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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Ulugh Beg Observatory Reviews
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  • While everything above ground is new, below ground is original! The museum at the sight gives a really good overview of Ulugh Beg's contribution to astronomy; something I had not appreciated before. W...  more »
  • Those who are not curious cultural or astronomical won't appreciate the enormous legacy of Ulug Beg and the sextant that there is. Simply incredible!
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  • To the TV, I saw this Observatory and visited. You can now only partially preserved, but still feel high levels. I would do better to refer to features a Museum, so whole exhibited model images, etc..
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  • Great astronomer with great achievements. His observatory was far ahead of time. There are a few artifacts here and diagrams relating to astronomy. Remnants of the observatory can be seen in front of the museum. The statue of Ulugh Beg is also available. The history of Timur Lane can be found here too. A good family tree and his territories of control are shown.
  • Learned a lot about Ulug Bek, and his contribution to astronomy. There is a museum here, and many info about Ulug Bek will be shown here, and even some Chinese Astronomy history. There are also models of the big 'Sextant' explaining how the observatory works
  • Really enjoyed the museum, learning a lot about Ulugh Beg and ancient astronomy. The info on the wall is in Uzbek and English which was very helpful.
  • Really interesting location which had been restored to show how one of humanities greatest astronomers did his work. The musuem nextdoor is fantastic, just the right amount of information to give you a sense of what Ulugh Beg was all about.
  • Interesting (if small) museum explaining the many achievements of big ulugh - Uzbek superstar and historical heavy-weight it seems. What's left of the actual observatory is interesting, although it only takes a minute to see.

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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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