Thursday, 19 June 2014

B is for Bread, Brass and Bukhara

Don't worry I am not going to work my way through the alphabet with posts about our Silk Route trip, but I couldn't resist this one :)

Our first stop in Uzbekistan was the stunning city of Bukhara, which I have to admit that I had never heard of before our trip. Before the trip I thought that Samarkand or Tashkent would be the highlights of the trip, but in fact Bukhara was by far our favourite stop.

Bukhara Madrasah
Certainly an abundance of buildings like this Madrassah above contributed to our enjoyment of the stay here. The Madrassahs, of which there were several in the city, were built as Higher Education institutions for students of subjects such as theology and law. Each one we saw was more stunning than the last, and as you can probably see in the photo above, there was no end of quilt pattern inspiration in the tiling!

Chor-Minor Minaret, Bukhara

Although not as lavish as many, the Chor-Minor Madrassah above was one of my favourite buildings in Bukhara. Compared to some of the more flamboyant buildings around it was very understated, and comparatively recent in that it was only built in 1807, but it was a little, hidden gem. The building you can see was actually the gatehouse to a much larger Madrassah, which has since been destroyed. The four Minarets, which give the building its' name are said to represent the four major religions, so the tiling decorations on each are slightly different - even more quilt inspiration!

And how about bread as a source of quilting inspiration too?

Bread stamps Bukhara

The stamps on the spice stall in the market are used to stamp the local flatbreads, but wouldn't they make great quilting stencils?

Stamped bread Samarkand market

This is what the bread looks like after it has been stamped and baked, and delicious it was too. There were all sorts of customs about how the bread could be broken that were soon forgotten once the smell of the fresh bread hit at mealtimes :)

On a stall not far from the spice stall I came across these wonderful sewing aids!

Brass Scissors, Bukhara

I am sure you will not be surprised to hear that a couple of them might just have found their way into my suitcase :) I am pleased to report that they are functional as well as beautiful as they are as sharp as a razor.

I shall just close this travelogue post with a few more views of the stunning sights to be seen in Bukhara.

The Poi-Kalyan Complex

Poi-Kalyan Complex, Bukhara

The Samanid Mausoleum, reputed to be the most beautiful and precious building in Central Asia

Samanid Mausoleum, Bukhara

and the Kalijan Minaret, known as the Tower of Death due to propensity of rulers to throw criminals from the top of the tower to their deaths. The last recorded execution happening as recently as 1920, during the Russian Revolution.

Kalyan Minaret, Bukhara

Hope I have given you a flavour of this wonderful city, it is definitely one to add to your bucket list!

Linking up to

Really Random


  1. It's stunningly beautiful - thanks for sharing your lovely photos!

  2. I would not hesitate to kick someone out of the way to get to that bread. Sad, but true! :D

  3. Thanks for the tour of Bukhara. I've seen stork scissors before, but not fish. I would have to have at least one pair too.

  4. Ooh, very cool! Love that architecture and the colours of the buildings paired with the blue roofs. Sounds like a wonderful trip, Fiona!

  5. It looks beautiful - and the bread stamps, my gosh , how fantastic!

  6. Beautiful photos, those bread presses are great and as for those fish scissors - well!!

  7. how fun to get to visit this city and soak in all of the inspiration!! What beautiful bread!!! I need some of those stamps :) how fun to travel to a far away place and find and fun sewing tool!

  8. The Chor-Minor Madrassah looks like the sandcastles we used to make as kids - our buckets had the four towers moulded into them. Fascinating trip Fiona.

  9. so interesting and some lovely photos, fancy stamping the bread as you say these are lovely stamps and could be used for so many things

  10. What a lovely looking city. I'd heard the name before, but that was all, so thanks for showing us round a bit.

  11. I love finding unexpected favorite places! Arabic architecture is my favorite, I will be adding Bukhara to my bucket list :)

  12. I have never seen scissors quite like those... awesome. No wonder some came home with you, Fiona.

  13. What an amazing place! I love the stamped bread and those scissors are wonderful :)

  14. What an interesting and magical place. The bread and the scissors look so unique.

  15. How beautiful! I have never heard of Bukhara either. My year 7 class just studied the Silk Road in Ancient China so I'm keen to see your pictures of it.


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