Ulugh Beg Observatory, Samarkand

4.0
See the movement of the heavenly spheres at Ulugh Beg Observatory, used by preeminent 15th-century Muslim astronomers. Built by a famous scientist-ruler (and grandson of Tamerlane) in 1429, this monumental, ornate cylindrical building allows high-precision observation of the passage of the sun and moon. Try the high-tech Sextant of Fakhri, a marble instrument 40 m (131 ft) in diameter used to make major corrections of Ptolemy's works. A small museum in the observatory details its work, but you should do some research in advance. Destroyed in 1449, the observatory laid dormant until 1908. Put Ulugh Beg Observatory into our Samarkand online travel route planner to see other points of interest to visit during your vacation in Samarkand.
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  • Interesting museum dedicated to a very a man who was a visionary. Well laid out exhibits . A guide is useful  more »
  • If you have a minimum of knowledge one can not but be amazed by this archaeological rest and the discovery of Ulugh Beg. The accuracy with which he measured the earth-moon distance or the time length of the solar year is amazing ... and this site and the small museum connected honor to this scientist of 1400.
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  • Wednesday, September 27-The teenage King undertook to transform the city of Samarkand in the intellectual center of the Timurid Empire (Empire conquered by Timur or Tamerlane which was descending). Personal interests concentrated on astronomy, and, in 1428, he built an enormous Observatory and the so-called "Fakhri Sextant", a two-metre wide tunnel carved into the hill that contained the arc of the instrument. The dial was up eleven metres and with its radius of 40.4 meters was the worlds largest dial. With this instrument he made observations and measurements of the position of the stars of an unprecedented and unmatched precision for long. Determined the duration of year 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes and 15 seconds, with an error by 25 seconds over the current schedule. The Sultan also determined the axial tilt of the Earth astronomer at 23° 52, still value confirmed. He compiled a catalogue related to 994 stars, generally considered the greatest star catalogue of Tabulae longitudinis et latitudinis stellarum those times with the title published at Oxford in 1665. In honor of these achievements in the field of astronomy was called Ulugh Beigh a crater of the Moon of 54 km in diameter. He was assassinated after a Palace plot and the Observatory was destroyed a few years later, in 1449, by religious fanatics and was rediscovered only in 1908.
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  • It is worth to see. The observatory is relatively far from the main attractions of Samarkand. After the discovering the place, just part of the observatory were recovered enough to give us the real dimension of Mirzo Ulugbek.
  • Very interesting but not that much old remains here. Take a taxi from the city centre, it's far!
  • Not much to see, but good museum
  • Impressive, but only bottom part remains...
  • Ok

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Where to stay in Samarkand

A major tourist destination, Samarkand offers a wide choice of accommodations, ranging from low-budget guesthouses and small family-run hotels, to business and luxury hotels. Most of the hotels concentrate in the downtown area near the main attractions, with mid-range accommodations in particular located near Bibi Khonyum Mosque. Most small private hotels are reasonably priced, offering traditional Uzbek hospitality, and even budget accommodations will likely feature ethnic design elements. A number of hostels offering basic facilities can be found throughout the city.
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