Samarkand. The beating heart of Sogdiana.
Sogdiana, Marakand, “Eden of the ancient Orient”, “The beauty of sublunary countries”, “The Precious Pearl” — all these are ancient names and epithets which Samarkand awarded — city of blue domes, city of minarets unique beauty, mausoleums and madrasah, the city of Timur and Ulugbek, a crossroad city of the “Great Silk Road”.
Beneficial geographical location predetermined the fate Samarkand since ancient times. Located at the crossroads of caravan trade routes in the middle of the river Zaravshan picturesque valley between the rivers Amudarya and Syrdarya, the city nearly 25 centuries was the political, economic and cultural core of the whole Central Asia. Richness and abundance of city overwhelmed, that reflected in its name (according to one version, Samarkand — distorted name of Simiskent – “rich village”). This convinced, having become acquainted with the amazing architectural monuments of the ancient city. They affect not only the richness of decoration, but also the architectural designs of architects, beauty and harmony of forms and proportions, as well as excellent quality products of potter masters who created such masterpieces as: the ensemble Shahi Zinda necropolis, Gur-Emir Mausoleum, BibiHanum Mosque, the famous Registan.
Not only the beauty of ancient architecture attracts travelers here, but also the whole history of the city riddled with grand and tragic events. Samarkand saw the enslavement and looting in the days of Alexander of Macedon, and Genghis Khan, once again rose from the ashes and became the capital of the world empire under Tamerlane, meanwhile with great Ulugbek gained fame as one of the largest centers of medieval science and culture. Ulugbek gathered within the walls of his famous observatory a pleiad of eminent scientists: Giyasiddin Dzhemshid Kashi Muinaddin Kazyzade Rumi, Ali Kushchi.
The names of the best poets and philosophers of the Orient: Rudaki, Alisher Navoi, Jami, Omar Khayam, are inextricably connected with the history of this great city.
Today Samarkand is the second by size and significance city in Uzbekistan, which is inhabited by 412 thousand people, 90 nationalities and ethnic groups the main of which are ethnic Tajiks, Uzbeks, Russian, Bukharan Jews and Iranians. The official language is Uzbek, but the main language of interethnic communication for certain reasons, are Tajik and Russian. Absolutely modern city with developed industry, social infrastructure and scientific and technical potential, Samarkand tremulously treats its rich history and cherishes the cultural heritage, skillfully interweaving it into modern life, which can be seen by visiting the famous Siab Bazaar, a favorite place of citizens and guests, or the tomb of Khoja Daniyar (St. Daniel).
Having tour in Samarkand once, again and again you will be tempted to come back here and enjoy the memorable views, to see not seen, to bow to the holy places, and take away as a souvenir to remember the famous Samarkand pastil …
Since 2001, the Samarkand included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, as the City — Crossroad of Cultures.
Architectural monuments of Samarkand: