The building is one of the oldest survived mosques in Central Asia and one of the few Bukhara structures that was not destroyed by the Mongols. The mosque was significantly rebuilt in the 12th and 13th centuries: the lower portal also dates from this time. Over time, the mosque, located in a pit, became increasingly submerged under the cultural layers of the city. Therefore, in the 16th century, another portal was built, which at that time was at the same level as the ground (about 4.5 metres higher than the original portal). In the 1930s, the building was finally uncovered and renovated.
The building has a rectangular shape with an area of 12 by 7.5 metres. The original portal is slightly asymmetrical and is framed on the flat roof by two octagonal drums, which are also equipped with octagonal domes. The first portal is most richly decorated with ornaments made of specially cut and laid tiles. Geometric patterns were mainly used here.
The name origin
The name of the mosque goes back to pre-Islamic times. Already at that time, there was a pit (Magok) at this place. It also had a small bazaar where mainly spices and herbs were sold. The second part of the name comes from this: the term “Attar” means “scent merchant” or “spice merchant”.
Today, the mosque houses a carpet museum.