UZBEKISTAN CITIES Tashkent Tashkent (Uzbek: Toshkent, Тошкент; Russian: Ташкент, literally "Stone City"; English pronunciation: /ˌtæʃˈkent/, Russian pronunciation: [taʃˈkʲent]) is the capital of Uzbekistan and of the Tashkent Province. The officially registered population of the city in 2008 was 2.1 million. Unofficial sources estimate the actual population may be as much as 4.45 million.
In pre-Islamic and early Islamic times the town and the province were known as "Chach". The Shahnameh of Ferdowsi also refers to the city as Chach. Later the town came to be known as Chachkand/Chashkand, meaning "Chach City". (Tash in Turkic language means stone. Kand, qand, kent, kad, kath, kud—all meaning a city—are derived from the Persian/Sogdian کنده kanda, meaning a town or a city. They are found in city names like Samarkand, Yarkand, Penjikent, Khujand etc.).
After the 16th century, the name was steadily changed slightly from Chachkand/Chashkand to Tashkand, which, as "stone city", was more meaningful to the new inhabitants than the old name. The modern spelling of Tashkent reflects Russian orthography.
Tashkent started as an oasis on the Chirchik River, near the foothills of the West Tian Shan Mountains. In ancient times, this area contained Beitian, probably the summer "capital" of the Kangju confederacy.
The principality of Chach, whose main town had a square citadel built around the 5th to 3rd centuries BC, some 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south of the Syr Darya River. By the 7th century AD, Chach had over 30 towns and a network of over 50 canals, forming a trade center between the Sogdians and Turkic nomads. The region came under the sway of Islam in the early parts of the 8th century.
The Buddhist monk Xuánzàng 玄奘 [602/603? - 664 CE] mentioned the name of the city as Zhěshí 赭時. The Chinese chronicles Suí shū 隋書 (Book of Suí), Běi shǐ 北史 (History of Northern Dynasties) and Táng shū 唐書 (Book of Táng) mention a possession called Shí 石 or Zhěshí 赭時 with a capital of the same name since the fifth century AD [Bichurin, 1950. v. II].
Under the Samanid dynasty, the city came to be known as Binkath. However, the Arabs retained the old name of Chach for the surrounding region, pronouncing it al-Shash instead. The modern Turkic name of Tashkent (City of Stone) comes from Kara-Khanid rule in the 10th century.
Statue of Amir Timur in Tashkent
The city was destroyed by Genghis Khan in 1219, although the great conqueror had found that the Khorezmshah had already sacked the city in 1214. Under the Timurids and subsequent Shaybanid dynasties the city revived, despite occasional attacks by the Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Persians, Mongols, Oirats and Kalmyks.
In 1809, Tashkent was annexed to the Khanate of Kokand. At the time, Tashkent had a population of around 100,000 and was considered the richest city in Central Asia. It prospered greatly through trade to Russia, but chafed under Kokand’s high taxes. The Tashkent clergy also favored the clergy of Bukhara over that of Kokand. However, before the Emir of Bukhara could capitalize on this discontent, the Russian army arrived.
In May, 1865, Mikhail Grigorevich Chernyayev (Cherniaev), acting against the direct orders of the tsar, and outnumbered at least 15-1 staged a daring night attack against a city with a wall 25 kilometers (16 mi) long with 11 gates and 30,000 defenders. While a small contingent staged a diversionary attack, the main force penetrated the walls, led by a Russian Orthodox priest armed only with a crucifix. Although defense was stiff, the Russians captured the city after two days of heavy fighting and the loss of only 25 dead as opposed
to several thousand of the defenders (including Alimqul, the ruler of the Kokand Khanate). Chernyayev, dubbed the "Lion of Tashkent" by city elders, staged a "hearts-and-minds" campaign to win the population over. He abolished taxes for a year, rode unarmed through the streets and bazaars meeting common people, and appointed himself "Military Governor of Tashkent", recommending to Tsar Alexander II that the city be made an independent khanate under Russian protection.
