Samarkand is the pearl of the East.
It can be proudly considered as such because it has a unique history and significant architectural structures. The city is more than 2,700 years old. Samarkand is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. A myriad of epithets is used to describe it: "Crossroads of cultures", "Rome of the East" and many others. In the epoch of Amir Timur Samarkand was called as "Shining Star of the Earth." Besides, the great commander put all his soul and strength in order to perpetuate its historical significance and make it as the most beautiful city of all the times. Samarkand honorably contributed to the development of Islamic culture and architecture and also left its bright mark on the emergence of the Great Silk Road. Ancient merchants from China used to send goods to Europe through Samarkand. According to the Greek and Roman historians it was referred to as Marakanda. The magnificent buildings of Samarkand - as if in a mirror - reflect the material and spiritual life of the past generation which paved the way for the formation of the Uzbek people. The city has about 3,000 objects of cultural and spiritual heritage, 300 of which are monuments of architecture. These monuments are characterized by their unique patterns and ornaments as they were built up by the best architects of that time. Having visited Samarkand once you would like to come back here more and more in order to admire the magnificent buildings, worship the holy places, plunge again into the world of Uzbek culture and take away not only handicraft products as souvenirs but also national sweets, dried fruits and famous Samarkand flatbreads of amazing beauty and taste that can be stored for a long time. And most important, you will take away the memory of the hospitality of the Uzbek people from this magnificent city.
Shakhrisabz is a famous city over 2700 years old in Central Asia. Many legends are written and songs are composed about Shakhrisabz. It gained its fame thanks to Amir Temur. Shakhrisabz is considered as his hometown and it was his residence at the time when he was a state ruler. There are many spiritual and memorial monuments in this city. The most famous is Ak-Saray Palace, Dorut Tilavat complex, Kok-Gumbaz mosque and others. These structures are distinguished by magnificent mosaics and unique wall ornaments.
The atmosphere of the city allows you to plunge into the long history of the Uzbek people and get to know the spirituality and culture of the people of those ancient times.
Tashkent- the capital of Uzbekistan - is truly a beautiful city. It is the cultural center for the whole Central Asia. Tashkent is rich with magnificent architectural buildings, unique madrasahs, beautiful memorials and many other historically important monuments. The Khazrati Imam Ensemble, Kukeldash Madrasah and Minor Mosque are among them. This city will surprise you with the magnificence of its museums and theaters as well as its library which holds the heritage of great scholars and writers. Tashkent will have an indelible impression on you with the beauty of its streets, parks and squares. I would also like to mention the Tashkent Metro, each station of which is unique with its own pictures and patterns.
Khiva occupies a special place in the list of historical heritage of Uzbekistan. This is a city where you can admire the high minarets and beautiful madrasas. The ancient "city" - Ichan-Kala fortress - is located in the center of Khiva, which will surprise everyone with a variety of more than 60 magnificent architectural structures. This fortress is surrounded by a powerful wall about 10 meters high. Ichan-Kala is included in the UNESCO list of cultural heritage. Khiva is an important center for Islamic civilization as well as for the Great Silk Road. Khiva can proudly be considered as the museum-city of Islamic culture. Every tourist will not remain indifferent here and all thanks to the hospitality of the locals. Everyone will feel the spirituality, culture and identity of the Uzbek people here.
Bukhara is an ancient and beautiful city of Uzbekistan. Its age is more than 2500 years. For many centuries, Bukhara has been a cult and great city of Asia. A huge number of architectural and cultural monuments are preserved here. Great scientists lived and worked in Bukhara; Avicenna, Omar Khayyam, and Alisher Navoi are among them. Bukhara has its religious value for Islam. After all, after the Arab conquest of Central Asia, Bukhara became the center of Islam established here. Bukhara was also located at the intersection of the Great Silk Road, as evidenced by caravan roads and market domes. The origin of Bukhara is associated with one of the legends that the Iranian prince Siyavush arrived in Bukhara, married the ruler's daughter and erected the Ark fortress there. Nowadays, Bukhara is a city where you can see and understand the centuries-old history of the Uzbek people, culture and traditions with your own eyes.
Termez is a city located in the south of Uzbekistan. It is a city that developed in different places: it was destroyed and then rebuilt elsewhere within the same region. The name of Termez city comes from the Bactrian word “Taramat” which means "river crossing", since there was a bridge over the Amu Darya River near it. The city has many architectural monuments including Khakim-at-Termeziensemble, Khanak Kyrk-Kyz, Fayaztepa complex. The beauty and mystery of these buildings attract more and more people every year.
