Bukhara is filled with architectural monuments that are of historical value. But there is one that is not only historical monument, but the ancient symbol of state power –Ark fortress. For centuries it served as protection of Bukhara rulers.
With its stems of beautiful legends, it is not known exactly how and according to whose order it was constructed. The exact age of the Arch is not established, but archaeologists-researchers believe that at least fifteen hundred years ago, it was already posed majestically in Bukhara.
Ark fortress for hundreds of years was the main residence of Bukhara rulers where directly orders were given for governance of the country. Besides the rulers, the great scientists, poets and philosophers lived in the Arch, who wrote their scientific works, poems, writing studies, etc. The walls and the ground of the Arch remember how once Rudaki, Firdousi, Abu Ali IbnSina, Farabi and Omar Khayam walked about there.
As it was noted above, there are many legends about the Foundation of a great Ark fortress. One of them is the legendary Prince Siyavush, fleeing from his stepmother appeared in a beautiful country. The Prince saw a beautiful girl who was the daughter of a powerful king Afrasiab and fell in love with her. And he wished to marry her. However, the king did not hurry to give his beloved daughter to a newcomer Prince and he decided to test the Prince. He told Siyavush to build a Palace which would fit in the skin of a wild animal. But the Prince did not lose himself and cut the skin into thin shreds and joined the ends together and in a formed circle built a Palace. This Palace was the Arc.
Ark fortress towers majestically above Registan square. But despite the seemingly solidity and inviolability, the citadel was destroyed several times, but then built up again.
The fortress saw many wars– ruthless and destructive. Genghis Khan also had a hand in the destruction of this fortress. In 1220, he captured Bukhara, everything of value was plundered and the Ark was destroyed.
After that, the fortress was rebuilt again, but it was not the last of its destruction. However, until the present day preserved those that the people of that time, restored over and over. Up to date, the Ark fortress has the form of a large earthen elevation. The length of its walls is about 789.60 meters and a total area of 3.96 hectares. At the entrance to the Ark you can see two pillar-like towers that are connected by a gallery. In the Eastern part of the Arch has been preserved mosque Olduktan that has its own sad legend. Also in this part of the fortress there are the mint and other outbuildings.