Samarkand – pearl of the East, and it is standing right in the center of Uzbekistan, on the left bank of the Zarafshan river, Samarkand generously welcomes everyone wanting to know its unbelievable breathtaking story which takes the beginning in the earliest days of the humanity, Samarkand attracts people, tourists, scientists from all over the world. The mirror of the world, the garden of the soul, the pearl of the orient. The face of the Earth-, perhaps, one can not put all its beauty and wealth into the words. One can only personally enjoy all its brilliance and magnificence , Samarkand is included into the “ 50 must visit cities list. Samarkand is a full of surprices, just order the tour to Uzbekistan by Anor Travel to make sure of it.
Samarkand (/ˈsæmərkænd/; Uzbek language: Samarqand; Persian: سمرقند; Russian: Самарканд), alternatively Samarqand, is a city in modern-day Uzbekistan, and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Central Asia. There is evidence of human activity in the area of the city from the late Paleolithic era, though there is no direct evidence of when Samarkand was founded; some theories propose that it was founded between the 8th and 7th centuries BC. Prospering from its location on the Silk Road between China and the Mediterranean, at times Samarkand was one of the greatest cities of Central Asia.[
By the time of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia, it was the capital of the Sogdian satrapy. The city was taken by Alexander the Great in 329 BC, when it was known by its Greek name of Marakanda. The city was ruled by a succession of Iranian and Turkic rulers until the Mongols under Genghis Khan conquered Samarkand in 1220. Today, Samarkand is the capital of Samarqand Region and Uzbekistan‘s second largest city.
The city is noted for being an Islamic centre for scholarly study. In the 14th century it became the capital of the empire of Timur (Tamerlane) and is the site of his mausoleum (the Gur-e Amir). The Bibi-Khanym Mosque, rebuilt during the Soviet era, remains one of the city’s most notable landmarks. Samarkand’s Registan square was the ancient centre of the city, and is bound by three monumental religious buildings. The city has carefully preserved the traditions of ancient crafts: embroidery, gold embroidery, silk weaving, engraving on copper, ceramics, carving and painting on wood. In 2001, UNESCO added the city to its World Heritage Listas Samarkand – Crossroads of Cultures.
Modern-day Samarkand is divided into two parts: the old city, and the new city developed during the days of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. The old city includes historical monuments, shops and old private houses, while the new city includes administrative buildings along with cultural centres and educational institutions.
There are cities which centuries-old history embodies the history of whole nation and countries, reflecting the way passed by many generations. Samarkand is one of the most ancient cities in the world. As other first centers of human civilization – Babylon and Memphis, Athens and Rome, Alexandria and Byzantium – Samarkand was intended to go through many events and shakes.
History of Samarkand goes back in remote days. Archeological finds and chronicle records of eyewitnesses and ancient historians allowed to establish with full reliability that a man lived on the territory of modern city many centuries before the Common Era.
Advantageous geographical location, rather favorable climate, abundance of natural springs with fine water, nearness of mountains with large wild fowl, flowing Zaravshan river – all these factors always provided favorable conditions for human settlings in that area, where strong walls, castles, majestic buildings and temples of Samarkand raised some centuries before the Commone Era.
In historical events of ancient time the earliest mention about Samarkand (also known as Marakand) dates to 329th year B.C., in descriptions of eyewitnesses and participants of conquering army of Alexandr the Great. By that time Samarkand was a big city with crowded population, developed crafts, trade, and culture. It had unassailable citadel and outside defensive wall with length of 10,5 kilometers.
According to new archeological excavations scientists concluded that Samarkand was founded much earlier than Greek-Macedonian conquest and already during the epoch of the Akhemenids State (6-4th centuries BC) it was quite developed city. Hence the “age” of Samarkand is over 2500 years, starting from the origin on the forest hill of Afrosiab, though it is far older.
Over the history the city saw half-savage tribes of Sacs and Massagets, iron flanks of Greek-Macedonin army, hordes of cruel Kara-Kidani. The city withstood invasion of the Arabs, who brought with them a new religion – Islam. Bloody hordes of Ghengis-Khan attacked peaceful houses with fire and sword. Samarkand became the capital of Great Empire of Tamerlane, ranged from Ind River to Bosfor.
After Timur’s death all his empire came to the power of his children and grandchildren. Samarkand and surroundings devolved to Ulugbek, Timur’s grandson. Ulugbek ruled Samarkand during 40 years. For the whole history Uligbek was the most peace-loving ruler. He almost did not participate in aggressive campaigns over ruling his state. He visited other countries many times but only to study traditions, culture, and customs of those countries. He was great scientist, astronomer, and mathematician; therefore he brought many scientists from different countries for science development in his county.
14-15th centuries is the period of the Golden Age of the city. City construction is at its zenith: the city is surrounded by strong fortified wall, new streets, paved of stone, are laid through the city, blue domes of magnificent ensembles tower above the city. Most of these objects survived our days and are the main symbols of the city.
Today Samarkand like most cities of Central Asia is divided into two parts: old and new city. New part is an administrative part of the city, including industrial and cultural centers, high educational institutions. Old part of the city includes historical monuments, shops, workshops, old private houses. Generally, an excursion is held in the old part of the city. Samarkand numbers 500 thousands people. This is multinational city, more that 100 nations live in Samarkand. Samarkand takes second place in Uzbekistan by number of population and territory.
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