“VABKENT CYPRESS”

When approaching town of Vabkent (located in suburb of Bukhara), even horizon line is cut through by a high and elegant minaret (from Arabic, “place of inflammation”) built in typical Asian style with round background. It is called “Vabkent cypress” because of its fine shape, due to which it seems to be higher than it really is.

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According to Cufic inscriptions, an ancient type of Arabic written language, that lines minaret’s foundation of 6 meters in diameter and top of 2 meters in diameter, “Little brother” of Kalyan Minaret in Bukhara was built in 1196. The floor also includes the name of supposed customer of the building of Vabkent Complex – Sadr Burkhon Ad-Din Abdulaziz II. Sadr is a title of one of the highest state positions under Emir of Bukhara.

There is an opinion that similarity with Kalyan is explained not only by architectural traditions and predominant tendencies of the time, it is also thought that the architect of the Vabkent minaret was apprentice of great Master Bako who had built Kalyan. Building of such a fundamental constructions required lots of effort – it was necessary to take all natural factors that could lead to destruction of the building such as seismicity, density of the ground, direction and strength of the wind into account.

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Height of the vertical pillar is 39 meters that is 7 meters shorter that minaret of Bukhara and its decoration is a bit more ascetic, made with bricks in staggered order as 8 belts, decorated with blue-green mosaic and carved glazed terracotta (burned clay) with geometrical ornament. The pillar is decorated with a lantern – a rotunda, which can be reached by climbing numerous steps of the spiral stairs, as well as with many-tier stalactite ledge – a sharaf.

Town’s Friday mosque that was built at the same time as the minaret is destroyed today, yet Vabkent Minaret is still there in good condition.

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