Official name : The Republic Of Uzbekistan
Capital : Tashkent city
Area: 447 800 sq.km.
Currency: Uzbek sum $1=1160 sums; 1euro=1305 sums.
State Language: Uzbek.
Population: 26 mln. Person
Ethnic groups: Uzbeks, Russians, Tajiks, Karakalpaks, Kazakhs, Koreans, Germen, Armenians
Religion: Muslim (84%)
Climate: Climate in Uzbekistan is sharply continental, low relative humidity of the air in summer. Daytime in summer lasts about 15 hours and in winter- no less than 9 hours. The coldest winter month is January when the temperature drops to minus 8 degrees. Temperature in winter may drop to 35- 38 degrees below zero. The hottest summer month is July. The maximum temperature in summer exceeds +42 degrees.
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To the Uzbekistan's share among the Central Asian countries lay about 74% of gas, 31% of natural oil and 55% of coal.
Modern level of exploring useful minerals is connected with mastering richest deposits of noble, color and rare metals, all types of organic fuel - oil, natural gas and gas condensates, gray and half-coke coal, combustible schist, uranus, many other types of raw materials useful for construction work.
Broad complex of useful fossils, including near 100 types mineral raw materials is revealed on the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan , from which 60 are already in use in the public facilities.
Uzbekistan occupies leading places on confirmed stocks of such useful fossilized, as gold, uranus, copper, natural gas, tungsten, potassium salts, phosphorus, kaolin not only in C.I.S., but also in the world. So, on stocks of gold republic occupies a fourth place in the world, but on the level of its mining seventh place, on stocks of copper - tenth - eleventh place; uranus - seventh - eighth place, but on its mining - eleventh - a twelfth place.
Available stocks of mineral resources in its majority not only ensure acting mining complexes on the long prospect, but also allow to enlarge powers, newly organize a mining row most of the important useful fossilized - gold, uranus, copper, lead, silver, lithium, phosphorus, potassium salts, agricultural chemistry ore and others.
The Engineering industry, chemical and petrochemical, metallurgy, radios and electronic industry, light industry has been developmed in the major regions of Uzbekistan like Tashkent , Navoiy and Andijan viloyats.
The landscape of Uzbekistan gives a great opportunity on agriculture. The main agricultural products are cotton, grain, vegetables, melon, fruits, silk production, sheep and cattle breeding.
The Republic of Uzbekistan is located in the middle of Central Asia , between the rivers Amudarya and Sirdarya. The capital of the country is Tashkent , located at the east of the republic. It is bordered with Turkmenistan in the west, Kazakhstan in the north and in the east, Kirgizistan and Tadjikistan and a small part of Afghanistan in the south. The territory of the republic is 447.4 sq. Km, and it is divided into 12 main administrative centers and semi-autonomous Republic of Karakalpakistan .
There are Turan Lowland in the northwest, and Tien-Shan and Pamir-Alay mountain ridges in the southeast of the territory. Kyzyl-Kum Desert is in the North. Mostly flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes; broad, flat intensely irrigated river valleys along course of Amu Darya, Sirdaryo (Syr Darya), and Zarafshon; Fergana Valley in east surrounded by mountainous Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan; shrinking Aral Sea in west.
two thirds of the country, mainly in the west, consist of steppes and deserts, are stopped only by the delta of Amoudarya, which flows in the Aral sea . The relief is pronounced a little more in the east, towards the mountains situated in the countries bordering where the sources of the rivers irrigating the country. The most significant river of the Central Asia, Amoudarya mainly acts as a natural border with Turkmenistan and Afghanistan . The most fertile grounds, where the majority of the population live, are located in the valleys, near the alluvial plains and of the three rivers, Amoudarya, Syrdarya and Zerafshan.
History and modernity, past and present they are indissoluble. Stories and myths, traditions and customs, document certificates of antique transfert from generation to generation. Every epoch remain its material and cultural monuments in a view of ruins of ancient cities. All these constitute the basic memory of folk, its historical properties. The Repulic of Uzbekistan is a country of ancient civilization. More than thousand archeological and archetectural monuments conserved on its territory. On the scientific fonds and museums one can discover a huge quantity of manuscripts and objects which certificate the multyageness of country. The history of Uzbekistan , its culture and statehood, foreign economic and social ties of the territory is more than 2.5 millennia. Uzbekistan 's freedom loving population fought for its independence against all foreign invaders during centuries. Situated on the crossroads of the Great Silk Road, the region played an important role in the dialogue of different civilizations. Its flourishing in the ancient times, then during the reign of the Samanids and Timurids is connected with the involvement of the region in the international economic interrelations.
The earliest traces of human civilization in Uzbekistan pertain to the early paleolit (from 700-600 till 100 millenium B.C). More labour equipment which belong to this period were found in oasis of Zeravshan river and in mountains of Baysuntau. According to the stone processing the peleolit epoch is divide into three main periods. In the cave Selungur was founded the remains of man (fergantrop) which belong to the period of Ashel (from 700-500 to 150 thousandth B.C).
A new type of human being - the Neanderthal man - appeared in Central Asia at the Palaeolithic Age (about 100 - 40 thousands years B.C). At that period the human had settled down almost throughout the territory of contemporary Uzbekistan . The burial of a Neanderthal boy had been discovered in the Teshiktash grotto - a striking illustration of presence of some religious beliefs at that time.
Seven thousand years ago first human tribes arouse. People learned how to use bronze and iron instead of stone for their tools. Collecting and hunting as major occupations were replaced by agriculture and livestock breeding. Early farming communities organized in a state-like pattern appeared in the fertile oasis of Baktria,Khorezm, Sogdiana and Parthia . Ancient sources and inscriptures mention such agricultural oasises of the first millenium B.C.
