Shakhrisabz (originally from Persian a «green city») is a small and very cozy town, which lies in the foothills of the Zarafshan and Hissar ranges in the valley of Tanhoz and Aksu rivers’ confluence. Located 90 kilometers to south of Samarkand city, at an altitude of 630 meters above a sea level, Shakhrisabz is considered to be one of the oldest cities on Earth. That town is as old as the eternal city of Rome. Its age, according to archaeologists, is 2700 years old.
History of the town starts with the parking of ancient farmers in III century BC. But, according to the Chinese annals of the II century BC it is mentioned, that the ancient city of Sousse was located at this place. Its governor was the first to establish trade relations with China and built the city of Keshe. In the second half of the II century BC, the city got the name of Kesh and became the capital of Sogdiana — a province of the Achaemenids Empire.
At different times the city was transferred and rebuilt for many times. Therefore, the current Shakhrisabz is situated 20 kilometers from the ancient fort of Keshe.
In its rich history the city became a mute witness of the Persian kings Darius’s and Cyrus’s campaigns and the cohorts of Alexander of Macedon. It organized resistance to Arab invaders, met and saw off the endless caravans on the Great Silk Road.
The city has reached its greatest prosperity in the middle of the XIV century.
In 1336 year on the outskirts of Shakhrisabz, exactly in the village of Khoja-Ilgar, the great military leader and ruler — Amir Temur was born.
Creating a huge and powerful state of Movaraun-Nahr with its capital in Samarkand city, Temur always cared about his motherland, essentially making Shakhrisabz the second capital of the empire. Thus, Bobur — a descendant of Timur, the founder of the Mogull Empire wrote: «… as Kesh was the birthplace of Temurbek, he put a lot of efforts and care to transform the city into» the foot of the throne. »
By the will of the emperor, the best builders, architects, masters of architectural decor were sent here, who embodied the experience and traditions of different countries in their magnificent works. On the fertile soil of Shakhrisabz their creativity, multiplied by the skill of local craftsmen, gave excellent results, laying the foundation of the monumental style, which defined the architectural features of Central Asia in XIV-XV centuries.
Everything in Shakhrisabz, one way or another, is connected with the name of Amir Temur. His father Amir Taragay, as well as his spiritual teacher Shamsiddin Kulol, were buried at this place. There are also here the graves of his sons Jahangir and Omar Sheikh. Of course, even the great leader would now rest here in the land of his ancestors, but fate decided otherwise…
Up to the present time, there are not many monuments of great historical past which are still preserved in the city, but they are all unique. Grateful descendants carefully preserve the memory of that great era, it’s not in vain Shakhrisabz city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.