Buhara and the first Europeans

Buhara was one of the most important stops on the famous Silk Road. The city and its surroundings have been inhabited for almost 5 millennia, making it one of the cradles of Turkish civilization, one of the centers of historic Turkestan.

Since 2011, the city has been decorated with a monument commemorating Ármin Vámbéry, the famous Hungarian Eastern explorer and his work. It was Vámbéry who was the first European to map the area, including Buhara.

Vámbéry was born in 1832 in Szentgyörgy, Hungary, one of the most prominent orientalists and oriental researchers. After graduating from Piarist High School, he continued his studies in Sopron and Bratislava, and by the age of 20 he spoke more than 8 languages. After completing his studies, he first arrived in Istanbul in 1857, where his first work, a German-Turkish dictionary, was published. From 1860 he was a correspondent member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and a year later, with the support of the Academy, set out on his eastern journey to search for traces of Hungarians.

He returned to Hungary in 1865, where he became a lecturer at the Budapest University, where he established the world’s first department of Turcology. On his eastern journey, he reached the ruin town of Persepolis, where, to this day, the name of the palace and the inscription: “long live the Hungarians” are on the wall of the palace.