Alexander the Great's invasion
In 334 B.C., Alexander The Great began marching to Asia . Having conquered the Minor Asia, Syria, Phoenicia, Egypt, and Iran Alexander The Great, entered the territory of Central Asia in spring 329, crossing Hindukush Mountains. Bess, the Satrap of Bactria and Sogd, who had accepted the title of King and name of Artakserks, left Bactria and ran to the other side of Amudarya, territory of Sogdiana, after he had known that Alexander The Great had come near. Alexander crossed Amudarya surreptitiously. Bess could not avoid him because at that time his recent supporters - Spitamen and Datafern - imprisoned him. They sent their messengers to Alexander with offer to send his force to capture Bess. In Nautak (north-western part of Kashkadarya Valley ) Alexander conquered several fortresses. Having left his garrison in Marakand, he took a tour to the Land of Saks , Syrdarya. On their way to Marakand, the Macedonians had faced tough resistance of local population - the Usturshan highlanders. Alexander was hardly wounded. The "riverside barbarians" began to revolt from back with defeating the Macedonian garrisons. At the same time, Sogdians led by Spitamen began to revolt. The Sogdians adjoined Baktrians. Spitamen had stood openly against Alexander and halted the Macedonian garrison in Marakand. Over the short period of time, on the bank of Syrdarya, the Macedonians built their fortress of Alexandria Distant (Alexandria Eskhata). Alexander hurriedly accomplished peace with Saks and threw his basic forces against Spitamen. The regular retaliatory actions of Greek-Macedonian armies in the territory of Sogd from autumn 329 till the same period in 328 did not bring results, which Alexander expected. After two years of wearisome and unsuccessful struggle he changed his tactics and went for rapprochement with local elites. Kwint Kursye Roof writes: "He ordered to give cities and lands of those who persisted in insubordination to those barbarians, who have obeyed". As a result, Alexander could involve a significant number of local dynasties and formed military contingencies from Sogdians and Baktrians in his campaign. In autumn 328 the decisive battle between Alexander and Spitamen took place, in which Spitamen had lost and ran to desert, where his recent allies executed him. Having conquered the mountain fortresses of Horien and Oxiart in Gissar mountains, Alexander married the daughter of Oxiart - Roxanne , thus related with local elite. Having appointed the king of Sogd, Oropiya, one of the representatives of Sogdian elite, who took sides with Alexander , he finished the conquest of Central Asia . Crossing through Amudarya, in the very summer of 327, he passed through Hindukush and began his famous Indian campaign.
The conquest of Central Asia by Islamic Arabs, which was completed in the eighth century A.D., brought to the region a new religion and culture. The Arabs first invaded Mawarannahr in the middle of the seventh century through sporadic raids during their conquest of Persia . Available sources on the Arab conquest suggest that the Soghdians and other Iranian peoples of Central Asia were unable to defend their land against the Arabs because of internal divisions and the lack of strong indigenous leadership. The Arabs, on the other hand, were led by a brilliant general, Qutaybah ibn Muslim , and they also were highly motivated by the desire to spread their new faith (the official beginning of which was in A.D. 622). The population of Mawarannahr was easily conquered. The new religion brought by the Arabs spread gradually in the region. The native cultures, which in some respects already were being displaced by Persian influences before the Arabs arrived, were displaced farther in the ensuing centuries. Nevertheless, the destiny of Central Asia as an Islamic region was firmly established by the Arab victory over the Chinese armies in 750 in a battle at the Talas River . Under Arab rule, Central Asia retained much of its Iranian character, remaining an important center of culture and trade for centuries after the Arab conquest. However, until the tenth century the language of government, literature, and commerce was Arabic. Mawarannahr continued to be an important political player in regional affairs, as it had been under various Persian dynasties. In fact, the Abbasid Caliphate, which ruled the Arab world for five centuries beginning in 750, was established thanks in great part to assistance from Central Asian supporters in their struggle against the then-ruling Umayyad Caliphate.
During the height of the Abbasid Caliphate in the eighth and the ninth centuries, Central Asia and Mawarannahr experienced a truly golden age. Bukhoro became one of the leading centers of learning, culture, and art in the Muslim world, its magnificence rivaling contemporaneous cultural centers such as Baghdad , Cairo , and Cordoba . Some of the greatest historians, scientists, and geographers in the history of Islamic culture were natives of the region.As the Abbasid Caliphate began to weaken and local Islamic states emerged as the rulers of Central Asia , the Persian language began to regain its preeminent role in the region as the language of literature and government. The rulers of the eastern section of Iran and of Mawarannahr were Persians. Under the Samanids and the Buyids, the rich culture of Mawarannahr continued to flourish.
In early ninth century Asad ibn Saman with his sons stood out among many local dynasties and increased his influence by helping Arabs to clamp down on rebels led by Rofe ibn Lays. Their forefather Saman came from one of the rich families of Ferghana. In return for their service under the orders of Caliph al- Mahmur governor of Horasan Gassan ibn Abbas appointed the sons of Asad as governors of important cities. Nuh was given Samarkand, Ahmad - Ferghana, Yahya-Shash and Usturshona, Ilyas - Herat. The head of family was Nuh, after his death - Ahmed ibn Asad. During Ahmed 's rule Samanids gained full autonomy from the Arab Caliphate and Tahirids -another local dynasty. Ahmed united all the cities and territories under his brothers' control and formed a big state. His son Nasr, who ruled Samarkand, continued Ahmed 's policy of self-rule. In recognition of Nasr's independence the Caliph Mutadim accepted Nasr's sovereignty over Maveraunnakhr with the capital in Samarkand. In 892 Ismail - Nasr's brother, became the Amir of Maveraunnakhr. He was given Bukhara in 874. In the year 900 Ismail won a decisive battle against Saffarids (another local dynasty). Later Khorasan, Seyistan were incorporated into Samanids state. Till 999 Khorasan was retained under Samanids rule. His son Ahmed (907-914) succeeded Ismail. During the reign of Nasr II (914-943) the teachings of Karmad spread all over the country against which Nuh II (943-954) fought aggressively. During Samanids' reign in Maveraunnakhr the handcraft and culture prospered. Many majestic buildings were erected. International trade became important. The Great Silk Road was revived and many cities were reconstructed. New weaving centers, pottery and carpentry centers developed. Inside the cities ever-present caravansaries, madrasah and mosques were built. The great scholars al-Khorezmi, Al-Ferghani, Al-Farabi, Ibn Sina , Beruni,Narshahi and many others also lived during that time. During the reign of Mansoor and Nuh (954-964) the state slowly but surely weakened. In 999 Karakhanids wrested away all the power from Samanids. The Samanids dynasty ceased to control Maveraunnakhr. The last representative of the dynasty Al-Muntasir was assassinated in1005.