The Tsar liberally rewarded Chernyayev and his men with medals and bonuses, but regarded the impulsive general as a "loose cannon", and soon replaced him with General Konstantin Petrovich von Kaufman. Far from being granted independence, Tashkent became the capital of the new territory of Russian Turkistan, with Kaufman as first Governor-General. A cantonment and Russian settlement were built across the Ankhor Canal from the old city, and Russian settlers and merchants poured in. Tashkent was a center of espionage in the Great Game rivalry between Russia and the United Kingdom over Central Asia. The Turkestan Military District was established as part of the military reforms of 1874. The Trans-Caspian Railway arrived in 1889, and the railway workers who built it settled in Tashkent as well, bringing with them the seeds of Bolshevik Revolution.
Impact of the Russian revolution
With the fall of the Russian Empire, the provisional government removed all civil restrictions based on religion and nationality, contributing to local enthusiasm for the February Revolution. The Tashkent Soviet of Soldiers' and Workers' Deputies was soon set up, but primarily represented Russian residents, who made up about a fifth of the Tashkent population. Muslim leaders quickly set up the Tashkent Muslim Council (Tashkand Shura-yi-Islamiya) based in the old city. On 10 March 1917, there was a parade with Russian workers marching with red flags, Russian soldiers singing the La Marseillaise and thousands of local Central Asians. Following various speeches, Governor-General Aleksey Kuropatkin closed the vents with words "Long Live a great free Russia". The First Turkestan Muslim Conference in Tashkent 16–20 April 1917. Like the Muslim Council this was dominated by the Jadid, Muslim reformers. However, a more conservative faction emerged in Tashkent centered around the Ulema. This faction proved more successful during the local elections of July 1917. They formed an alliance with Russian conservatives, while the Soviet became more radical. The Soviet attempt to seize power in September 1917 proved unsuccessful.
In April 1918, Tashkent became the capital of the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Turkestan ASSR). The new regime was threatened by White forces, basmachi, revolts from within, and purges ordered from Moscow. Tashkent fell within the borders of the Uzbek SSR, and became the capital of the Uzbek SSR in 1930, displacing Samarkand.
The city began to industrialize in the 1920s and 1930s, but industry increased tremendously during World War II, with the relocation of factories from western Russia to preserve the Soviet industrial capacity from the invading Nazis. The Russian population increased dramatically as well, with evacuees from the war zones increasing the population to well over a million. The Russians and Ukrainians would eventually comprise more than half of the total residents of Tashkent.
On 26 April 1966, Tashkent was destroyed by a huge earthquake (7.5 on the Richter scale) and over 300,000 were left homeless. Some 78,000 poorly engineered homes were destroyed mainly in the densely packed areas of the old city where traditional adobe housing predominated. The Soviet republics and some other countries such as Finland sent "battalions of fraternal peoples” and urban planners to help rebuild devastated Tashkent. They created a “model Soviet city” of wide shady streets, parks, immense plazas for military parades, fountains, monuments, and acres of apartment blocks. About 100,000 new homes were built by 1970, many of which were filled with the families of the builders. Further development in the following years increased the size of the city with major new developments in the Chilonzar area, north-east and south-east of the city.
Memorial to victims of the 1966 earthquake
At the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Tashkent was the fourth largest city in the country and a center of learning in the science and engineering fields.
With the 1966 earthquake and the Soviet redevelopment afterward, very little is left of Tashkent's ancient
history, including its significance as a trading point on the historic Silk Road.
Capital of Uzbekistan
At the moment, it is the most cosmopolitan city in Uzbekistan, with large ethnic Russian minority. The city is noted for its tree lined streets, numerous fountains, and pleasant parks. As capital of the nation, it has also been the target of several terrorist attacks since Uzbekistan gained independence, which the government has attributed to Islamic fundamentalists.
