Uzbekistan has a rich architectural history that has been maintained. The creation of massive structures was seen as a matter of prestige, highlighting the authority of the reigning dynasty, prominent families, and higher clergy. The exterior look of cities was greatly influenced by their defenses. Semicircular turrets surrounded the walls at regular intervals, while darwazas denoted town entrances (gates). These gates were typically flanked by two massive towers and featured a lofty vault and a gallery for observation. The doors were locked at night and in the event of an emergency. Rows of stores specializing in various products lined the major streets, and many talented artisans established their workshops in these stalls. The most prominent covered marketplaces are known as tag, tim, or bazaars (shopping passageways), as well as charsu (crossroads, literally “four directions”). The ark (fortress) served as the administrative hub of large cities. It housed the emir’s palace, the chancellery, the Treasury, the arsenal, and the prison for high-ranking inmates. The towns also featured enormous public centers, which consisted of a maydan (open square) surrounded by massive civic or religious structures.
- The town is home to the Friday Mosque (Masjid Al Jumu’ah). It featured a large courtyard with a gallery around it and a maqsura (screened-off enclosure) in the main axis. The Kalan Mosque in Bukhara is a good example.
- The Oratory Mosque (Namazgah) is located just outside of town. Public prayers were held during two major Muslim holidays. Worshippers congregated in an open area in front of the structure, where the minbar (imam’s pulpit) was located.
- The Neighbourhood Mosque was a modest structure that had a covered hall with the mihrab and an outside gallery with columns. They were constructed with contributions from the residents of the neighborhood and are often ornately adorned. The Baland (Boland) Mosque in Bukhara is an example of this style.
- The Madrasa is an institution for ulama higher education (Islamic scholars). The madrasa has a courtyard with two or four aywand (arched gateways) on the axis that used as classrooms during the summer, a series of cells on one or two levels, darsakhanas (lecture rooms) in two or four corners, and a mosque for daily prayer. The main façade features a lofty entrance with two or four minaret-like towers at the building’s corners. Madar-Khan, Abdullah Khan, Kukeldash, Nadir Divan Begi, and Abdul Aziz Khan at Bukhara, Shir-Dor and Tilla-Kari at Samarkand, Kukeldash and Baraq Khan in Tashkent, Said Ataliq at Denau, and Mir Rajab Dotha at Kanibadam are among the 16th and 17th century madrasas that have been maintained. Narbuta Bi in Kokand, Qutlugh Murad Inaq, Khojamberdybii, Khoja Moharram, Musa Tura, and Allah-Quili Khan in Khiva are examples of 18th and 19th century madrasas.
- The Khanaqah was once a guest house for traveling Sufis near their pir’s home (spiritual masters). Under the Timurids, these became gathering places for Sufi order members, visited by representatives of the governing class, and often a zikr-khana (chamber for exposition and Sufi rituals) was built. Khanaqas from the 16th and 17th centuries include Zaynuddin, Fayzabad, Bahaudin, and Nadi Divan-Begi in Bukhara, Mulla Mir near Ramitan, Qasim Shaiykh in Karmana, and Imam Bahra near Khatirchi.
- In the 14th and 15th centuries, memorial structures were built for Temur and his family, such as Gur-Emir and Shah-i Zinda in Samarkand and Shakrizabs. Fewer mausoleums were constructed in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Qafal Shashi Mausoleum in Tashkent is an example from this era. Monumental structures were often built around sacred graves. A magnificent kanaqah was constructed near the Naqshbandi order’s founder, Bahauddein, in Bukhara, as well as at Char Bakr, the family necropolis of the prominent Juybari shaykhs. Mauseoleums for kings were no longer constructed after the 16th century. The Shaybanids of Samarkand were buried at the Abu Said Mausoleum on the Registan, Ubaydullah Khan of Bukhara in the Mir-i Arab Madrasa, and Abdul Aziz Khan in the Abdul Aziz Madrasa.
- Market buildings (Charsu, Tim, Taq) are the beating heart of every oriental town. The charsu is a structure with a central dome that stands at a crossroads and is flanked by stores and workshops with lesser domes. The tim is a trade route, while the taq is a smaller-scale domed structure constructed at the junction of main streets. The Taq-i Zargaran (Goldsmiths’ Dome) in Bukhara features an octagonal center chamber capped by a dome supported by 32 intersecting arches. Small domes top the stores and workshops that surround the center area.
