Shakhrisabz (Green town) is a small town to the south of Samarkand, lying across the hills in Kashka-Darya province. This is Timur’s hometown and once upon a time it had probably put Samarkand itself in the shadow. In the early 7th century Chinese Buddhist traveller Huen Tsang visited the Sogdian town of Kesh (Shakhrisabz). This city saw the Arab and Mongol invasions. By 1336, the year of Timur’s birth, Kesh and its dependencies were his father’s patrimony (the Barlas clan). As Timur rose to power he gave it its present name and turned it into an extended family monument. In the reign of Timur Shakhrisabz became his residence. But in the late 16th century the Ruler of Bukhara destroyed much of the Timurid legacy. Shakhrisabz retained semi-independence from Bukhara till the 19th century. In 1870 the Tsarist army stormed the town. While the Soviet era brought great change to the appearance of Shakhrisabz, the town has preserved a rich store of history in legends and architecture. One enjoys a relaxed Uzbek atmosphere in its mosques, teahouses and traditional homes.
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