It is the largest city and capital of Uzbekistan with over 2.5 mln population. The capital of Uzbekistan is famous for its museums, monuments, and a mixture of modern and national architecture. Wide roads and avenues, green parks decorated with bright flowerbeds, a clear blue sky, flowing fountains – all this creates a unique look, which along modern requirements saves the national peculiarities. Tashkent is normally divided into the old and new towns.
There are a large number of architechtural buildings of the XV-XVI centuries A.D. in the Old town. The center of the district is Khast-Imam complex that includes mausoleum of St. Imam Kafal Al Shashi, the Islamic institute of Imam Al Bukhari, and the building of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Uzbekistan. In the center of the square is located Jami Mosque with 56 meters high minarets. Opposite the mosque is the library of the Spiritual Administration, where the Koran of the Khaliph Osman (VII century) is kept. It is one of the most revered relics of the entire Muslim world. Another famous sight of the old town is the oldest bazaar in Tashkent, named “Chorsu,” where you can buy various national souvenirs and sweets. The modern part of the city is not less interesting and beautiful. Among the “must visit” places are Independence Square of Uzbekistan, symbol of peace and friendship, where major national events are celebrated; Tashkent Broadway with beautiful streets and sparkling lanterns; Palace of the Romanovs; Theatre named after famous poet and statesman Alisher Navoy; Museum of history of the Timurids; State museum of Applied arts; Tashkent TV tower and many other interesting places to see.
Samarkand is the city, where history comes to life. Scientists have not determined exact age of Samarkand yet, proposing various hypotheses. There is only one thing known with certainty that it is one of the oldest cities on the planet along with Rome and Athens. The visiting card of Samarkand is the magnificent Registan Square, consisting of Tilla-Kori Madrasah, Ulugbek Madrasah, and Sherdor Madrasah. It is said that in the ancient times public executions took place on the square and in order to hide the blood, the ground was strewn with sand. Hence, the Registan means “Place covered with sand.” In addition, the square also served for announcements of decrees. The list of historical landmarks of Samarkand does not end there. You will also visit the Gur-Emir mausoleum – the tomb of the Timurids and a masterpiece of Central Asian architecture of those times. This is the burial place of Tamerlane, his two sons, and grandchildren. Next in the line is Shahi-Zinda complex, the most picturesque of the architectural monuments of the Middle Ages. This complex consists of 11 mausoleums and always amazes guests with bright iridescent inflorescences of blue domes. The Bibi Khanum mosque is the grandest and largest mosque in Central Asia, which translates as “Elder wife.” Richly decorated with tiles, murals and curved marble, the mosque was built in honor of Tamerlane’s beloved wife. Among other sights of Samarkand is Hazrat-Khizr mosque (XIX); Tomb of Khoji-Daniyar; Ancient settlement “Afrosiab”; Afrosiab museum (VII-VI BC - XIII AD); Rukhabad mausoleum (Resident spirit), “Meros” - Samarkand paper production factory; Carpet factory – “Hudjum” and many other great medieval constructions.
The sacred and noble Bukhara is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and is one of the cities of Uzbekistan through which the Great Silk Road used to pass. Bukhara is considered as heart of Islam in Central Asia and entire Muslim world. There used to be more that 350 mosques and 80 madrasah in the Middle Ages and some of them have survived to this day. The symbol of Bukhara is Lyabi-Khauz, which translates as “Shore of the basin” and is one of the central squares in the city. There is also Nodir Divan-Begi madrasah, its hanaka and Kukeldash madrasah that surround the large artificial reservoir. In the Middle Ages Lyabi-Khauz served as trading square and always was the busiest place in the city. Poi-Kalyan, complex of XII-XVI A. D., translates “The foot of the great” and consists of the three constructions, such as Kalyan madrasah, minaret Kalyan, and Miri-arab madrasah. At the beginning, the tower served as an observation point and later was used for public executions. Madrasah of Abdulazizkhan (XVII A.D.), built in a multifaceted form and decorated with hanging stalactites, represents the skills of architects of that time. Furthermore, one of the grandest ancient monuments is called the Arch-fortress, the foundation of which was laid in VI-III centuries B.C. It served as palace of Bukhara rulers until the beginning of the 20th century. Among other places to visit in Bukhara are: Mausoleum Chashma-Ayub, which consists of mausoleum and the sacred source; Mausoleum of Samanids, built in the 10th century by Ismail Samani – the founder of the Samanids dynasty; Trading domes – representation of the significance of the Great Silk Road; Kukeldash Madrasah (XVI); Splendid Sitoray Mohi Hosa – summer residence of the Bukhara rulers; Bolo-Khauz complex; Hodji-Zainutdin complex; Medieval hammam baths; Necropolis Chor-Bakr and other great historical constructions.
Khiva is a marvelous city. It is exotic, colorful, and so oriental-like, as if in a fairy tale. It is the only city in Uzbekistan that has preserved untouched a large part of Medieval Shakhristan – inner city, named “Ichan-kala” to this day. In 2017 Khiva celebrated 2500th anniversary. Ichan-kala represents ancient citadel, surrounded by a high city wall, where each construction is a monument and architechtural landmark. Moreover, there are people, who live in the historical city, and mainly engaged with craftsmanship. Tourists can spend hours strolling along the beautifully carved labyrinths of Ichan-Kala streets, admiring the world heritage. The center of Ichan-Kala is the Kunya-Arch fortress with excellent observation deck. In addition, you can climb the Islam Khodja minaret, which reveals splendid view of the city that extends to the expanses of the Kyzylkum desert. Among other attractions of the ancient city: Complex of Pakhlavan-Mahmud - the patron saint of the Khiva city; The Islam-Khoja Complex (XI - XII); Tash-Khauli Palace (XIX) - an example of greatness of the Khorezm style and masters’ skills of that time; Juma Mosque in the very center of Ichan-Kala; Muhammad Aminhan Madrasah (XIX), where the inscription in Arabic says: "This beautiful building will stand forever to the delight of posterity"; Kalta-Minor minaret; Alla Kulikhan Madrasah (XIX); Caravansaray of Allakulikhan (XIX); Well-Heywak; Palvan Darvoza complex (XIX) and other majestic buildings of Khiva.
The green Shakhrisabz, a historical city of grand architectural monuments. Majority of the magnificent sights of the city belongs to the Timurids era. For instance, the grand white palace, Ak-Saray was also built during the reign of Tamerlane, in the late XIV and early XV centuries A.D.. The construction of the palace took place under leadership of the ruler, symbolizing the bright future of the people and his greatness. The Dorut-Tillavat is a memorial complex (XIV-XV), which means “a place of reflection” and located on the territory of an ancient cemetery in the southeastern part of Shakhrisabz. Here rests the father of Tamerlane - Emir Taragay. The construction of the complex was completed during the reign of Amir Timur’s grandson - Mirzo Ulugbek. Dorus - Saodat was also built during the Tamerlane’s reign, in honor of his son, who was taken too soon. It is said that when the youngest son of Timur suddenly died at an early age, his father was killed in sorrow and in a fit of grief, decided to erect a magnificent mausoleum to pay his respect and love. It was the largest mosque in Shakhrisabz, where all the major religious teachings were held.