Since 1991, the city has changed economically, culturally, and architecturally. The largest statue ever erected for Lenin was replaced with a globe, complete with a geographic map of Uzbekistan over it. Buildings from the Soviet era have been replaced with new, modern buildings. One example is the "Downtown Tashkent" region, which includes the 22-storey NBU Bank building, an Intercontinental Hotel, International Business Center, and the Plaza Building.
In 2007, Tashkent was named the cultural capital of the Islamic world as the city is home to numerous historic mosques and religious establishments.
Tashkent 41°18′N 69°16′E is situated in a well-watered plain to the west of the last Altai mountains on the road between Shymkent and Samarkand. Tashkent sits at the confluence of the Chirchik river and several of its tributaries and is built on deep alluvial deposits up to 15 metres (49 ft). The city is located in a lively tectonic area suffering large numbers of tremors and some earthquakes. One earthquake in 1966 measured 7.5 on the Richter scale. The local time in Tashkent is UTC/GMT +5 hours.
Tashkent has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa) with long, hot and dry summers from May to September and short but cold winters from December to February. The climate has continental influences, and features two peaks of precipitation in the early winter and spring. The slightly unusual precipitation pattern is partially due to the 500 m (roughly 1600 feet) altitude that the city features. The temperatures in Tashkent can be extremely hot during July and August. Most precipitation occurs in the months of winter and spring, while the period between July and September is dry.
Andijan Andijan or Andizhan (Uzbek: Andijon / Андижон; Russian: Андижан) is the fourth-largest city in Uzbekistan, and the capital of the Andijan Province. It is located in the east of the country, at 40°47′N 72°20′E, in the Fergana Valley, near the border with Kyrgyzstan on the Andijan-Say River. It has a population of 323,900 (1999 census estimate).
Arab geographers from the tenth century and later give the name as Andiyon, Andukan, Andugan, and Andigan. The etymology is unknown; the traditional explanation links it to the Turkic tribal name Andi.
Andijan was an important stop on the Silk Road, lying roughly mid-way between Kashgar and Khodjend. Destroyed by Genghis Khan, it was rebuilt by his grandson Kaidu Khan in the late 13th century, and became the capital of Ferghana for the next three centuries. It is perhaps best known as the birthplace of Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur (Babur), who founded the Mughal dynasty that ruled much of today's India, Pakistan, and South Asia, born in 1483.
The city was the center and flashpoint of the Andijan Uprising of 1898, in which the followers of Sufi leader Madali Ishan attacked the Russian barracks in the city, killing 22 and injuring 16-20 more. In retaliation, 18 of the participants were hanged and 360 exiled.
On December 12, 1902, much of the city was leveled by a severe earthquake, which destroyed up to 30,000 homes in the region, and killed as many as 4,500 residents.
Andijan during and after Soviet rule.
During the Soviet Union, Andijan was separated from its historical hinterland when the present borders were created, dividing Ferghana Valley between three separate Soviet republics. Andijan itself became part of the Uzbek SSR. The borders did not make a great deal of difference during the Soviet period, as the entire region was developed to grow cash crops such as cotton and silk.
During World War II many Soviet citizens were evacuated to Andijan and the surrounding republics.
In the 1990s, though, the Andijan and the surrounding region became much more unstable. Poverty and an upsurge in Islamic fundamentalism produced tensions in the region which resulted in riots in Andijan on May 2, 1990 in which the homes of Jews and Armenians were attacked. The town, and the region as a whole, suffered a severe economic decline following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Repeated border closures badly damaged the local economy, worsening the already widespread poverty of Andijan's inhabitants. Islamic fundamentalists established a presence in the city. In May 2003, a local man named Azizbek Karimov was arrested and accused of carrying out terrorist bombings on behalf of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. He was convicted and executed in April 2004.
May 2005 Massacre
Main article: Andijan massacre
On May 13, 2005, Uzbekistan's military opened fire on a mass of people who were protesting against poor living conditions and corrupt government. Estimated casualties range from 187 to 5,000. The government of Uzbekistan first blamed the murders on terrorists, but after the requests for independent investigations by Western countries, the government acknowledged its fault. The number of killed people is disputed, as no independent investigations were allowed
Andijan is an industrial center in an irrigated area that produces fruits, cotton, Uzbek Ikat and silk.