In 1221, the whole Central Asia became under the reign of Chingiz Khan. The cities were destroyed with their irrigational systems, more than hundred thousand persons had been taken away as a slaves. After the death of Chingiz Khan the territory was reigned after his second son Chagatay. In trhe second part of 14 th after the disintegrate of Chagatay's Ulus, the Great Amir Temur came to the power.
Tamerlane this name, by which he was known in Europe , is actually a corruption of his name in Persian, Timur-i-Leng, meaning "Timur the Lame." The word Timur is Turkic for "iron": it was an appropriate name for the man who, in his lifetime, rose from being a prince in a small Turkish-Mongolian tribe to become the ruler of an expanding empire that stretched from Delhi to Anatolia . His life was, in the words of one modern scholar, "one long story of war, butchery and brutality unsurpassed until the present century." Timur was born in Kesh, also known as Shahr-i-Sabz, "The Green City" in 1336. He was the son of a chief in the Barlas tribe, one of the Mongolian tribes which had made up the hordes of Chingiz Khan. After had united the Central Asian disembodied countries he created powerfull kingdom and made Samarkand the capital of his empire. From 1380 he startted his military invasions into another countries and conquered Iran , behind the Caucasian countries, Iraq , Syria , Turkey , India …
Restoration and development of the cities (especially Samarkand and Shakhrisabz), revivid commerce, handycraft, science and the arts. Such monuments as Bibi Khanim mosque, the Shakhi Zinda complex of ancient mausoleums, the Reghistan square, the Gur Emir mausoleum (family crypture of Timurid's) belonged to that period are stiil remain today. He was on his way to China when the stopped him. Samarkand turned into paradise for scholars and artists by his grandson Ulughbek, one of the prominent figure of science in Middle Ages, astronomy and sponsor of arts and knowledge. Was created astronomical observatory in the territory of Samarkand . Beside it he erected three medresses in the territory of Uzbekistan, in Samarkand, in Bukhara and in Gijdivan. He taught himself in the medressa of Samarkand .
n 1500, Central Asia became the scene of fight between last Timurids and nomadic uzbek tribes, led by Muhammad Sheybani. He defeated Babur , a grandson of Timur and established Uzbek control in the territory of Central Asia . Babur escaped from his motherland and became a founder of Great Muguls Empire on the territory of Northern India .
In the mid 18 th century three uzbek dynasties, who settled down here and mixed with local Turkic population, divided the empire of Sheybanids into three parts: Bukhara Emirates, Khiva and Kokand khanate. They existed for almost century and was defeated by Russian troops from 1860 till 1884. Turkistan became a Russian colony though the administration of former rulers and their authorities were preserved under protectorate of Russia .
After the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia the power in Turkestan had been taken by Bolsheviks. The process of establishing Soviet power in Turkestan was accompanied by bitter strife of local inhabitants.
In 1918 the Turkestan Soviet Socialist Republic was proclaimed in Tashkent as a member of RSFSR ( Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic ).
By 1923 Soviet power was well established on the whole territory of the present Uzbekistan , but the struggle with the local inhabitants continued till the end of 1920th.
In 1924 the USSR had been constituted in Moscow and consequently the National Delimitation Law enacted to set boundaries for the Republics of Central Asia (the present boundaries of Uzbekistan , Kazakhstan , Turkmenistan and Tajikistan ). Ever since Uzbekistan had became one of the republics of the Soviet Union .
The Soviet period in history of Uzbekistan continued from 1918 till 1991. For this time Uzbekistan turned into a modern state with well developed industry and agriculture; new towns, factories and other structures were built.
In september 1991, the collapse of the Soviet Union , brought independence to the Republic.
Tashkent capital city
Tashkent is one of the biggest cities in Central Asia . It is located in the north- east part of the Republic, in the valley of the river Chirchik.
Tashkent is one of the ancient cities in Central Asia with the age of 2000 years. This city was called Yuni, Chach, Shash, and Binkent in different times. And the name Tashkent is first used in Beruni's and Kashgariy's works. It was arisen in a dense populated valley between the nomad and settled tribes. The geographical condition of Tashkent acted on it's prosper as a trans- road between the East and West. The climate conditions created a great opportunity on prosper of cattle breeder and agriculture. In II-I` centuries Tashkent acquired the first features of city. The city was vivid commerce center, what certificate about, discovered coins of near and far countries, from Byzantine till west, and from China till East. In the third first of 8th, Tashkent was conquered by Arab invaders and the renaissance of the city started from 9th, but not on the ruins of old city, about 5- 6km to south- west, on the bank of Bazsuv. In 13th it was destroyed by Muhammad Kharezmshoh . And in 14th and at the end of 15th it was joined to Tamerlane 's country. The city was surrounded with new wall. Since that time the city rebuilt its economics with the help of commerce and agriculture. New constructions were established. Some of them, madrassah Kukeldash and Barak- Khan are still remain. In 19th Tashkent was under the reign Kokand Khanate. In 1865 Tashkent was invaded by Russian troops and became center of Turkistan . In 1998 it first became the capital of Turkistan ASSR. In 1924, the capital of Turkistan ASSR became Samarkand city. It was recapitalized in 1930. From august 31, 1991, Tashkent is a capital of the independent republic of Uzbekistan . Nowadays Tashkent- is the biggest industrial city. 20% products of the Republic behold to Tashkent . Exist more than 300 companies. Tashkent produces airplanes, tractors, compressors, escalators, TV sets…
Tashkent is a big scientific center. Here was organized the Academy of the Science, which have 30 scientific investigate institutes.On last years the appearance of the city is acquired the modernity.
