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Ulugbek Observatory

Ulugbek Observatory — photo 1

One of the most notable examples of the development of science and culture in Central Asia in the 15th century is the Ulugbek Observatory. The creation and discovery of this attraction has an interesting story. Mirzo Ulugbek made an enormous contribution to the advancement of science in his country; a large number of scientific works were kept in his madrassah, and his library was considered one of the best libraries of that time.

The building of the Ulugbek Observatory looked as follows: the upper part had the shape of a meridian arc of 40.2 meters and was topped with the flat roof.

Ulugbek Observatory — photo 2

Ulugbek brought the best available equipment of that time to his observatory; in that place were a quadrant principle device and a large sundial there. All that made it possible to raise the level of astronomical education in Central Asia. At that time, an astronomical school was functioning, in which Ulugbek personally read lectures on the stars, planets, and the universe.

Unfortunately, enemies of Ulugbek found an excuse to kill him; what is more, he was killed in his own madrassah school and after that his entire library was burned. In addition, all his successors and students suffered an equally cruel fate: they were publicly burned in front of all residents of the city. That was an immeasurable loss for science not only in Asia but also in the entire world. They also destroyed schools and everything that had been created by Ulugbek. The observatory was also damaged.

Ulugbek Observatory — photo 3

The tragedy happened a long time ago, which made it difficult to find the exact location of the observatory. Famous Soviet archaeologist V.L. Vyatkin, having studied documents of the 18th century, tried to convince the government that the building was located in the southern part of Samarkand but the search had to be conducted under the ruins.

However, the leadership of Turkestan was forced to refuse Vyatkin due to the lack of funds necessary for excavation. Desperate, the archaeologist decided to ask the people for help. In a very short time, the required sum was raised, which made it possible to set to work.

Ulugbek Observatory — photo 4

Vyatkin turned out to be right — the observatory was found exactly where he had indicated; after the excavation, restoration works began. Specialists determined the location of the foundation and approximate design of the building from the remnants of the ruins.

During the excavations, numerous astronomical instruments had been found, which were later transferred to the observatory museum. To this day, a huge number of tourists visiting the observatory come to the conclusion that Amir Timur was a genius of war, and his grandson Ulugbek was a genius of science.

Canaan Travel invites residents and guests of Uzbekistan to Samarkand, an ancient city with incredible history. We will be happy to do our best to make your vacation just splendid.