In the framework of the High-level international conference on the implementation of the International Decade for Action, «Water for Life», 2005-2015, an excursion to the Nurek Hydro Power Plant and Hissor Fortress will be organized on 11 June 2015.
Nurek city is located 70 km to the south-east from Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. Its elevation is between 630-645m above the sea level. As of January 1, 2013 the population of the city constitutes of 52,000 residents.
The city emerged on the site of Nurek village in 1960 as a result of construction of the Nurek hydropower plant. Modern Nurek is a nice and peaceful city with beautiful nature, soft climate and fresh air. Surrounded by mountains, the city of power engineers Nurek is magnificently beautifulin the evenings, when multitudinous lights from the houses illuminate the mountain gorge.
The main pride of Nurek is the record in the Guinness Book – the world’s tallest man-made dam – which stands at the Nurek hydropower plant and is also known as one of the thirty most powerful hydroelectric stations in the world. Nurek hydropower plant built on the Vakhsh River is the largest hydropower plant in Central Asia with a generating capacity of 3000 MW (nine turbines of 335 MW each) and annual electric power production of 11.2 billion kW-h. The power plant was designed in 1950s and its construction commenced in 1961. The construction of the station was pronounced an all-Soviet Union top-priority project. The station began functioning in 1972 and the last unit was put into operation in 1979.
The dam’s height is 300 m, which makes it the world tallest man-made dam with a surface area of 98 km2, a capacity of 10.5 km3, and a length of about 70 km. Water from the reservoir is used not only for electricity generation, but is also directed through a special tunnel for irrigation of agricultural lands. Nurek HPP providing about three-quarters of the country’s electricity generation is the top-of-the-range in the energy sector of
Hissor fortress used to be the summer residence of Bukhara emirs. It’s construction started in XVII century and was completed in XIX. During the civil war of 1918-1933, the fortress was severely damaged. It had been partially restored in 1982 and renovated in 2002.
The fortress, with its 1m thick walls and gunports, stood on a high hill and was patrolled by guards. The fortress had a pool and a garden, as well as the market square with caravanserai and shops.
Two large brick-lined staircases and porches led to the main entrance. Unfortunately, these have been destroyed. The only remaining part of the fortressis the monumental gates made of burnt bricks with two cylindrical towers and lancet arch. This is a typical design of the gates in Bukhara in XVIII-XIX centuries, and even today these gates look impressive.
In the late 80s of the last century, a unique historical and cultural conservation area was established in Hissor. The conservation area included the Hissor fortress (2500 years), Registan (the square in front of the fortress), Old madrasah (XVI century), New madrasah, caravan-serai (hotel), Mosque Chashmai Mohiyon (VIII century), Mosque Sangin, Mausoleum Makhmudi Azam (XVI century) and the historical museum inside the Old madrasah. The site exhibits unique monuments and artifacts (more than 3200) found during excavations in Hissor and adjacent areas.
Hissor fortress is located 20 kms away from Dushanbe. Many small and large restaurants, notably traditional teahouses, are open for visitors and tourists in vicinity of this unique historical site.