Located in the Zarafshan valley this city got its name in honor of the great Uzbek poet and thinker Alisher Navoi. This is a rather young city however there are evidence and monuments on existence of numerous ancient settlements here. In ancient times, many trade routes ran through it including the Great Silk Road. Navoi is the industrial center of Uzbekistan today as the majority of the advanced plants and factories of the country are located over there.
This city is located at Mirzacho’l (Hungry Steppe) steppe in the south-west of Tashkent and surrounded by the majestic Nurata Mountains. Jizzakh was a key trading point of the Great Silk Road; wool and silk merchants gathered here. It can proudly be called a hero-city as it was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt againa nd again. Having visited Jizzakh you will collect not only unforgettable impressions of the beauty of this city but also the unique taste of Jizzakh samsa which is one of the main dish of the city.
The Registan Square is one of the most magnificent squares not only of Samarkand but also of the whole Central Asia. There are three madrasas on the square: Ulugbek madrasah, Sherdor madrasah and Tillya-Kari madrasah. Each structure is distinguished by its unique ornament and pattern the beauty and grandeur of which brings a feeling of delight.
Shah-i-Zinda necropolis is the only architectural monument in Samarkand, which reflects the centuries-old history of the city.
The main building of the complex is the mausoleum of Kusama ibn Abbas. Shah-i-Zinda is distinguished by its elegance, the uniqueness of each pattern, and the variety of ornaments.
Gur-Emir is a mausoleum where the rulers of the Temurids dynasty are buried. It is translated as "the tomb of the sovereign." Amir Temur himself, his two sons Shokhrukh and Mironshokh, and his grandsons Mohammed Sultan and Mirzo Ulugbek are all buried here. Gur-Emir Mausoleum is the architectural heritage of Central Asia, which preserves many legends and mysteries.
Bibi-Khanim Mosque is the largest mosque in Central Asia, which is known for its beauty and grandeur. The name translates as "older wife". It received such a name in honor of Amir Temur’s beloved wife, when the commander returned after a victorious campaign in India. There is a bazaar near the mosque, which has not lost its magnificence even after 600 years.
Ak-Saray Palace is one of the main treasures of the Temurids dynasty. It is located in the city of Shakhrisabz, the hometown of Amir Temur. The palace included a lot of buildings. Tt was fenced with a wall around the perimeter, which made it an unapproachable fortress.
Kok-Gumbaz is a memorial complex towering over Shahrisabz, with a blue dome 46 meters in diameter. Here the sounds of voices and actions come to life and, while merging, are transformed into a bizarre and at the same time terrible echo. The mosque, characterized by painted ornaments and patterns, is the largest in the city.
Dorut-Tilovat is a historical monument of Shakhrisabz. This architectural structure was founded by Sheikh Shamsitdin Kulal (one of the founders of Sufism), who was the spiritual mentor of Amir Temur’s father Muhammad Taragai and Tamerlane himself. He created a madrasah, where it was possible to study the moral and religious customs, and the foundations of Sufism.
The Dorus-Saodat complex arose after the death of the eldest son of Amir Temur Jahangir (1376), whose mausoleum has a dome ceiling in the form of a cone. Located east of the Dorut-Tilovat complex. In the past, both complexes formed a single ensemble and were part of the main Shakhrisabz necropolis. The tombstone of Sagana Jahangir is located in the mausoleum.
According to other versions, the mausoleum was erected in honor of the holy Hazrati Imam. The complex is also known for the crypt of Temur. It is assumed that the grave of Umar Shaykh is located on this territory. The tombstone of Temur’s grandson, Said Ahmad, discovered not far from here, indicates that the necropolis was the burial place of Temurids and the aristocracy of the Barlos family, from which Amir Temur himself originated.
Chorsu bazaar is one of the largest markets in Central Asia situated in Eski Shakhar, the ancient part of Tashkent city which is the capital of Uzbekistan. Chorsu market is well known since the Middle Ages and was of big importance on the Great Silk Road.
The central part of the market boasts a monumental 3-storeyed building with the diameter about 300-350 meters. There are cellar corridors with subsidiary room on the lower floor. There are counters with goods on the middle and higher floors; every visitor can find all necessary goods here.
Khast-Imam complex has been the religious treasure not only for Tashkent but for the whole Uzbekistan for many centuries. This complex was built with the help of Khazrati-Imam, the Islamic preacher and the connoisseur of Quran and hadith. His real name was Abu-Bakr Mukhammad Kaffal Shahi.
There are also such magnificent objects on the territory of the complex as Tilla-Sheikh mosque, sacred mausoleum of Kazrati Imam, Imam al-Bukhari Islamic Institute and Barak-Khan madrasah.
