A city of ceramics and most delicious shashlik shish kebab
There is a small town named Gijduvan (Gijduvon) 46 km from Bukhara. Since ancient times Gijduvan has been known as a craft and trade centre. The incredibly beautiful and truly unique ceramics is a special pride of the town. The Gijduvan ceramic school is quite unique and is characterised by the use of geometric, zoomorphic and plant patterns, the last two mostly represented by birds and flowers. Geometric and floral ornaments in the decoration are what distinguishes the Gijduvan ceramic items from articles of this type from other regions. Today Gijduvan remains the only centre in the region specialising in the production of polychromatic glazed ceramics based on the old traditions.
The knowledge that the ceramists from Gijduvan use today has been passed from generation to generation since ancient times. The city’s guests have a good chance to observe real masters at work, to take a masterclass (ceramics workshop) from them and even to try and create a masterpiece with their own strength. A dish or jug produced and decorated with your own hands will no doubt be the best decorative item in the interior of your house.
Besides, Gijduvan is famous for its wonderful shashlik (shashlyk) shish kebabs, which are, possibly, the best in Uzbekistan! Moreover, in no other place on the whole Great Silk Route can you taste such delicious shashlik shish kebabs!
The mist of time conceals from us the exact date Gijduvan was established; however, since the 10th century its popularity as one of the most developed trade centres of the region started to grow. Sufi Abdalkhalik Gijduvani, Yusuf Khamadani’s successor and the founder of tariki Hojagon (a Sufi doctrine), made the city known worldwide. The doctrine formed the basis of the Sufi order Nakshbandia and made both its founder and the place he was buried in, that is, the village of Gijduvan, highly popular.
In the 15th century, 213 years after the death of the outstanding theologian, Ulugbek (also spelled Ulughbeg, Ulugh Beg, Ulugh-Beg) ordered to build a madrasah near Gijduvani’s grave, which is today one of Gijduvan’s brightest monuments.
A visit to Ibodullo Narzullayev’s pottery will surely be one of the brightest memories of a trip to Gijduvan. Narzullayev was the founder of the Gijduvan ceramic school and one of the most prominent Uzbek ceramists, who developed his own original style and passed his knowledge to his sons, Alisher and Abdullo, and his daughter Nodira. They are the sixth generation who carry on their family’s tradition of creating ceramic items.
The Narzullayevs invite all to their workshop, where the guests can acquaint themselves with the ceramic production process, see the museum of ceramics and buy ceramic items produced by the Gijduvan artisans, as well as take a special training course and taste the dishes of the Uzbek cuisine.
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