- Caravanserais – Along the commercial routes, caravanserais played an essential role. A caravanserai is a rectangular structure with a wide courtyard, galleries for animals and luggage, accommodation for travelers, and a mosque, according to the traditional design. The outside walls were tall and strong, the entrance was carefully guarded, and there were defensive towers at the corners. Rabat al-Malik is the finest place to practice. A few caravanserais have remained, some in ruins, such as the caravanserai at Qaraul Bazar on the route from Bukhara to Karshi and the Abdullah Khan caravanserai on the road from Karshi to Termez.
- Bathhouses from the 16th and 17th centuries have survived at Samarkand, Sahrh-i Sabz, Bukhara, and Tashkent. They are heated via a system of ducts under the floor that distributes heat evenly throughout the structure. Some of them feature dressing rooms, hot and cold rooms, massage rooms, and water closets. Bathhouses are covered with domes, which give them their distinctive look.
- Jeyran Ecological Centre (40 km from Bukhara). Men in jeeps and helicopters chased the jeyran (Central Asian gazelle) in the past century. The Uzbek jeyran is now listed as endangered in the Red Book of Endangered Species. The Jeyran ecological center, which was established in 1985, is the only one of its type in Central Asia. Originally, 42 jeyrans were transported here, but now 700 distinct creatures dwell in a fenced-in area of 5000 hectares. The reserve also breeds Prezhevalskiy horses and koulans in addition to jeyrans.
- Kitab State Geological Reserve.
- Kyzylkum Tugai and Sand Reserve (in the north-west of Bukhara Province). The reserve was established in 1971. It encompasses the floodplains of the Amu Darya River as well as the nearby sand-dune desert. The riverbank vegetation covers 3177 hectares, whereas the sand covers 2544 hectares. The ideal season to visit the reserve is in the spring. The reserve is home to 190 bird species, including herons, river terns, wild ducks, sandpipers, and turtle-doves, according to ornithologists. The reserve’s flora is rich, with poplars, silver oleasters, and riverbank willows. The tugai forests are home to deer, wild boars, wolves, jackals, foxes, hares, and reed cats, and the jeyran population is being recovered.
- Nuratau-Kyzylkum Biospheric Reserve. The Nuratau-Kyzylkum Biospheric Reserve is being implemented by the government of Uzbekistan, the Global Ecology Fund, and the United Nations Development Program, and is being co-financed by the German Union for Nature Protection. The reserve is located between Central Asia’s desert and mountain systems. It comprises of the southern portion of the Kyzylkum Desert, the lakes Aydarkul and Tuzgan, and the Nuratau and Koitash mountain ranges. On Lake Tuzgan, the current Nurata Reserve and Arnasay Ornithological Reserve will be incorporated into the new Nuratau-Kyzylkum Biospheric Reserve. The Severtsev ram or Kyzylkum ram, golden eagle, bearded and black griffon-vultures are among the species included in the Red Book of Endangered Species. Rare varieties of walnut trees, Central Asian juniper, Bukhara almond trees, pistachio trees, wild vines, apricot trees, apple trees, and different dog roses may be found in the reserve. The Nuratau-Kyzylkum Biospheric Reserve will be included to the UNESCO list of worldwide biosphere reserves. The lessons learned will be used to the establishment of biosphere reserves in the Central Kyzylkum Desert, the Southern Ustyurt Desert, and the tugai forests of the Amu Darya River.
- Ugam-Chatkal National Park (in the spurs of the Western Tien Shan, about 80 km from Tashkent). Ugam-Chatkal National Park, established in 1947, is one of Uzbekistan’s oldest natural reserves. The Western Tien Shan is home to 44 species of animals, 230 species of birds, and 1168 plant species, including many endemics. White-claw bears, wolves, Tien Shan foxes, red marmots, stone-martens, Turkestan lynx, snow leopards, wild boars, badgers, Siberian roes, mountain goast and Tien Shan wild rams, wild turkeys, mountain partridges, golden eagles, bearded and eagle vultures, and bearded and eagle vultures The Pskem ridge’s slopes are densely forested with walnut trees, wild fruit trees, and wild shrubs. Archaeologists have taken up residence on the river’s banks (Central Asian juniper). The 100,000-hectare Chimgan-Charvak-Beldersay Resort Zone has three health-recreation complexes: ‘Charvak,’ ‘Chimgan,’ and ‘Beldersay.’