A rich library of oriental manuscripts is also located here. There is the world famous Quran of Khalif Osman consisting of 353 parchment sheets is located here. This sacred Quran had traveled through such Arab cities as Medina, Damask, Bagdad and came to Uzbekistan thanks to Amir Temur’s initiative.
Amir Temur Square is the square in the center of Tashkent. There is a monument to the great military leader Amir Temur in the middle of the square. The author of the monument is the sculptor Ilkhom Jabfarov. Sitting on the horseback, Amir Temur points with his hand at the building of Tashkent Law University, while underlining one of his greatest sayings “Strength is in justice”, which is written on the pedestal of his monument.
There are such famous buildings around the square as Hotel Uzbekistan, the Temurids Museum, famous Tashkent tower-clock, and tremendous Palace of International Forum in Tashkent. The Amir Temur metro station is also located here.
Tashkent has always been famous for its ancient architectural memorials, but nowadays a more modern project such as Tashkent metro brings it fame. It is a unique system where each station has its own peculiarities, original ornament, and magnificent elements of lighting.
Three lines with 29 stations function now. In addition, the construction of two more lines are being planed now; one of them well be circular.
Tash-Khovli Palace is a building located on the territory of Icha-Kala of Khiva. It was built by the initiative of Alla Kuli-Khan in the 19th century. It consists of 163 room, a harem with a yard, mekhmonhona (hotel), and arzkhona (court).
The Palace is distinctive by its unforgettable palette of paints, pictures, and Khiva carving. The facade of the building is covered with a beautiful and unique ornament.
Juma mosque may be proudly called the spiritual center of Khiva. The definite peculiarity of the mosque is that the praying room has the roof which stands on the 200 poles of 4-5meter high. Each pole is covered with its own unique carving.
Ichan-Kala is a medieval town in the very heart of Khiva, untouched by the long history. The town is fenced by a massive wall 8-10 meters high and 5-6 meters wide and more than 2200 meters long. All these walls make the town very magnificent and impressive.
If blue domes as the symbol of the eastern architecture can be often found in Samarkand and Bukhara, there is only one blue dome in Khiva. It decorates the tomb of Makhmud Pahlavan, a famous poet and warrior of the XIV century. There are a lot of legends about his strength and courage. One of the legends tells that Pahlavan conquered the Indian ruler, and the latter agreed to reward him with whatever the hero would wish. Then Pahlavan Makhmud said: "Release my countrymen from prison." And when the ruler asked how many people he should release, Pakhlavan told all those who would fit into a cow skin. He cut the skin into thin strips, tied them into one large belt and wrapped all the prisoners with the belt. So Makhmud rescued many people from slavery. After his death Muslim clergy canonized him.
Kalyan Minaret is a sacred symbol of Islamic culture located in Bukhara. For several centuries this tower overlooks Bukhara, showing its greatness. After all, it is not coincidence that the minaret bears the name of Kalyan, which means «great».
Such masterpieces of architecture are also situated at the foot of the minaret as the Kalyan mosque and the Miri-Arab madrasah.
Kaja-Gaukushon complex is the architectural object of worship in Buhkara. The complex consists of madrasah, mosque and minaret, all of which were built in different years. The minaret is only slightly inferior in height to the Kalyan minaret. Gaukushon means “killing bulls”, and there was a cattle slaughterhouse earlier. Lyab-i Hauz is a square in the center of Buhkara and is famous for it’s unique beauty. It is an artificial reservoir, around which Nadir Divan-Begi madrasas and the khanaka are located. Kukeldash madrasah is also located nearby. Lyab-i Hauz is translated as a «basin shore».
The complex is an excellent holiday destination for tourists.
Miri-Arab madrasah can proudly be called a masterpiece of Islamic culture.
It is located directly opposite the Kalyan mosque.
Once Mir-Arab madrasah was the only spiritual Muslim educational institution in Central Asia. It produced a large number of muftis, among which was the late President of the Chechen Republic, Ahmad Kadyrov.
The SamanidMausoleum is one of the architectural heritage not only of Samarkand, but also of Central Asia. It was built by Ismail Samani, the founder of the Samanid state, in honor of his father Ahmad ibn Assad. Later, the mausoleum became the family tomb of the Samanids: Ismail himself was buried in it, and then the grandson of Ismail was buried here too, according to the inscriptions above the entrance.
It is known that the Samanid Mausoleum is the oldest monument of Islamic architecture in Central Asia, as well as the only surviving architectural monument of the reign of the Samanids Dynasty.
Hanaka Kokildor Ota was built in the XI century, but scientists suggest that the building could be restored in the Timurid era (XV century). The facade was a monumental entrance leading to the domed hall. On both sides of the hall there were rooms richly decorated with ganch-style patterns.
