Northeast of the Ark and just behind it is the old Zindon (jail). Morbidly fascinating attractions include a torture chamber, shackles used on prisoners and several dungeons, including the gruesome fourth cell, the 6.5m deep kanakhona (bug pit), accessible only by rope, where Stoddart and Conolly languished for years in a dark chamber filled with lice, scorpions and other vermin. There are also some fabulous early-20th-century photographs of pre-Soviet Bukhara taken by Russian photographer Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Bukhara attractions

1. Ark

0.19 MILES

The spectacular-looking Ark, a royal town-within-a-town, is Bukhara’s oldest structure, occupied from the 5th century right up until 1920, when it was…

2. Kalon Mosque

0.23 MILES

At the foot of the minaret, on the site of an earlier mosque destroyed by Chinggis Khan, is the 16th-century congregational Kalon Mosque, big enough for…

3. Miri Arab Madrasah

0.24 MILES

The working Miri Arab Madrasah, with its luminous blue domes, is among Uzbekistan’s most striking buildings, especially in later afternoon light. The…

4. Ulugbek Medressa

0.26 MILES

Built in 1417, this is Central Asia’s oldest medressa, and may well be familiar to you as it became a model for many others. The blue-tiled medressa, one…

5. Kalon Minaret

0.26 MILES

When it was built by the Karakhanid ruler Arslan Khan in 1127, the Kalon Minaret was probably the tallest building in Central Asia – kalon means…

6. Abdul Aziz Khan Medressa


The student rooms at the 16th-century Abdul Aziz Khan Medressa are occupied, rather typically, by souvenir shops. This is an unrestored gem, built by its…

7. Hoja Zayniddin Mosque

0.32 MILES

In Bukhara's backstreets between Hoja Nurabad and Islamov, across from the Ark on Hoja Nurabad, the interior of the 16th-century Hoja Zayniddin Mosque has…

8. Bolo-Hauz Mosque

0.37 MILES

Beside a pool opposite the Ark’s gate is the functioning Bolo-Hauz Mosque (1718), the emirs’ official place of worship. The stunning painted wood and…