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Lyab-i Hauz square in Bukhara photo

Bukhara has a lot of most interesting attractions, but Lyab-i Hauz occupies a particular place among them. For centuries its pond was the main source of water for the citizens of Bukhara, as well as a marketplace, so Lyab-i Hauz may be rightly considered the heart of the city, the center of city and public life.

If you think about the summer heat and extreme density of the buildings of the ancient Bukhara, you can understand that a city pond of large area couldn’t but become the center where the citizens could come and have a comfortable rest from the day`s heat. Near at were the buildings of Bukhara market, so Lyab-i Hauz always was and still is a very popular place.

Lyab-i Hauz is translated as «By the pond». The pond itself was sourced by surrounding aryks and was the biggest one in Bukhara. Its area is 42х36 m, and its depth is - 5 m. It was from this pond that water carriers took water and delivered it to the central districts of the city.

On the northern shore of Lyab-i Hauz is located one of the largest madrasahs of Bukhara – Kulkedash Madrasah, which dates back to as far back as 1568. Almost at the same time as the pond appeared on its shores there were built the madrasah and хоnаqоhi (praying-house) of Dеvоnbеgi.

The madrasah and хоnаqоhi, as well as the pond, were given the name of Devonbegi, as they were built by this family during 1619-1621. At first the madrasah was a caravansary, by later the Sufis advised to convert it into a religious building. The Dеvоnbеgi хоnаqоhi was the place where the Sufi sheikhs meditated and prayed.

Today Lyab-i Hauz is considered to be one of the main attractions of Bukhara, alongside with the Ark Citadel and the architectural complex Poi Kalyan at the center of the city, as well as the suburban summer palace of Sitorai Mohi Hosa, Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Necropolis and Chor Bakr Necropolis.

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Lyab-i-Hauz Pool complex in the center of Bukhara is one of the main attractions of the city
Lyab-i-Hauz restaurant on the bank of the Bolya-Hauz. People sit and talk there for a long time
Sunset over the Lyab-i-Hauz of Bukhara
Small tables around the pool in the center of the Lyab-i-Hauz create a peculiar atmosphere of leisurely life in Bukhara
Kukeldash Madrasah (right) and Lyab-i-Hauz restaurant (left) are on the bank of the Lyab-i-Hauz Pool
In the evening to these stones on the bank of the pool there come a lot of people to sit, relax and look up at the stars
Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah is separated from the Bolya-Hauz pool by a grove, but is a part of the Lyab-i-Hauz ensemble
Monument to Nasreddin Hoca at the park on the Lyab-i-Hauz
Coloured ceramic mosaics on the walls and in the niches of Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah Lyab-i-Hauz in Bukhara
Coloured ceramic mosaics on the walls and in the niches of Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah Lyab-i-Hauz in Bukhara
Inner court of the Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah on Lyab-i-Hauz in Bukhara
Nadir Divan-Begi Khanaka over the pool on the Lyab-i-Hauz
Interior of the Nadir Divan-Begi Khanaka on the Lyab-i-Hauz in Bukhara
Side view of the Nadir Divan-Begi Khanaka on the Lyab-i-Hauz in Bukhara
Aryks sourcing the Bolya-Hauz pool located in the center of the Lyab-i-Hauz
Buildings of the old quarters facing the Lyab-i-Hauz are very densely spaced
Aryks sourcing the Bolya-Hauz pool located in the center of the Lyab-i-Hauz
Buildings of the old quarters facing the Lyab-i-Hauz are very densely spaced
Kukeldash Madrasah over the Lyab-i-Hauz in Bukhara
Nadir Divan-Begi Khanaka (dervish lodge) on the bank of the pool in the middle of the Lyab-i-Hauz
Old trees on the banks of the pool in the center of the Lyab-i-Hauz
Bolya-Hauz pool in the center of the Lyab-i-Hauz in Bukhara
Bolya-Hauz pool in the center of the Lyab-i-Hauz in Bukhara