s, from Byzantine till west, and from China till East. In the third first of 8th, Tashkent was conquered by Arab invaders and the renaissance of the city started from 9th, but not on the ruins of old city, about 5- 6km to south- west, on the bank of Bazsuv. In 13th it was destroyed by Muhammed Kharezmshoh. And in 14th and at the end of 15th it was joined to Tamerlane's country. The city was surrounded with new wall. Since that time the city rebuilt its economics with the help of commerce and agriculture. New constructions were established. Some of them, medrese Kukeldesh and Barak- khana are still remain. In 19th Tashkent was under the Kokand khanate's reign. In 1865 Tashkent was invaded by Russian troops and became center of Turkistan . In 1998 it first became the capital of Turkistan ASSR. In 1924, the capital of Turkistan ASSR became Samarkand city. It was recapitalized in 1930. From august 31, 1991, Tashkent is a capital of the independent republic of Uzbekistan.
Nowadays Tashkent- is the biggest industrial city. 20% products of the republic behold to Tashkent. Exist more than 300 companies. Tashkent produces airplanes, tractors, compressors, escalators, TV sets…
Tashkent is a big scientific center. Here was organized the Academy of the Science, which have 30 scientific investigate institutes.
On last years the appearance of the city is acquired the modernity.
Golden route to Samarkand
Samarkand is the second largest and dense populated city of the Republic, after Tashkent city, center destination of world tourism. The city is located in the left bank of the river Zerafshan. From 1924 till 1930 it was the capital of Turkistan ASSR. Samarkand is one of the ancient cities of the world. With it's historical and architectural monuments comparable with world famous centers of civilization. At the first millennia B.C Samarkand existed already under the name of Marokanda, later the city acquired his actual name Samarkand . The city was conquered by the troops of Alexander the Great in IV century B.C, Arab caliphate in VII century and Chingiz Khan XIII century. It was a capital city of powerful country Sogd, the center of vast empire of Great Tamerlane, who takes care after its fortification and beauty. Exactly in the epoch of Timurid's in XIV-XVI, Samarkand reached the highest peak of its bloom. Wonderfully blue facing tiles of buildings, exquisite architectural forms, and complex vegetable and geometrical ornaments decorate the architectural buildings. World famous ensembles of the city are: Registan square - with its three remarkable madrassah: the Madrassah of Ulughbek, Sher- Dor , Tillya Kori; Shakhi Zinda complex, which is consist of 11 mausoleums, with theirs unique glaze décor patterns, grandiose mausoleum of Bibi Khanum . The most famous monument of the Samarkand city is the crypt of Timurids- Gur Emir Mausoleum is one of the best patterns of Central Asian architecture. In the north- east part of the city, there is a sextant-observatory, which was built in 1428- 1429 by Ulughbek. Ulughbek was an outstanding scientist, the ruler of Samarkand and the grandson of great Tamerlane . Not far from the observatory one can discover city before the Arab invasion, Afrasiab settlement.
The history of the city is close connected with prominent figures of ancient east: astronomer Kazi Zade Rumi , poets Alisher Navoi and Abdurahman Jomiy.The architectural masterpieces of Samarkand are still retain their beauty for tourists all over the world.
Bukhara is a city which is considered Muslim Sacred City after Mecca . More than 3000 Muslim shrines were found out here. Bukhara has reached its 2500th anniversary in 1997 and was added to the list of world heritage of UNESCO. It is considered to be as one of the touristy centers in Central Asia . Many times the city was destructed and was fired by conquerors but it was revived on its ruins. Bukhara had gained its fame in 10th century as the city with developed handicraft and commerce and in 16th it was famous in Europe due to its commerce. Here, in different periods lived and created; Abu Ali ibn Sino( Avicenna), Rudaki, Firdavsi, Imam al Bukhoriy, Sadriddin Ayni, Abdurauf Fitrat, the prominent figures who left undeletable trace in the world arena with their immortal masterpieces. Bukhara is a city museum with about 170 architectural monuments. The most important one is dynastic crypt of Samanids - one of the first famous Muslim mausoleum in Central Asia and one of the earliest in Orient. It was built by Ismail Samani , one of the rulers of the Samanid's dynasty of XII century. The grey-colored ornamentation is never the same when light shines upon it. The mausoleum is considered to be the masterpiece of the medieval architecture. It was built of light-golden colored bricks faced so skillfully that the ornament design seems to alter several times during the day as the light changes. During the sunset the walls of mausoleum appear like a weightless lace. The Poi-Kalyan ensemble (12-16th c.) crowns the centre of ancient Bukhara . It is 50 meter-tall minaret, decorated with unique patterns that towers over the city in all its grandeur and splendor. Light-blue domes of Chor-Minor and the Ark Fortress can be seen afar. The ancient monuments preserved in Central Asia from 15th c. to this day are the Ulugbek and Kukeldash Madrassahs .
Bukhara is homeland of legendary humorous wise man Khodja Nasreddin .
Enjoy yourself with the anecdotes of Nasreddin Afandi.
“Afandi and Padishakh”
Padishakh wanted to become a poet. He wrote verses and gave them to Afandi to read in the hope of hearing warm praises. But as he read it, Afandi wrinkled as if he had swallowed a fly.
