Chor-Bakr: The Story of the four brothers

This necropolis, located five kilometers from Bukhara, is still considered one of the most unusual sights of the country. This vast burial ground, the second name of which is « the city of the dead », refers to the first millennium BC. It is believed that the necropolis was formed near the settlement of the dervishes who lived nearby. Only a few centuries later, the general layout of the necropolis was supplemented with several new buildings, the last of which dates back to the sixteenth century.


By the tenth century Chor-Bakr Cemetery had become the burial place of the dynasty of the descendants of the Dzhuybars. By 1560, Sheybanid khan Abdullakhan II, who wanted to leave a reference about this great clan in the history, commanded to build a mosque, a khanaka and a madrasah on the site. Scientist- historians agree that the gesture was to show the gratitude of the ruler of his mentor, who left this world in 1563. Over time, Chor-Bakr, whose name translates as « four brothers » took all the brothers of the dynasty.


Architectural features of the funeral complex


A striking feature of this necropolis is its shape – khazira,the complesx of several burial complexes:

  • Large courtyard area;
  • Thick walls protecting the territory from outsiders;
  • The presence of only one entrance;
  • The luxuriously decorated entrance composition.


All these features have allowed the researchers to make a conclusion that the Chor-Bakr is in many ways a unique necropolis with no analogues in Asia today.


In order to get to the Hazira of Sayyids, you must go through an extensive corridor, going in a northwesterly direction. The corridor was constructed in such a way that the echo of each step is it reflected on masonry walls. Also at the necropolis you can find other Haziras, for example, in the northern and southern parts of the complex.


On the bank of a picturesque pond there is a mosque and a khanaka. Historians managed to determine that over time the rules of burial in the cemetery significantly changed. Previously, no one could have imagined that there might appear the tomb of not a representative of a noble family or women, but over time these restrictions were lifted.


The current stage of development of the necropolis


By the early twentieth century the funerary complex was complemented with a small minaret. Contemporary historians have noted that the new minaret was in many ways similar to Kalon, which is in Bukhara. By the middle of the last century, the necropolis area included more than three dozen of different buildings. For example, in the northern part of the cemetery there was a luxurious garden, whose age is hundreds of years old. Today various kinds of trees and flowers grow there.


Many tourists and pilgrims visiting this necropolis, never tire of repeating that only here you can feel the invisible link between the world of the living and the long gone. Strolling along the shady alleys, listening to the rustle of leaves, every person involuntarily reflects on the transience of our stay in this world.