Bukhara Bukhara (Persian: بُخارا; Tajik: Бухоро; Uzbek: Buxoro / Бухоро), from the Soghdian βuxārak ("lucky place"), is the capital of the Bukhara Province (viloyat) of Uzbekistan. The nation's fifth-largest city, it has a population of 263,400 (2009 census estimate). The region around Bukhara has been inhabited for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time. Located on the Silk Road, the city has long been a center of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion. The historic center of Bukhara, which contains numerous mosques and madrassas, has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Ethnic Tajiks constitute the majority in Bukhara, but the city long had a population including Jews and other ethnic minorities as well.
ranian-speaking Soghdians inhabited the area, and some centuries later the Persian language became dominant among them. Encyclopædia Iranica mentions that the name Bukhara is possibly derived from the Soghdian βuxārak (Place of Good Fortune). Another possible source of the name Bukhara may be an evolution of the Sanskrit word Vihara (monastery), and may be linked to the predominance of Buddhism before the rise of Islam in the 8th century AD.
Muhammad ibn Jafar Narshakhi in his History of Bukhara (completed 943-44 CE) mentions:
Bukhara has many names. One of its name was Numijkat. It has also been called "Bumiskat". It has 2 names in Arabic. One is "Madinat al Sufriya" meaning - "the copper city" and another is "Madinat Al Tujjar" meaning - "The city of Merchants". But, the name Bukhara is more known than all the other names. In Khorasan, there is no other city with so many names.
Fitzroy Maclean, then a young diplomat in the British Embassy in Moscow, made a surreptitious visit to Bokhara in 1938, sight-seeing and sleeping in parks. In his memoir Eastern Approaches, he judged it an "enchanted city", with buildings that rivalled "the finest architecture of the Italian Renaissance".
Pоi Kаlоn Complex (12-14 century)
left: Mir-i Arab Madrassah; center: Minâra-i Kalân; right: Masjid-i Kalân
Kalyan or Kalon Minor (Great Minaret)
The title Po-i Kalan (also Poi Kalân, Persian پای کلان meaning the "Grand Foundation"), belongs to the architectural complex located at the base of the great minaret Kalân.
Kalyan minaret. More properly, Minâra-i Kalân, (Pesian/Tajik for the "Grand Minaret"). It is made in the form of a circular-pillar brick tower, narrowing upwards, of 9 meters (29.53 ft) diameter at the bottom, 6 meters (19.69 ft) overhead and 45.6 meters (149.61 ft) high. Also known as the Tower of Death, as for centuries criminals were executed by being tossed off the top.
Kalân Mosque (Masjid-i Kalân), arguably completed in 1514, is equal to the Bibi-Khanym Mosque in Samarkand in size. Although they are of the same type of building, they are absolutely different in terms of art of building.
Mir-i Arab Madrassah. There is little known about its origin, although its construction is ascribed to Sheikh Abdullah Yamani of Yemen, the spiritual mentor of early Shaybanids. He was in charge of donations of Ubaidollah Khan (gov. 1533-1539), devoted to construction of madrasah.
Ismail Samani mausoleum
The Ismail Samani mausoleum (9th-10th century), one of the most esteemed sights of Central Asian architecture, was built in the 9th century (between 892 and 943) as the resting-place of Ismail Samani - the founder of the Samanid dynasty, the last Persian dynasty to rule in Central Asia, which held the city in the 9th and 10th centuries. Although in the first instance the Samanids were Governors of Khorasan and Ma wara'u'n-nahr under the suzerainty of the Abbasid Caliphate, the dynasty soon established virtual independence from Baghdad.
Chashma-Ayub is located near the Samani mausoleum. Its name in Persian means Job's spring due to the legend according to which Job (Ayub) visited this place and brought forth a spring of water by the blow of his staff on the ground. The water of this well is still pure and is considered healing. The current building was constructed during the reign of Timur and features a Khwarazm-style conical dome uncommon in Bukhara.
