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Samarkand – the Pearl of the Orient

Do you think that you know everything about the city, which is considered the “Rome” of the East? Do you think that the whole history of this mysterious city has already been studied? We want to disappoint you: it is not true! We will try to refresh your knowledge about Samarkand, as well as tell you what Samarkand is famous for.

Samarkand is the most interesting city in Uzbekistan from the point of view of tourism, since, firstly, the central part of the city is under the protection of UNESCO, secondly, the city is more than 2750 years old, and thirdly, Samarkand was a key point on the Great Silk Road between China and Europe, the center of science and architecture of the medieval East.

As you have already known, Samarkand is mentioned in the 4th century BC. as the city of Marakanda – the capital of the ancient state of Sogdiana. Then, Samarkand was often invaded by various peoples and was under their rule. It was rebuilt and turned into capital under the Timurids in the 14th century. Under their rule, it also became the main center of culture and science. Under the Timurids in Samarkand, world-famous architectural monuments were built, which are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and nowadays are under its protection. Such monuments include Ulugbek Madrasah, which laid the foundation for the construction of the famous Registan Square, which is now the symbol of the city of Samarkand; the Bibi-Khanum mosque, the grandiose cathedral mosque of Tamerlane; the Gur Emir mausoleum, the resting place of the famous Tamerlane, his family members, as well as his teachers and mentors; the necropolis of Shakhi-Zinda, which is an ensemble of mausoleums of the Karakhanid and Temurid nobility; the medieval observatory of Ulugbek, which was one of the most significant in the Middle Ages, etc. Thanks to these monuments, Samarkand acquired the fame of the “pearl of the Orient” and annually attracts a huge number of travelers.

However, Samarkand is famous not only for these monuments. Today, Samarkand is completely unknown and can open up to travelers from a new side. Samarkand perfectly combines ancient and modern motives.

“Samarkand is an amazing city. I remember it with joy. It is very interesting in terms of art, atmosphere and people. ”  https://www.kultura.uz/view_2_r_8097.html

Those who love antiquity will also be interested in visiting the modern Sadriddin Aini street, where the Ishratkhon mausoleum is located. It is a women’s mausoleum, which is currently in ruins that were formed as a result of the 1903 earthquake, and causing great controversy over its name and purpose, as well as the Khoja Abdi Darun mausoleum, which consists of a mausoleum, mosque, minaret, and hauz, and is a clear example of medieval architecture. Followers of Islam will be interested in visiting the ensemble of Khoja Akhror Vali, on the territory of which there is the grave of the prominent religious men Akhrar Vali, which gives this ensemble the status of one of the most revered shrines in Islam in Central Asia. Moreover, it is worth visiting the mausoleum of Mahdumi Azam, the resting place of the founder of the Sufi school “Dakhbediya”. Also on the territory of the mausoleum, there is a four-trunk mulberry tree, which is about 600 years old.

The modern era of the city of Samarkand is clearly visible on the example of the boulevard formerly known as Abramovsky Boulevard (in honor of A.K. Abramov, who in 1871 laid the foundations of the boulevard lined with numerous trees and separating the old and the new city). Today, this boulevard is called University Boulevard, since the buildings of the Samarkand State University are located along its perimeter. In addition, at the beginning of the boulevard stands a monument to Amir Temur, symbolizing the passage from the old city to the new one. Also, there are buildings that were laid after Uzbekistan gained independence, namely: the Registan Plaza Hotel, the Alisher Navoi Park, the city administration buildings, Confucius Park, the Silk Road International Tourism University,the library named after A.S. Pushkin.

The modern part of Samarkand is currently being actively rebuilt. A striking example is the Samarkand International Airport, which is the second largest and most important in the Republic. The design of the additional terminal will be a synthesis of past and present, meet international requirements and serve 600 passengers per hour. The reconstruction will be fully completed by the spring of 2022, by the beginning of the SCO Summit, which will be held in Samarkand. Moreover, 2 zones will be created in Samarkand in the nearest future: tourist – Samarkand City, which will include hotels, cottages, as well as cultural, trade and entertainment establishments; sport – where a gym, sports grounds, two swimming pools will be built. These zones will twice increase the number of tourists.

In conclusion, we would like to note that this is not all that Samarkand can amaze you with. Like any phenomenon in our life, Samarkand will always keep a mystery and you decide how to reveal it. And we, as travel professionals, will help you discover the secrets of the Pearl of the Orient.

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