“Do you like it?” Padishakh asked.
“Why do you write the poems, Your Highness? You'd better go in for Padishakh business! ”
“You are fool!” Padishakh lost his temper. “Servants, fasten him near a donkey!”
Afandi spent a whole week in the stables while Padishakh wrote new poems which he considered even better. He ordered that Afandi be brought before him.
“Come on, read these!”
Afandi read and turned to go.
“Where are you going?” Padishakh cried.
Afandi put his hands over his heart:
“To the stables, Your Highness…”
Khiva- open air museum
The abundant land of Khorezm , situated along the Amudarya River , between the Kara-kum and Kizil-kum deserts. Khorezm is one of the ancient cities in the territory of Central Asia . Khiva is a pearl of Khorezm region.
Khiva has reached its 2500th anniversary in 1997 and located on the left bank of the river Amudarya in the southern part of the modern region of Khorezm in Uzbekistan . In 1967 it was proclaimed a town reserve and since 1990 one part of Khiva- the Ichan Kala- was recognized by UNESCO as an historical monument of world heritage.
It is possible that there were already agricultural and town settlements in the Khiva district in the middle of the first millennium B.C. Archeological excavations have revealed a number of cultural layers, corresponding to different chronological periods. Archeologists have also managed to find traces of dwellings, pieces of ceramic dishes and other findings which definitely establish the time of a settlement in the lowest layer of Ichan Kala dating back to the fifth century B.C- that is to say approximately 2500 years ago. Traces of human agricultural activity have also been found around the first settlement at Khiva. Similar scenes have been found near castles at Khazarasp, Bazrkala, and Khumbuztepa which are close to this place.
You can find out domes of mosques and minarets among which Islam Khodja minaret stands out. Its slim tower trimmed with decorative belts of white blue ceramics rises at the height of 45 meters. Kalta Minor minaret could be a competitor to it as it was supposed to be the tallest in Central Asia , but Muhammad Amin khan who had started this construction was killed in a battle and the works stopped when the minaret was 26 meters high.
Architectural monuments of 18th- 19th centuries build new city - Ichan Kala . Ichan Kala in particular, this most densely populated part of Khiva, became an architectural museum whose buildings represent the best masterpieces of ancient architecture.
The biggest madrassah is Muhammad Aminkhan Madrassah. The facades are trimmed with colored bricks designs and majolica tilled bands of vegetable ornament. The doors and “panjara” style windows are decorated with a wonderful carving.
Kunya Ark-old citadel which is in the Ichan Kala built at the end of the 18th century. It included an arsenal, a gunpowder factory, the palace, the court, the chancellery, the mint, a mosque and a drill square for military training.
The medieval people while keeping and preserving mausoleums and temples didn't pay enough attention to the civil buildings. There have been preserved in Khiva about 20 madrassah, whereas only few palaces managed to remain intact.The geographical location of Khorezm makes it very pleasant place to agriculture. The region provides the whole republic with the rice.
Nurata is a city with the footprints of Alexander the Great
Nurata is a town located in Navoi region in Central part of the Republic of Uzbekistan . It is at the point where the Nurata range tapers out and meets the desert. The Nurata range is the southern ridge that makes the Fergana valley.
The fauna is rich with its various species birds, crawlers and mammals.
More than 250 kinds of birds (150 of them are constant), 29 species of crawlers and 35 species of mammals. Nowadays more than 1873 species of insects determined in this region.
The legend concerning with the name of the town:
“Once travelers were lost in desert and couldn't find water for satisfy their thirst, as the hope dies last they continued their way on purpose to find some water. After a while, they saw the ray in a distance, not believing their own eyes they followed after the ray. This ray brought them to the source of water, so called spring. Thanks to this ray the travelers are alive.”In direct translation from Persian into English "Nur-ota" means father of rays, Nur - "ray" and ota - "father".
Ferghana Silk Land of Central Asia
Ferghana “Davan” was first mentioned in the Chinese chronicles, during the Middle Ages it was one of the leading principalities of Movarounnahr. Medieval monuments serve the evidence of the fact that in the ancient times this valley was the land of many civilizations.
Today Ferghana valley is one of the prosperous regions of Uzbekistan . Fertile oases enclose the region. The big cities of Ferghana valley are Margilan, Ferghana, Kokand , Andijan and Namangan .
Margilan, one of the most ancient cities of Central Asia , bared the invasion of Alexander the Great. It is known from the historical sources that this great conqueror raided the territory from Khodjent to Uzgen and on his way back he crossed the town, which later was named Margilan. In the 10th century Margilan was already the biggest city of Ferghana Oasis and was famous for its silk fabrics, which along the Great Silk Road were delivered by merchants to Egypt and Greece , Bagdad , Khorasan and Kashgar. Nowadays we can also call Margilan the silk capital of Uzbekistan .
At present Ferghana is an important industrial centre of Uzbekistan and it is the second town in the republic after Tashkent as regards the production volumes. Within the last few years there appeared many modern constructions in the city - a comfortable many-storeyed hotel, a beautiful tennis court, a covered city market, a big park zone with flower-beds and fountains.
Madrassah Norbutabi , which was built at the end of the 18th century, was the most important religious centre of the city. After Uzbekistan gained its independence this madrassah again started to function as a seminary and at the moment more than eighty students study there.
The cathedral Juma-mosque, which was built at the beginning of the 19th century, can be considered the bright pattern of Islamic architecture.
One of the best regions of Uzbekistan in silk production and with it vineyards is Namangan . The region is located among the mountains of the vast valley Fergana . In mid-18th century Namangan became the administration centre of the region. In 1875 the region joined Russia . At that period of time the foundation of a new city was laid in accordance with the regular city-plan. This new part had to be separated from the old part by the fort, which traditionally became the main point from which there radiated the city streets. At the beginning of the 20th century Namangan was the second city in Ferghana valley as regards number of population and volumes of cotton processing.
