The Heart of Great Silk Road


Samarkand is the city where the ancient civilization meets the current reality. The city of mausoleums, minarets and madrasas, the blue of their domes is like the sky.

This city, which was appeared at the intersection of trade spots of Central Asia more than 2750 years ago, it always attracted poets, artists, scientists, pilgrims and dervishes. When the sunlight shines on daintily decorated mosques and minarets of the city, Samarkand shines like a big golden lighthouse.

Samarkand is famous to the world as the Pearl of the East, the Face of the Earth, Eastern Rome, the Mirror of the world, the Garden of the Soul, the Jewel of Islam… Majority of travelers of different times called it like this. Today, as usual before, the city still calls for interest being “the Heart of Great Silk Road” by definition of UNESCO.

This place still awakens dreams about far countries, innumerable treasure and exotic goods. And in the middle of 1 century BC, when the city was called Marakand (later Afrasiab), its wealth did not give rest for many conquerors.

Among the epithets, counted to Samarkand, there is also one like this: The city of Known Shadows. Among conquerors, who left his shadow in this city were Alexander of Macedon, Genghis Khan and Great Amir Temur.

The city was the capital of powerful government Sugd, the center of vast Empire of Tamerlan. Especially, Amir Temur played a great role in the history of Samarkand. As it is known that the ruler sent here the best craftsmen from conquered countries, and they at the time turned it into the deserving capital for the great ruler.

Samarkand in the translation from ancient Sugd language means “Stone fortress” or “City of stone”.Now it is the second city of Uzbekistan by its size, administrative center of Samarkand region.

In 2001, the city was included in the list of World Heritage by UNESCO, as the city – Crossroad of cultures. In 2007, under the aegis of this international organization, there was celebrated its 2750th anniversary.

Samarkand is rich of unique monuments of different times. Nowadays, there are about 300 thousand of them.

In the last 20 years, hundreds of historical-architectural masterpieces – such as Registan Ensemble, Ulugbek Observatory, the mausoleum of Rukhobod and Shahi Zinda, mosques of Khoda Akhror and Khazrati Khizr and others were restored and reconstructed.

Meantime, Samarkand is not multi-structured, it is active and live, with enough opportunities in order to be modern city of 21st century. The strategy of the development of the city, calculated until 20125, is based on the synthesis of rich culture and new technologies. Nowadays, there are being conducted construction works in modern Samarkand. And as a result, it is impossible not to call an admiration: the contrast of European and Eastern styles, by its side there are modern mega-complexes with buildings, erected, during Middle Ages,

Today, Samarkand – is the place, where the relics of ancient times are kept. Unique monuments of ancient architecture, heritage of scientific and documental schools, centers of national crafts, which exist in ancient city, are famous all over the world