Visit Guide to Ulugbek Observatory

Among the historical monuments of Samarkand, a special place is occupied by the observatory built by Ulugbek in 1428-1429 on one of the hills of Samarkand. It was a three-storey circular building covered with fine tiles with a diameter of more than 46 meters and a height of at least 30 meters. The main hall housed a huge instrument for observing the Sun, Moon and other luminaries of the firmament. The observatory was a unique structure for its time.

Getting There

The observatory is located on Tashkent avenue (Toshkent yo’li). You can get to this attraction by taxi or by bus.

What to Expect

Ulugbek Observatory is an ancient scientific complex built for observing stars. It was erected by order of the ruler of Samarkand at the beginning of the 15th century. It was originally three stories high and divided in the middle by a giant sextant; on the roof there was a circle for azimuth calculations.

Only a small part of the complex has survived, including the entrance portal and, in fact, the sextant itself.
Visitors can view the 30-meter arc of this astronomical instrument, as well as visit the museum on the basement. The exhibits of the museum tell about the history of the Ulugbek observatory, its founder, who was himself a prominent scientist, as well the scientific discoveries made within its walls.

In the display cases one can see such priceless objects as sheets of astronomical tables created within the walls of the observatory, and the clothes of Ulugbek, in which he was treacherously killed. The monument to this scientist and politician was erected next to the observatory.


The history of this ancient observatory of Samarkand is inextricably linked with the name of Muhamadd Taragay, better known as Ulugbek, who was the grandson of Amir Timur. An important moment in the life of the future great ruler was his participation with his grandfather in the campaign to Sultania, where an inquisitive young man saw for the first time an extraordinary structure – an observatory.

Immediately upon the ascent of Muhammad Taragai to the throne, he orders the construction of this very observatory. The main consultant during the construction of the grandiose structure was the teacher of the ruler Kazy-zade Rumi. The beginning was laid in the fall of 1420 and lasted for about 3 years.

Finally, when the construction was completed, it was still necessary to install instruments for observing the stellar slope. This difficult and responsible task was entrusted to another prominent scientist – Dzhemshid Kashi, who later became the head of the Samarkand observatory.

Facilities Available

Tourist can visit the observatory with an audio guide. The audio guides are based on Nazzar applications, which can provide information about the observatory in 11 languages.

There is a public toilet outside. Minibuses and taxis are available for local and foreign tourists. There is a tourist information center in front of the observatory, which will provide all the necessary information to visitors to this place.