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“Brutal history, beautiful architecture”

Great Minaret of the Kalon
Ranked #1 of 55 things to do in Bukhara
Certificate of Excellence
Stockholm, Sweden
Level 6 Contributor
318 reviews
175 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Brutal history, beautiful architecture”
Reviewed 16 July 2014

This minaret has a brutal history as it was used to toss prisoners from. To me the ornate tower is a architectural marvel. It was constructed around 12th century and was according to the stories spared by Genghis Khan while the rest of Bukhara burned.

Visited August 2013
Thank Stefan J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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344 reviews from our community

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Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level 6 Contributor
129 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
“The Defining symbol of Bukhara”
Reviewed 9 July 2014

The 47 m(155 feet) tall Kalon Minaret along with the Kalon Mosque and Mir-i-Arab madrassah, form the Poi Kalon Complex, the heart of Bukharan heritage.

The minaret is smaller than what we had initially imagined in our mnd, and certainly doesn't look 900 years old. It almost looks quite new and therefore I have to say that it has been restored too very well.

‘Kalon’ means ‘great’ in Tajik language, and the Minaret’s deep foundations (including reeds stacked underneath in an early form of earthquake-proofing), helped it stand for almost nine centuries now. The minaret was damaged by artillery in the 20th century on more than one occasion, but has since been carefully restored.

The minaret was meant to be for calling for prayers of the Friday Kalon mosque. Throughout the ages, it has been used as a as a watchtower and a guide to approaching caravans on the Silk Route and the 'Tower of Death' from where people were thrown down to their deaths!

The most fascinating part of the minaret are its 14 ornamental bands - geometric brick designs on the body of the minaret. A strange conical stump crowns the minaret and is the remains of an original extension which made the Kalon minaret even higher than it stands today. The best time to see the Minaret is during late afternoon, when the honey coloured bricks glow in the late slanting light...indeed at that time the Poi Kalon Ensemble is at it’s most bewitching.

Visited May 2014
2 Thank Angshu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trinidad and Tobago
Level 6 Contributor
1,162 reviews
355 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 638 helpful votes
“A must see, compares with more detailled and moore fancy ornaments well w Samarkand”
Reviewed 18 April 2014

While smaller, the focus on detail was a higher one.
I specifically loved the Minarette
it has 20 or so different ornaments.
impressive, it was badly treated under the sovjet times and now shimmers wonderfully.

Visited April 2014
1 Thank FOL-1003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
81 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Really old”
Reviewed 13 April 2014

it is really old and restored well. located about 3 minutes walk from Lab-e-howz, part of a complex of madreseh and musque...

Visited March 2014
Thank kamran1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lahore, Pakistan
Level 6 Contributor
54 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2013

In Bukhara, the most dominating structure was the 'Great Minaret of Poi-Kalan', which we visited twice, first on the day of our arrival in the city and second on the last day when we departed for Tashkent. As a matter of fact, the minaret was visible from all the streets of Old Bukhara and appeared at the peak of its grace when viewed from the direction of Mir-i-Arab Madrasa. In the historical perspective, it was initially built for "Azaan" to invite Muslims to come to the mosque to Pray but later the invaders of Bukhara, kept changing its utility to suite to their temperaments and traditions. An extreme Hot-Spot for tourists at all times of the day. Main compound of Poi Kalon was locked and the use of its main Madrasa was abundant for renovations. There was no fee for entry anywhere in the complex. MUST SEE attraction in Bukhara.

Visited October 2013
2 Thank kb123742
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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