In front of the Ark fortress, there is the Bolo Hauz complex with a mosque from the 18th century, a luxury aiwan decorated with wood columns covered with wooden stalactites and a Hauz pond similar to Lyabi Hauz. This is a unique historical monument preserved in Reghistan square. The mosque was built in 1712 on the order of Bukhara’s governor`s wife. Despite the economic and cultural decay of that period in Bukhara khanate, they built one of the most beautiful mosques of the city.
The complex consists of three parts: a mosque, a minaret and a pond which gave the name Bolo-Hauz to the complex. The name Bolo Hauz means ‘on the coast of a pond’. The mosque is adorned with 20 wood columns. This mosque was a principal mosque of the city, and even the Emir of Bukhara himself used to go there for Friday prayers.
Next to the mosque there is a minaret built later in 1717, a small and well-proportioned building. It is interesting that, for a long time, the minaret was like the tower of Pisa in that it leaned. Some years ago the minaret was redressed and this complex is a main attraction for tourists. But the mosque is still active and there is an administration office for the Muslims of Bukhara.
Also known as the Forty Pillar Mosque, this is where the emir would stride out of a Friday from his residence in the nearby Registan for the noon prayers. Its slender, elegantly carved wooden pillars hold up a beautifully restored painted coffered ceiling. On Fridays once again the faithful come here to pray, and there are often so many that they spill out of the mosque onto the platform near the reflecting pool.