The old city of Bukhara was founded 2,500 years ago. Within its ancient city walls and gates are 500 standing monuments: they include 24 madrasas, 48 mosques, 14 caravanserais, 9 mausoleums, 4 trading domes, the Ark citadel, and many hammams, old houses, and canals. The restoration programme began in the late 1960’s under the USSR, and has been continued by Uzbekistan since its independence in 1990. The aim is to conserve the major monuments and landmarks in the centre of the old city, and to re-integrate them into the life of the bordering districts. Because most of the upgraded mosques, madrasas, mausoleums, and other monumental structures are no longer used as such, a new function was found for each. Some madrasas, for example, have been turned into craft centres, studios, and galleries. One has become a restoration institute where future restorers are trained. Other structures have had their old functions renewed. A caravanserai is once again a silk and cloth warehouse, and trading domes are renewed as active suqs.
The entire project brief can be viewed here.