukhara) - Historic Centre of Bukhara (UNESCO WHS)

0660 Bukhara - Minaret Kalyan and
the main portal of Kalyan Mosque

Posted on 30.05.2013, 09.10.2014
According to the Iranian epic poem Shahnameh, Bukhara was founded by King Siavash, son of Shah Kai Kavoos, one of the mythical Iranian kings. Officially, it was founded in 500 BCE, subsequently being mastered by Alexander the Great, Seleucid Empire, the Greco-Bactrians, and the Kushan Empire. When the Islamic armies arrived here in 650 AD, they found a multi-ethnic and multi-religious collection of peoples, and didn't managed to impose their religion until 751, when the Arab Abbasid Caliphate along with their ally the Tibetan Empire defeated the Chinese Tang dynasty.

0661 Bukhara - Chor-Minor Madrassah (1)

In 850 it became the capital of the Samanid Empire, which brought about a revival of Iranian language and culture, becaming the intellectual center of the Islamic world. In 999 AD the Samanids were toppled by the Karakhanid Turkic dynasty, later it became part of the kingdom of Khwarazm Shahs, and in 1220 it was leveled by Genghis Khan. It recovered and was part of first the Chaghatay Khanate, then the Timurid Empire. Capital city of the Khanate of Bukhara in 16th century, and since 18th century of the Emirate of Bukhara, in 1920 was conquered by Russians.

1273 Bukhara - Chor-Minor Madrassah (2)

Situated on the Silk Roads, Bukhara is "one of the best examples of well preserved Islamic cities of Central Asia of the 10th to 17th centuries, with an urban fabric that has remained largely intact. (...) With the exception of a few important vestiges from before the Mongol invasions of Genghis Khan in 1220 and Temur in 1370, the old town bears witness to the urbanism and architecture of the Sheibani period of Uzbek rule, from the early 16th century onwards. The citadel, rebuilt in the 16th century, has marked the civic center of the town since its earliest days to the present."

The Minaret Kalyan (Great Minaret) is the only structure belonging to the mosque built between 1121 and 1127 by the Karakhanid ruler Arslan-khan which survived Genghis Khan's wrath. It is a circular-pillar brick tower, narrowing upwards, of 9m diameter at the bottom, 6m overhead and 45.6m high, also known as the Tower of Death, because until as recently as the early 20th century criminals were executed by being thrown from the top. Its base has narrow ornamental strings belted across it made of bricks which are placed in both straight or diagonal fashion, and the frieze is covered with a blue glaze with inscriptions. 

The main portal of Kalyan Mosque (Maedjid-i kalyan), arguably completed in 1514, is equal with Bibi-Khanym Mosque in Samarkand in size. The inscription under arch portal dates time of reconstruction. This is a poem from Quran, at the end of which can be seen the date 1514-1515. In 1541 at the entrance of main portal was fixed a marble board with cut text of Abdullaziz I, this order runs that Bukharan inhabitants were free of some taxes payment.

The Chor-Minor Madrassah was built in 1807 by Khalif Niazkul. He built the madrassah with a cozy courtyard and a pond, a summer mosque, and a four-turret building opening into the architectural complex. Char-Minar means "the four minarets", which have nothing in common with ordinary minarets. The cube shaped building is crowned with a slightly flattened cupola, without any architectural decor. Its facade is partially engulfed by a disproportionably large arched portal, and the four sky-blue cupolas look majestic and beautiful against the background of the cloudless sky. 

About the stamps
On the postcard 0660
The first stamp belong to a definitive series issued on April 1st, 2010, which use the same illustrations as a previous one issued on 2008:
• Toshkent courante (25 UZS)
National Academic Drama Theatre in Tashkent (100 UZS) 
Toshkent courante (110 UZS) 
National Academic Drama Theatre in Tashkent (125 UZS) 
National Academic Drama Theatre in Tashkent (200 UZS) - it's on this postcard

The second stamp was issued on July 27, 2012, and was dedicated to the XXX Olympic Games, London. 

On the postcard 0661
The first stamp is part of a definitive series issued in 2005, and composed by four stamps, with the face values of 5, 30 (it's on the postcard), 60 and 125 (UZS).

The second stamp is part of the joint issues Kazakhstan - Uzbekistan issued on November 27, 2003, composed of two stamps: 
painting Happiness, 1966, S. Aitbaev, Kazakhstan (970 UZS) - it's on the postcard 
• painting Morning. Motherhood, 1962, R. Ahmedov, Uzbekistan (970 UZS) - it's on other postcard

On the postcard 1273
The stamp is part of the series My Dream, issued on June 2 2014. The stamps depict three drawings painted by the children, choosen from the 1227 which participated to a Republican competition that held between January 15 and March 15 2014 in order to develop interest of grown up generation to the philately, to search the new subjects and to attract public attention to postage stamps.
Cosmonaut - the 1st place, illustrated by Suleimanova Sardora - 8 years, Tashkent
Joyous rainbow - the 2nd place, illustrated by Akhmadova Kamila - 9 years, Tashkent
Friendship - the 3rd place, illustrated by Fomicheva Valeria - 11 years, Tashkent - it's on the postcard

Historic Centre of Bukhara - UNESCO official website
Bukhara - Wikipedia 
Historical and architectural monuments of Bukhara - OrexCA.com 
Poi-Kalyan Ensemble, Bukhara - Advantour 
Chor minor - bukhara.net

Sender 0660, 0661: Shukhrat Rakhmatullaev (direct swap) 0660, 0661: Sent from Tashkent (Uzbekistan), on 20.05.2013
Photo: A. Zueva 
Sender 1273: Packa (direct swap) 
Sent from Bukhara (Uzbekistan), on 20.09.2014

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