Phoenix on the portal of Nadir Divan-Beghi madrasah (part of Lab-i Hauz complex)
The Lab-i Hauz (or Lab-e hauz, Persian: لب حوض, meaning by the pond) Ensemble (1568–1622) is the name of the area surrounding one of the few remaining hauz (ponds) in the city of Bukhara. Until the Soviet period there were many such ponds, which were the city's principal source of water, but they were notorious for spreading disease and were mostly filled in during the 1920s and 1930s. The Lyab-i Hauz survived because it is the centrepiece of a magnificent architectural ensemble, created during the 16th and 17th centuries, which has not been significantly changed since. The Lyab-i Hauz ensemble, surrounding the pond on three sides, consists of the Kukeldash Madrasah (1568–1569), the largest in the city (on the north side of the pond), and of two religious edifices built by Nadir Divan-Beghi: a khanaka(1620), or lodging-house for itinerant Sufis, and a madrasah (1622) that stand on the west and east sides of the pond respectively.
The M37 highway connects the city to most of the major cities in Turkmenistan including Ashgabat.
The population of the city mainly consists of Persian-speaking Tajiks. Along with Samarkand, Bukhara is one of the two major centres of Central Asia's Tajik population, even though both cities are located outside of modern Tajikistan.
Until the 20th century, Bukhara was also home to the Bukharian Jews, whose ancestors settled in the city during Roman times. Most Bukharian Jews left Bukhara between 1925 and 2000 and resettled in Israel.
Poetry and literature
Being a cultural magnet, Bukhara has long appeared in much local and Persian literature. Many examples can be sought.
ای بخارا شاد باش و دیر زی
Oh Bukhara! Be joyous and live long!
شاه زی تو میهمان آید همی
Your King comes to you in ceremony.
Dehkhoda defines the name Bukhara itself as meaning "full of knowledge", referring to the fact that in antiquity, Bukhara was a scientific and scholarship powerhouse. Rumi verifies this when he praises the city as such:
آن بخارا معدن دانش بود
"Bukhara was a mine of knowledge,
پس بخاراییست هرک آنش بود
Of Bukhara is he who possesses knowledge."
In the Italian romantic epic Orlando innamorato by Matteo Maria Boiardo, Bukhara is called Albracca and described as a major city of Cathay. There, within its walled city and fortress, Angelica and the knights she has befriended make their stand when attacked by Agrican, emperor of Tartary. As described, this siege by Agrican resembles the historic siege by Genghis Khan in 1220.
Fergana Coordinates: 40°23′11″N 71°47′11″EFergana (Uzbek: Farg'ona/Фарғона; Persian: فرغانه Farghāneh; Russian: Фергана́) is a city (population: 214,000), the capital of Fergana
Province in eastern Uzbekistan, at the southern edge of the Fergana Valley in southern Central Asia, cutting across the borders of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Fergana is about 420 km east of Tashkent, and about 75 km west of Andijan.
The fertile Fergana Valley was an important conduit on the Silk Roads (more precisely the North Silk Road), which connected the ancient Chinese capital of Xi'an to the west over the Wushao Ling Mountain Pass to Wuwei and emerging in Kashgar before linking to ancient Parthia, or on to the north of the Aral and Caspian Seas to ports on the Black Sea.
The ancient kingdom referred to as Dayuan (大宛, "Great Yuan", literally "Great Ionians") in the Chinese chronicles is now generally accepted as being in the Ferghana Valley. It is sometimes, though less commonly, written as Dawan (大宛) Dayuan were Greeks, the descendants of the Greek colonists that were settled by Alexander the Great in Ferghana in 329 BCE, and prospered within the Hellenistic realm of the Seleucids and Greco-Bactrians, until they were isolated by the migrations of the Yuezhi around 160 BCE. It has been suggested that the name "Yuan" was simply a transliteration of the words “Yona”, or “Yavana”, used throughout antiquity in Asia to designate Greeks (“Ionians”). Their capital was Alexandria Eschate.