Close to Namangan there is another big city Andijan, homeland of Zakhiriddin Bobur, the last Emir of Timurid's, a poet, the author of famous epic work "Babur-name", a military leader who conquered India and formed the dynasty of Great Mongols in India.
In 1902 Andijan suffered a terrible earthquake and then the city was rebuilt. Of all the architectural monuments of the past only Jami madrassah has been preserved.Andijan today is one of the biggest industrial centres of Uzbekistan . Many modern industrial enterprises have appeared here in recent years: a big Uzbek-Korean joint venture manufacturing the cars, an engineering plant, cotton manufacture, textile factory. The city is surrounded with fruit gardens, cotton and wheat fields.
Nukus is the capital of Karakalpakistan, beautiful modern city and the center of economical and cultural life of the republic. The first records about the city are date back to the second half of the 19th century. At that time it was a village made up by rows of yurtas (nomad's tents) surrounded by high clay fence. In 1932 Nukus achieved the status of a city, while in 1939 it was proclaimed the capital of Karakalpakistan. Today, in spite of the fact that the sands of Kyzylkum desert approach closely the city walls, the streets and avenues of Nukus are buried in verdure, the squares are decorated with flowerbeds.
Everyone who visits Nukus will certainly call at the Art Museum, named after its founder and first director Igor Savitskiy . As a student of Moscow Art Institute, Mr. Savitskiy was evacuated to Central Asia at the time of World War II. Here he took great interest in archeology, ethnography and ancient culture of the region and his passion to art made him stay here forever. Soon Savitskiy busied himself with preservation of paintings by Russian avan-garde artists who had been repressed and exiled to Uzbekistan during the years of Stalinism. He found many paintings in the house basements and garrets, where they had been hidden by the owners for fear of being prosecuted for a contact with "art formalists". The enthusiasm and unselfishness of Mr. Savitskiy enabled him to lay the foundation for future exposition of Nukus Museum , which was inaugurated in 1966.
In the museum there are exhibited the works of ancient and medieval art of peoples inhabiting this region, as well as the articles testifying to the trade and cultural links of the Khorezmians with The Orient and the Occident. The most ancient exhibits of the Museum are Zoroastrian terracotta statuettes of the goddess of fertility - Anakhita, mausoleum-like ossuarys (the vessels with the mortal remains of the dead ancestors, who were fire-worshippers), decorated with the images of lions, images of male and female heads. The period of late Antiquity of the 1st - 4th centuries B.C. is represented by a bronze pin in the form of a hand holding an apple, a silver finger-ring with a sard signet depicting a dolphin, a terracotta statuette of a woman holding a grapevine. Bronze lamps and a rich collection of pottery (khums for storing grain, jugs with relief decoration) date back to the 12th - 13th centuries.The displayed works of applied art of Karakalpakistan date from the second half of the 19th - first half of the 20th centuries. These works are represented by articles made from wood and leather which were widely used by the nomads during their military campaigns - saddles decorated with silver, containers for dishware, and mortars for tobacco, carved doors for yurta. Of a special interest are the carpets, which were widely used by the Karakalkaks for decoration of their yurtas. These are patterned carpet strips "beldeu" and "ak-bastur", which were manufactured according to the unique techniques of relief pile fabric weaving. There are also exhibited many national costumes, small tea-sacks, wedding headdress "saukkele", all embroidered with silk, pearls and beads by the anonymous craftswomen. And the luxurious collection of ancient Karakalpaki jewelry, made of silver with inlays of turquoise and sard, will undoubtedly take everybody's breath away.
Termez- southern point of Uzbekistan
Termez was formed on the right side of the Djaikhun - Amu-Darya in a place convenient to cross the river, at the intersection of Great Silk Road routes, five kilometers to the northwest from the city of Termez . Over centuries it was developing as one of the leading city of Bactria and then Kushan Empire.
For thousands of years Termez were part of many ancient empires - empires formed by Alexander the Great, Chingis khan, Amir Temur .
The discovery of site of ancient settlement of Dalverzintepa, which was situated in 60 kilometers from Termez, not far from Shurchi town, was the notable event in the history of the world culture. Numerous archeological finds representing articles of Buddhist and Hellenic culture are the evidence of the fact, that Dalverzintepa was situated on one of the most ancient branches of the Great Silk Road, which went from Termita along the Surkhan valley. Further caravan routes led to the Stone Tower , presumably situated in the region of modern Tashkent and mentioned in "Geography" by Claudius Ptolemy , who described the way from Syria to China.
In the suburban area of Dalverzintepa the archeologists discovered the ruins of Buddhist sanctuary, built up here approximately in the 1st century A.D., judging from the coins found at the site. There was the stupa, the room for praying and so called, "king's hall", richly decorated with the sculptures representing religious and secular Buddhist and Hellenic images. One of the most wonderful sculptural images is the head of a Kushan's ruler in the pointed headdress. The elements of Greek - Bactrian culture are presented in the architectural details - in the Attic bases of the columns, in the acanthus leaves and in the garment folds of the sculptural figures.
Also, there was found the second Buddhist complex with Buddha and Bodkhisatva statues, as well as a Bactrian temple with the wall paintings, which pictured priests and infants.
One of the highly worshipped monuments of Moslem world is the burial-vault of Khakim at-Termezi, the spiritual patron of the town, the scientist-theologian, the founder of the dervish order "Khakimi" His thousandth anniversary was celebrated in 1990, in accordance with the decision of UNESCO. The architectural complex was being built from early 9th century and during several subsequent centuries. In the late 14th century a new burial - vault with the grand carved marble tombstone was erected next to the mausoleum's facade.
