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Shakhrisabz

Traveling around Uzbekistan, you should visit Shahrisabz – a very small city located in the valley of the same name, surrounded by the Zerafshan Range – a beautiful mountain range. The landscapes of Shakhrisabz are distinguished by lush vegetation. Perhaps that is why the city got its name – Shakhrisabz is translated from the Persian language as “Green City”. Here you can observe how modernity and nature coexist harmoniously. 

The history of the “Green City” is rich in amazing stories. Few people know, but it is one of the most ancient cities in Asia. It was laid long before our era, in ancient times. It can be said without exaggeration that Shakhrisabz witnessed the heyday and fall of ancient civilizations. The city survived the ancient Iranian civilization, much later was invaded by the Arabs. Then it was the center of the anti-Arab liberation movement. However, the Shakhrisabz land flourished with the advent of the Timurid dynasty.

In the XIV century, the great ruler and commander Amir Timur was born here, known around the world as Tamerlane. He founded a huge empire, stretching from modern Turkey to India. He never forgot his native land and turned it into the most developed city in the region, which attracted prominent people of that time. Also, he built his residence here. The whole family preferred to live in Shakhrisabz. It was the Timurid dynasty that left a lot of famous monuments in Shakhrisabz.

A travel trip to Shakhrisabz will take little time, it will not be boring and will be filled with impressions. Experienced travelers in Central Asia recommend visiting some especially significant historical monuments.

Ak-Saray (translated from Uzbek as “White Palace”), was the residence of Tamerlane and was built for more than twenty years. Unfortunately, the only surviving parts of the palace still amaze with the grandeur of its walls and arches, proudly directed to heaven. Ak-Saray, along with other buildings of the historic city center, were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Dorus Saodat complex has a truly tragic history. The reason for the construction was the sudden death of the young son of Tamerlane Jahongir. A heartbroken ruler ordered the construction of a beautiful mausoleum for his beloved son and called him Dorus-Saodat – “repository of power”. After a year Amir Timur lost his son and ordered him buried next to his older brother in the mausoleum. Besides, he ordered the construction of tombs for other members of the family, as well as for himself, to spend eternity with his sons. However, Tamerlane was buried in Samarkand – the capital of his empire. Indeed, Dorus-Saodat is a special monument of Shakhrisabz, personifying the pain of a father who lost his children during his life and was separated from them after death. After the devastating raids of the Arabs, the Dorus-Saodat complex preserved only the mausoleum of Jahongir and the empty tomb of Amir Timur. The complex also has a small park and a mosque.

Special interest deserves the architectural complex Dorut-Tillavat. It took almost a hundred years to build it. The first buildings began to appear when the spiritual teacher and founder of Sufism, Shamsuddin Kulal, left the world. He also became famous for being a mentor to Amir Timur and his father Emir Taragay. His grave became a place of pilgrimage, and it was decided to build a mausoleum for him and his relatives. After the death of Emir Taragay, his remains were transferred to one of the rooms of the tomb. Later, the grandson of Amir Timur Ulugbek Taragai in place of the old mausoleum of Shamsiddin Kulal erected a new mausoleum, and on the contrary, the beautiful Kuk-Gumbaz mosque – the “Blue Dome”. It is worth noting that after centuries, the mosque gathers citizens for Friday prayers.