Kokildor was fond of science, was revered among the locals and was famous for his righteous life. An interesting legend associated with the name Kokildor Ota. In the legend, he is described as a young man of great beauty. To penetrate the Kirk-Kyz fortress, guarded by 40 girls, the young man grew long braids and under the guise of a girl managed to carry out his plan, thanks to which he received the nickname Kokildor. Subsequently, his plan was revealed, but he survived and married Princess Gulaim, the leader of the warlike girls of the Kirk-Kyz fortress.
Start of construction specialists referred to 10th -11th centuries. Group of monuments formed an elongated courtyard. In the complex there is included a mosque of avian type, which has a portal structure with an arched passageway near-gate structure (darvaza-khana), 16 mausoleums built in the 14th, some in the 16th and 17th centuries, abode (khanaka) and other premises. The history of the construction of architectural monuments of the complex is inextricably linked with the history of Termez sayids, who played significant role in the history of Maverannahr and Khorasan. In the premises of the tomb, there are well-plastered low headstones marking the graves of sayyids. There are no inscriptions on the tombstones. Inscriptions flanking portal of the mosque, are linked with glazed mosaic facing, and at the end of the 19th century were transcribed off and read by A. A.Semenov. At the same time, there were recorded fragments of the main text on the right of the arch and above the left side of the portal
Karatepa– religious centre, from Uzbek means “black hill”, situated in the north-west corner of the ancient city Termez, its square is 7 hectares. The centre consists of temples and monasteries, which were built at the beginning of the II century BC. The main feature of these complexes is the combination of cave structures and land structures from clay and dry grass, and also of bricks.
Buddhist center Karatepa consisted of ground-cave (western and southern peaks Karatepa) and ground (northern peak) structures. According to the archeological researches, there was the second floor (there was found stairs). Limestone and carved ganj were used in architectural decoration. Interior of Karatepa was decorated with ornamental painting on plaster and sculptures of clay. The greatest prosperity the cult centre Karatepa received in II-III centuries, but in the IV-V centuries most of the complex stopped functioning.
There are many pictures and inscriptions on the wall of the temple (in in the Bactrian, Middle Persian, Sogdian, Syriac and Arabic languages). Sculptures of Budda and people are made from clay, sometimes from limestone.
As Termez situated in convenient geographical position, it was attacked by rulers of many states. Despite Termez again revived and regained its former glory.
The Big Kirk-Kiz-kala (IV–III centuries B.C. to III– IV centuries A.D.) is a sublime fortress located on the border of irrigated lands. It is part of a frontier chain situated east of the Ayaz-kala monument. The Fortress has double walls with a built-in two-storied archers» gallery and arrow-shaped crenels.
Today we can see the extant ruins of an agricultural farmstead or estate. Potsherds were found scattered in a vast area behind the walls. All of this indicates that there once was a large suburban complex. During the reign of the Afrigids the area within and outside the fortress walls was a centre of pottery production. The name Kirk-Kiz is translated as “Forty Girls.”
The Mausoleum of Mir Said Bakhrom is located in the center of the city of Karmana, Navoi region. This is one of the earliest surviving burial structures of Maverannahr.
Very little is known about the life of Mir Said Bakhrom. Among the people, Mir Said Bakhrom enjoyed deserved respect and influence thanks to his knowledge, wit and ability to work miracles.
The mausoleum belongs to the so-called centric mausoleums and dates from the analogs of the planning solution, as well as the stylistic features of the decor by the end of the 10th – the beginning of the 11th centuries. The complex includes a mausoleum and a small mosque. Wooden carved columns are set around the mosque along the long veranda.
Around the monument is a garden, where citizens hold various festivals.
Memorial Complex Sayd Ibn Abu Vakkos is located in the Avlie Gallaaralskiy district of Jizzak region. Memorial is a place of worship for thousands of faithful Muslims. This monument ensemble covers an area of 14 hectares and entire complex is divided into 2 parts.
The first part includes a small lake and a holy spring. The natural beauty of this place is surprising the human eye. A large number of trees have turned the area of the lake in a large green park. On the banks of the lake found a large number of viewing zones from which you can admire the scenery of the place. The lake can be seen floating black fish that are considered as sacred and are listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Arnasay Reserve was formed in 1977 in Jizzakh region in the area of 63,000 hectares. After a catastrophic flood, huge amounts of water from the Syr Darya headed into the Arnasay valley.
Thus here arose the lake, stretching from the coast along the northern Syrdarya comprising about 300 km from north to west. At one of the sites of the valley was organized Jizzak Arnasay reserve.