The mausoleum Chashma Ayub in Bukhara (and the fountain of the same name) translates as “Job’s spring”. In Arabic, Job sounds like Ayub. The place is sacred to three religions. According to legend, the prophet Job came to the settlement even before the city of Bukhara was built on the site. At that time, the locals were dying of thirst. They had prayed to God for deliverance from the drought. Job, responding to the plea of the suffering people, struck the ground with his staff – and at the place of the blow, a well of pure, cool water appeared. As a result of this magical phenomenon, the locals have attributed new miracles to the well over the centuries. It is believed that the water from the well has healing properties and can make wishes come true.
In one way or another, but unknown events somehow connected to the name Ayub, played a role here in the formation of the city and the emergence of a diaspora of Bukhara Jews. Even in pre-Islamic times, Chashma Ayub was the sacred centre of Bukhara and the “Naukand” cemetery was built nearby.
The mausoleum was built during the Karakhanid dynasty in the 12th century. In two centuries, Amir Temur decided to continue the work started by his predecessors and hired the best masters to transform and improve the construction. The architects who worked on creating the majestic look of the architectural monument were from Shakhrisabz of Khorezm and their individual and unique style can be seen in many features of the building.
During five centuries, from the 14th to the 19th century, the mausoleum was repeatedly rebuilt and remodelled. There are a number of tombs on its territory. The tomb of Khoja Hafiz Gunjori is considered the oldest of them. The famous scholar and theologian was buried here in 1022.
Today, the Chashma Ayub mausoleum in Bukhara is interesting not only because of the ancient tombstones, but also because of the water museum. The museum’s exhibits make it possible to study in detail the process of the emergence and establishment of water supply in the region. One can find ceramic water pipes from the 18th and 19th centuries, a wide variety of containers made of leather, glass and other materials that were exclusively for water, models of water reservoirs and other objects. In the museum you can follow the history of water supply over 10 centuries. In addition, the Water Museum vividly shows the history of the Aral Sea tragedy: with maps of the spreading desert and sad photos. Of great interest to tourists is the unique exhibition of carpets held on the territory of Chashma-Ayub.