Poi Kalon Essemble, one of Bukhara's architectural gems. Image from Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Don Croner's World Wide Wanders posts great photos from the ancient Central Asian cities of Bukhara (also here, here, and here) and Samarkand, now in Uzbekistan. The cities’ magnificent architectural and historic landmarks attract crowds of tourists daily. Yet, while preserving this part of the country's cultural heritage, the authorities in Uzbekistan have destroyed many architectural monuments of the Soviet period. Alex Ulko on NewEurasia.net shares images of some of the destroyed objects. While some scholars explain the selective demolition of monuments as an attempt to get rid of Uzbekistan's “colonial” heritage, the blogger suggests that the authorities “simply see the beauty in a different way”.