You will feel history living and breathing around you when you visit the Gissar Fortress. It has witnessed a violent history over the centuries, with the fortress being destroyed 21 times by famous historical figures and foreign invaders including Cyrus, Alexander the Great, the Arabs, Genghis Khan, the Red Army, and many more. At one point in history, this fortress was even the residence of the Emir of Bukhara.
Situated just 25 km from Dushanbe, this reconstructed fortress is located on a high hill with 1m-thick walls with loopholes for guns and cannons. It is believed that there was even a pool and a garden inside this fortress, and a bustling market square right across from it. There are many legends associated with this fortress. According to one of the legends, Khalif Aly, who propagated Islam in the region, heroically defeated and killed an evil magician who owned this fortress in the 18th century.