In about 3 kilometers from Termez, surrounded by the verdure of the gardens, one of the suburban historical monuments is situated - the castle of the 9th century with the romantic name Kirk-Kiz, or Forty Girls. According to the legend, it was in this very castle that the queen Gulayim with her companions-in-arms from the "Kirk-Kiz" epos repulsed the siege of foreign invaders. The historical information indicates that this fortified castle with the massive towers at the corners used to be the patrimony of the well-known Samanid's dynasty.
Among architectural monuments Sultan-Saodat complex is the most remarkable one. This compound ensemble was being built within 5 centuries, from the 9th century to the 14th century, and is a kind of peculiar museum of the medieval architecture.
The historical investigations and archeological excavations prove that since the 9th century Termez grew into a large trade and handicraft center, connected with China , India , Byzantium , Parphia , Egypt , Rome , Afghanistan , Black Sea coast. A large number of goods including wheat, cotton, silk and wool, tufted carpets and palases (pileless carpets) were brought in the city as well as were exported.
Like many Asian towns, Termez suffered from the destructive Chingis Khan invasion in 1220.
By the second half of the 18th century it was completely destroyed; only two kishlaks remained in the suburb. In one of them, viz Pattakesar, at the end of the 19th century Russia built the frontier point called "Termez Tract".During the Soviet period Termez was practically closed for the foreigners. Today, on the contrary, the town on the Amudarya is visited by ever increasing number of tourists, who wish to touch the mystery and the beauty of the past epochs. Each hill here keeps something unknown, each monument is a legend. Modern Termez still functions as the outpost of independent Uzbekistan , the connecting-link with the neighboring states.
Shakhrisabz – Green City
Shakhrisabz is one of the oldest cities in the world. According to the scientists, Shakhrisabz is 2700 years old.
Ancient Shakhrisabz arose at the bottom of Zerafshan range, in the Valley of Kashkadarya River. In course of centuries, the city had to experience both happy and drama destiny, but it was always full of events.
Occasionally, the city fell into decay, but every time under various names - Gava, Sugda, Nautaka, Kesh, Shakhrisabz rose again. And it was the same city, as the historical eligibility was preserved.
Here in IV century B.C. the troops of Alexander the Great rested for a while. In VII century the city was besieged by the Arabs. When there was no war, the city safely grew up and developed, since its location on the Great Silk Road was perfect.
Shakhrisabz which means green town is a homeland of Great Tamerlane. It is a place where he was born and grew up. The great lord himself believed that here his soul would rise to the throne of Allah. He even constructed the crypt for himself. But the destiny made arrangements in different way...
Timur was born in 1336 and showed his exceptional skills while being quite young. When he was twenty five years old, he was already the governor of Kesh, as Shakhrisabz was called at that time. They say, that once upon a time Timur looked how ant was creeping on a stem of a blade. Ant was sliding, falling down, but continued emphatically climbing up and ultimately reached the top. And young man had thought: if ant could succeed why I can not?
And he had succeeded in all his deals. He defeated and captured the Turkish sultan Bayazed, had beaten the Holden Horde. He made triumphant campaigns to Iran and Caucasus , India and Asia Minor .
Having created the vast state of Movarounnahr and having become an absolute Emir, Timur made Samarkand his capital. But he always remembered and paid all his possible attention to his small hometown. In essence, Shakhrisabz was the second capital of his empire.
Ak-Saray Palace is an example of the main governmental building - residence. Construction of the palace started in 1380, but even in 1404 was not completed yet. “If one has a wish to recognize us we advise him at first to look the buildings which we had constructed” was written once on timpani of this construction.
In epoch of Timur and Timurids the ensemble construction of the cities was widely spread. Shakhrisabz can be considered as an example of such a construction. The city boasts the ensembles like Dorus-Tilyavat and Dorus-Saodat. Dorus-Tilyavat consists of the three preserved buildings on the former necropolis of local nobles. These are two mausoleums of Shamseddin Kulyal and Gumbazi Seidon and congregational mosque Kok-Gumbaz.In the middle of ÕIÕ century, near the Jakhongir mausoleum there was built Khazrat Imam Mosque with a dome hall and painted aiwan. Nowadays, this is an active mosque highly esteemed by believers.
Art and culture
Style of life and traditions
Uzbekistan is a Muslim Sunnite country. The religion Islam is mixed with cultural traditions of ancient religions such as Mazdeism, Zoroastrism, Shamanism and with traditions which are linked with the nomad life in certain places. The reception and hospitality tradition is one constant in Central Asia . It's usual for a tourist to be invited and to stay with the inhabitant several days. According to the Muslim law the guest can live, eat in householders till three days. In Uzbekistan , the practice of the Islam is free, only several mosques in the Ferghana valley are closed to the women.Navruz “New Day”- the main holiday in Central Asia , which celebrates from ancient times. It celebrates on spring equinox, on 21st of March. The festivity programme includes national folk dances, musics, street shows and exhibitions. The Ramadan which lasts one month and during nobody eats from the sunrise till the sunset is not really practiced in the country. So there will no any trouble with food supply in the country for the tourists. During Qurban , the celebration of Sacrifice, animals are immolated, the meat is shared with neighborhood or with poor families.
Crafts and clothes
At the time of its conquests, Tamerlane saved the best craftsmen and brought back them to Samarkand , where they enlarged the rows of the builders. The brightest illustration of competences and innovations of these craftsmen are the polychrome enameled tiles, the reasons painted on or under the glaze, the mosaics ones of fine parts of glazed ceramics cut with the chisel, or terracotta molded, carved then enameled... The manufacture secret and the glaze were transmitted of wire father, each area have his own colors and motives. The ceramic is one reference point of Central Asia . Today centers of craft industry gather master craftsmen which bring a new breath to old traditions, in the fields of ceramic, of the textiles, the woodwork or on metal.
