The cities of middle ages consisted of three of parts: the citadel in front of the city (Ark), surrounding it inside town (Shahriston) and outside town (rabot).
Nowadays, according to the plan of Bukhara its territory was 34675sq metres and the length of the circle was 780 metres. It was built at the top of the hill with 20 metres high. Now the Ark is surrounded with the wall of fortress. This wall was built at the end of II-III centuries. The governors invasions. The Ark and its walls were reconstructed at the reign of Samanids (IX-X centure). During the reign of Karakhan dynasty (IX-XII centuries) and during the invasions of mongols (XIII century) the Ark was destroyed several times. The present appearance of Ark was founded during the reign of the of Shayboniykhan in the XVI century. At the present time the Ark is the country knowing museum of the region.
An entrance way of the Ark is rising step by step and a long road comes to the Jome Mosque. The buildings of the Ark belongs to the XVII-XX centures, that is to say to the reign of the dynasty of Ashtarkhans and mangits. At that time the Ark, was the living place of the city-governors, later it became the living place of knons, emirs, statesmen and military men. At the beginning of the XXcentury the population of the Ark reached approximately to 3000 people. The landscape of the city is obviously seen from the top of the Ark.
The gate of Go’ryon (or Go’riyon) or the gate of straw-sellers is situated at the back of Kuhandiz and zoroastrs considered it as a holy place. There was the grave of Siyavush and every year before the sunrise, each family killed a rooster at Navruz.
Muhammad ibn Zafar and Abul Hasan Nishopuriy stated as the following “When Bidun bukhorkhudot constructed this castle, it was destroyed. He constructed again and again, but the building fell down several times. He asked an advice from his ministers. They decided to build it according to the position of seven stars and it did not fall down. It was also mysterious that after the construction of this castle none of kings who lived there could be defeated by others and none of the kings died inside of it. The distance between the west gate of Bukhara and ma’bad-gate is called Registan. And in this plase there was the gate of Registan called “Dare Registon”. In the middle of Hisor there was a straight way from this gate to that gate.
Amir Sa’d Nasr ibn Ahkmad ibn Ismoil as Samaniy ordered to build a castle and near this wonderful castle he ordered to built “devan” for his statesmen. For example: the devan of the ministers, the devan of financial works, the devan of managing state documents, the devan of vaqfs, the devan of judges, in a word he ordered to build devans for all of them. In the past, that is to say in 709 Qutaiba ibn Muslim succeeded to take Bukhara only after his fourth attact. When the city of Bukhara was surrounded with firm walls there 7 gates of Shahriston.
The first: Dari Haqroh (The Gate of right way)
Xoja Imom Xavs Kabir Buxoriy lived in a village near the gate. This place was called “haqroh” (the right way). The reason of it is that people of that time went to a Bakr for praying and considered that to be true.
Everybody usually came to him and passed this gate. Abu Xavs went to Bagdad and became disciple of Imom Mukhammad Husayn Shayboniy. Ha was both a scientist and a religious man. Because of this man Bukhara was called “Kubaat ul Islom” which means “the dome of islam religion”. He did a lot to educate and enlighten the population of Bukhara Xo’ja Abu Xavs’s palace wasn’t kept but the place of his praying is still kept. It is a place where people’s wishes can come true.
“Darvozai Nav” (A new Gate) was near this place. It was near the hill of Xo’ja Xavs. There was a mosque and praying-house and the prayers always came to this place. People considered that the sand of this place was sacred. On the gravestone of Abu Xavs Kabir there is an inscription “Ustodi ulamoiy Movarounnahr” which means “The teacher (leader) of religious people in Movarounnahr”.
This gate was called “Dari Xufra”. This gate was in the north-west of Bukhara in front of the graveyard Hojatbaror.
The second “Dari Ohanin” or “Dari Shahriston” it was called as “Dari Bobil madina” in the book of Arabian geographer Imtanriy it is near the Ark.
It is in the east of the Ark. Western gate of the Ark was called as “Dari Alaffro’shon”. This gate also was the means of communicating between Shahriston and the Ark.
Because of endless wars and invasions, the people of Bukhara began surrounding the city with walls like the people of Samarkand. They decided to build a gate in every stone of the wall and a firm minaret in every halfmile.
The third: “Dari Kondiz” or “Dari kuhandiz” if you enter from this gate you’ll come across Hisor. There was a village of Fag todera here. It was the firmest gate of Bukhara’s gates and its length was 60 steps. There was kamar (deep place) near this gate and there were situated a lot of houses under kamar. These buildings were built by amir called Subashtegin.
The fourth: “Dari Bani Asad” or it was known as “The gate of Muhra” during the period of ignorance.
The fifth: “Dari Bani Sa’d”, it was known as “Dari Sogdiana” in the past. At the beginning of VIII century, when Arabians took Bukhara, they chaged the names of places and the names of some gates as well and began to use the names of their generals and noblemen in Sogdian language. There was built a mosque… near the gate “Bani Sa’d”. There also lived a rich man Hasan ibn A’loy; Sogdiy near this gate. He had a magnificent.. too. Originally he was Bukharian sogdia and then he was called Hasan ibn A’loyi Sogdiy as he adopted islomic religion first. He also had profitable places inside of Shahriston. He built a big gate outside and this gate was named after him.
The sixth: “Dari Attoron” or “Dari Ohangaron” or “Dari Bozor”- were the names of this gate. An Arabian traveller and geographer Ustakhriy during his visit to Bukhara in 941, called this gate as “Dari Ohangaron” in his works. The main reason of it was that there existed the workshop and counters of ohangaron inside of this gate (that;s to say Shariston). Different things from iron were made and sold here. The reason of calling it as “Dari Bozor” is as the following: Narshakhiy stated that: “There was a market in Bukhara and it was called as “Bozori Mohiruz” Nishopuriy tells that there was a king in Bukhara whose name was Moh and he ordered to build-this market and only statues made of wood were brought and sold here. And there was also their praying-house. Later it was destroyed and a mosque was built in this place and in the XII century this mosque was naed “Magoki Attoron” and later this gate was also called as “Dari Attoron” because there were different shops there.
The seventh: “Dari No” or “Dari Nur”- these were the gates of Shahriston at that time. This gate was to the right of palace of “Abu Xavs Kabir”. There is also the following information in the book of Mullozoda: “There are seven gates in Bukhara: the first-Shahriston, the second-Dari Nur the third-Dari Kindekh, the fourth-Dari Ohanin and the fifth-Dari Kuhandiz”.