Religious complex Poi Kalyan may certainly be called the architectural gem of Bukhara, and its main attraction. It is it that gives an opportunity to feel in full the spirit of the ancient Uzbekistan and the architectural beauty of Central Asia.
Poi Kalyan means «At the foot of Great» in Uzbek. It concerns the Kalyan minaret, often called the Great Bukhara Minaret. It was built near the central square of Bukhara, Registan, in 1127. The other buildings of the Poi Kalyan complex, which survived to our days, were erected several centuries later.
Kalyan minaret reaches the height of 45.5 meters. For 12 century it was a very tall building. Many legends are related with the building of this minaret, but it remains the fact that such tall and beautiful minarets have never been built in no other town.
In 16 century on the sides of the square, near the Kalyan minaret madrasah and mosque were built. In 1514 there was built the main Kalyan mosque, and in 1535, opposite the mosque, there was built the Miri-Arab Madrasah. At the end of 19 century near the Kalyan minaret there was built a small madrasah of Alim-Khan. And there had been shaped the today appearance of the Poi Kalyan.
Miri-Arab Madrasah has exceptionally beautiful majolica paintings, but as it is closed for tourists, you can see only its external walls. Though the ornaments of Kalyan mosque are more modest, you can walk over it and penetrate into all khouzhdras and courts. If you can agree it with the custodian, you can even ascend the minaret. From its height you can have a wonderful view of the Old Town of Bukhara, the Ark Citadel, the Ulugh Beg Mosque and many other attractions of this city.