Silk was the currency of reference for the Chinese and Persian traders for centuries. This Chinese invention would have been discovered by accident for 4500 years ago. During almost three thousand years, the Empire of the Medium knew to preserve the secrecy and the monopoly of its manufacture. The first French factory was open at Lyon in the XIV century. Nowadays, there are craft factories at Margilan and Bukhara which use the traditional techniques of manufacture of silk. The fabrics are woven with the hand, the reasons for the khan atlas are inspired by the symbols ancestral, at the same time geometrical and floral, supposed to protect from the evil eye: tulips, pepper, poppies, butterflies, etc.
In Central Asia , the traditional costume belongs to the cultural, religious and ethnic identity. The more impressive male clothing is tchapan , a long coat attached to the size by a turma , broad belt. The port of the characteristic cap doppie black and white embroidered stylized floral reasons is very widespread, it is used as mark as religious as ethnique. The caps with the variegated embroideries are reserved to the unmarried girls, the married women usually covering colored scarves.The embroidery is also a secular art of Central Asia, the women spend the whole years to embroider immense fabric panels, the souzana, hanging out of cotton, of variable size, sold on all the bazaars of Uzbekistan . These embroidered fabrics were intended to cover the bed with the young grooms and it was one of parts essential of the dowry which the woman brought to her marriage. Thereafter, they were used as wall panels. Covered with traditional reasons, the symbols represented varied according to the areas, but always had a protective role.
The national emblem of Uuzbekistan is Humo, a divine bird which draws its origins in the Iranian legends. Tamerlane is obviously the legendary figure of Uzbekistan. Statues, streets, public gardens, museums held his name through all the country and replaced the unavoidable avenues of Karl Marx or Lenine during the Soviet time.
The national flag of Uzbekistan is composed of three horizontal bands: blue, white and green, separated from two red edgings. In the left corner, on the blue tape, are reproduced a crescent of the moon and twelve stars for the twelve months of the year of independence. Blue points out the color of the banner of Tamerlan. The white symbolizes the purity and peace, and the green band is the color of Islam.
The national anthem of Uzbekistan was written just after independence by Abdullah Aripov and the music was composed by Mutal Burkhonov. It praises the merits of the country and its inhabitants, proud to have been born there and to live there in peace...
Festivals and public holidays
January 1st: New Year.
March 8th: Celebrates of the woman.
March 21st: Navrouz. Spring celebrates, which holds place of new Eastern year.
First week of May: Festival of "Silk and Spices" in Bukhara .
May 9th: day of the victory over Fascism. Processions and commemorations.
September 1st: Celebration of independence.
1st Octobre: Teachers day.
December 8th: The day of the Constitution.
Variable dates: Iyid Al Hitir ; at the end of the Ramadan.
The dishes are different from Occident, but the dishes are tasty. The national dish of Uzbekistan is osh or pilov, is prepared from jumped rice and meat. According to the regions there are various types of pilov. For example in Bukhara the rice is not jumped but boiled. In the valley of Ferghana, it is accompanied by vine leaves stuffed with meat and onions. Elsewhere, it will be decorated of garlic, chickpeas or dry grapes. The dish is traditionally cooked Sunday, like for all the special occasions: Navrouz (New Year's Day), end of the Ramadan, marriage, anniversary. In the Chayhana of the bazaars, it's possible to eat every midday.
For 7 persons
- 1 kg of rice
- 500g beef or lamb or mutton
- 150 to 200 g of chick-pea
- 0,5 l cotton oil, sunflower or colza
- 3 or 4 onions
- 400g of carrots
- Spices like pepper, cumin, thyme, etc
Make soak chick-peas in cold water during 10 to 12h. Cut carrots in sticks, meat in pieces and onions in thin slices.
Make return meat in oil heat during 15 minutes in a cauldron. Add onions and cook during 3 to 4 minutes. Add crossed carrots and cook during 15 minutes. After watering and salting let it boils. Put rice in the cauldron and add water with height of the phalange of the indicator.
Make fire lower and cook during 20 -25 minutes until the evaporating of water and let cook about 15 minutes.
Draw up in a great plate all the ingredients together or separated: rice after carrots and finally the meat.
The other culinary speciality is the chachlik, literally "six pieces". They are skewers made up of six pieces of meat and fat, or only of fat. The most common are cooked with meat of sheep, but it's also possible to find some with ox or chicken. The kebabs - roast meat - are sides of meat chopped, moulded with the hand around the skewer. . Chachliks and kebabs are eaten accompanied by onion to the vinegar. The meat is slightly spiced or scented with coriander.
Lastly, the bazaars abound in other specialities uzbeks. Most current are the laghmans , long noodles which are eaten with soup or jumped, the manty , large raviolis cooked with the vapor and stuffed with meat and onion. The chuchvara are also raviolis, but which furnished with carrot or pumpkin. The bechbarmak, a speciality of the nomads kazakhs, is made with boiled meat of sheep or ox and pieces of liver and served with onions, potatoes and noodles.
In September and October, the bazaars are filled with fruits and vegetables of excellent savour, whose majority come from the fertile valley of Ferghana . It is also the season of melon, water melons and pumpkins. In the bazaars, when Kovun Sayli , the celebration of melon beat its full, the election of the best products of the country is organised.
Green and black tea is a beverage which use the most part of inhabitant of Uzbekistan. Served at any hour of the day, as a welcome or a goodbye, or the right to spend time. Tea time is a time of rest and it obeys a whole ceremony on its offering. It is beforehand versed three times in a cup and transfered each time to the teapot. These three repetitions symbolize loy: the clay, moy: the grease and tchai: the tea or the water. The first seals thirst, the second isolated from the cold and of the danger, the third extinguishes fire. The cups are never filled, which would mean that it is time, for the guest, to leave. To fill a cup is very badly perceived by that which receives it. The left hand is considered like impure. The teapot or the cups must be taken or given by the right hand. Vodka is the second drink in Uzbekistan, a little less traditional, but also present.