Samarkand is one of the oldest cities in the world, founded in 742 BC. E (VIII century BC). He is the same age as Babylon, Rome, Athens. More than two thousand years the city was a key point on the Great Silk Road between China and Europe, as well as one of the main centers of science of the medieval East. In the XIV century was the capital of the empire of Tamerlane and the dynasty of the Timurids. The vast majority of architectural masterpieces of the city was built in this era. This was the period of the highest development of Samarkand. During the rule of Mirzo Ulugbek, Samarkand became one of the centers of world science. Here, new higher educational institutions were built-the madrasah and the observatory. The best scientific minds of the Muslim East worked in the city.
Many poets, writers, historians and travelers called Samarkand “the precious pearl of the world”, “Rome of the East”, “Eden of the Ancient East”, “Beauty of the Sublunary Countries.”
In 2001, Samarkand was included by UNESCO in the World Heritage List as a Crossroads City.
The international music festival “Shark Taronalari” is held in Samarkand since 1997 on the initiative of the President of Uzbekistan I.A. Karimov. It is organized on a regular basis, with a frequency of every two years. The declared goals and tasks of the music forum are wide popularization, preservation and development of the best achievements of national musical art; Education of the younger generation in the spirit of continuity with national traditions; Further expansion of international creative ties.
Modern Samarkand and a major cultural center. Opera and ballet theater, museums, international music festivals, ancient crafts develop here. Products of local craftsmen are in high demand among the guests of the city. The most exotic souvenir from Samarkand is the “eternal” cake, which does not lose its flavor and taste for a long time.
Sights of Samarkand
- The Registan Ensemble is one of the most famous places in Samarkand. The historical ensemble of buildings and the square in the center of Samarkand. In the Middle Ages served as the central square of the city. At the present time it is an architectural ensemble of three massive buildings – madrassas: Madrassah of Ulugbek, Madrassah of Tillya-Kari (“gilded”) and Madrassah of Sherdor (“abode of lions”).
- Ulugbek Observatory was built on the hill Kuhak in the vicinity of Samarkand in 1424-1428, it went down in history as one of the most significant observatories of the Middle Ages.
- Mausoleum Gur-Emir – the family tomb of Amir Temur and his heirs, built in 1404 in the south-western part of the city. This mausoleum served as a prototype for two famous monuments of world architecture: the mausoleum of Humayun in Delhi and the mausoleum of Taj Mahal in Agra.
- Bibi Khanum Mosque The mosque was erected on the orders of Tamerlan after his victorious campaign to India. The construction was started in May 1399. The location of the future mosque was chosen by Timur himself. Masters from various countries were involved in the construction: India, Iran, Khorezm. By September 1404 the main part of the complex was already built. In the courtyard of the mosque, 15,000 people can pray at the same time.
- The Shakhi-Zinda complex is one of the most mysterious and unique architectural monuments of Samarkand, located near the Bibi-Khanum mosque. The complex is a unique ensemble of eleven tombs.