I had an interview today with a charming local journalist called Olesya:
We met for lunch, so I suggested we go to the place that made the best lagman in town. But of course this happened:
It was closed.
Of course it was closed.
Abandoning the idea of having the best lagman in town, we went and had what was probably the second best. Then Olesya offered to show me some touristic sites that I had not seen before. We went to an Iraqi-sponsored mosque:
It was called Kukcha Mosque, and it was dedicated to Sheyh Zayniddin, who had come here from Iraq in the 13th century.
He had left behind an observatorium:
One of the gentlemen who seemed to be responsible for the place showed us around. The observatorium was a dome with a whole in the top:
And inside that dome, there was a hole in the ground:
And under the hole, another dome:
It was all very interesting:
Next to the observatorium, there was a mausoleum for Shey Zayniddin:
A nice place to be buried.
It was here that I first understood that traditional doors in Uzbekistan had a special mechanism:
I was told that the door I was looking at was in fact the oldest door in all of Tashkent:
I loved it, especially the doorknocker:
After this, we went to Ming Uruk, a Zoroastrian excavation in the city center:
The Zoroastrian religion had been dominant in this area before the advent of Islam. Fire was important in Zoroastrianism, and the dualism of good and evil.
This particular site had been a temple dedicated to fire:
It was hard to make sense of how it used to work:
But I liked the idea that people had been worshipping fire exactly where I now stood:
Since it became clear that I liked Zoroastrian sites a lot, we went to another temple ruin in the outskirts of town:
It was called Shoshtepa, and it was very close to the road I had taken out of town many months earlier, on the day that the Caboose died:
Sadly, it was not a particularly well-kept historical site:
But I liked it anyway.