The earliest Chinese visitor was the ambassador Zhang Qian, who passed through on his way to visit the Da Yuezhi or 'Great Yuezhi' c. 127/126 BCE. The Shiji, Chap. 123 says:
Dayuan lies southwest of the territory of the Xiongnu, some 10,000 li [4,158 km] directly west of China. The people are also settled on the land, plowing the fields and growing rice and wheat. They also make wine out of grapes. The region has many fine horses which sweat blood;[apparently due to skin parasites which caused sores] their forebears are supposed to have been foaled from heavenly horses. The people live in houses in fortified cities, there being some seventy or more cities of various sizes in the region.
The population numbers several hundred thousand. The people fight with bows and spears and can shoot from horseback. Dayuan is bordered on the north by Kangju, on the west by the kingdom of the Great Yuezhi, on the southwest by Daxia (Bactria), on the northeast by the land of the Wusun, and on the east by Yumi (Keriya) and Yutian (Khotan)."
Da Yuan appears as a powerful state in both the Shiji and the Hanshu. However, after Xian, king of Yarkand, conquered it about the middle of the 1st century CE, it gradually lost importance. The Hou Hanshu adds that Da Yuan sent tribute and offerings to the Chinese court in 130 CE along with Kashgar and Yarkand. After that, it is referred to as Liyi 栗弋 (preferably read Suyi 粟弋), and is specifically stated to be a dependency of Kangju.
By the time of the Weilüe (in the 3rd century CE), the old capital, Alexandria Eschate (modern Khujand), had become a separate kingdom called 'Northern Wuyi.'
Zoroastrian literature identifies the area as the Zoroastrian homeland. Fergana also played a central role in the history of the Mughal dynasty of South Asia in that Omar Sheikh Mirza, chieftain of Farghana, was the father of Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur (1483–1530), founder of the Mughal dynasty in India. At Mirza's death in 1498, Babur became chief, although he was still a minor.
During the expansion of Russia in the nineteenth century the Russians invaded Turkistan, gradually taking it over between 1855 and 1884. They took the capital of the Kokand Khanate in 1873 and included it within what was named the Fergana province of the Russian empire.
Modern Fergana city was founded in 1876 as a garrison town and colonial appendage to Margelan (13.5 miles to the northwest) by the Russians. It was initially named New Margelan (Новый Маргелан), then renamed Skobelev (Скобелев) in 1910 after the first Russian military governor of Fergana Valley. In 1924, after the Bolshevik reconquest of the region in 1918–1920, the name was changed to Fergana, after the province of which it was the centre. The Fergana canal was constructed in the 1930s.
Fergana’s wide, orderly tree-shaded avenues and attractive blue-washed 19th century tsarist colonial-style houses are said to mimic the appearance of pre-modern and pre-earthquake Tashkent. There is a high proportion of Russian, Soviet Koreans and Tatar inhabitants compared to other Fergana Valley cities. With Russian as the primary language, the city has a distinctly different feel from most Uzbek cities. It retains an air of Soviet-era, pre-independence Uzbekistan.
Museum of Local Studies – with displays of natural history, photographs, and local handicrafts
Regional Theatre – in 1877 the house of General Mikhail “Old Bloody Eyes” Skobelev
Fergana has been a center for oil production in the Fergana Valley since the region's first oil refinery was built near the city in 1908. Since then, more refineries have been added, and Fergana is one of the most important centers of oil refining in Uzbekistan. Natural gas from western Uzbekistan is transported by pipeline to the valley, where it is used to manufacture fertilizer. The Great Fergana Canal, built almost entirely by hand during the 1930s, passes through the northern part of the city and completed in 1939. During its construction, the canal and the city was widely photographed by the noted photographer Max Penson. With a western loan Fergana is able to modernize its refinery and also reduce air pollution emissions.
Guliston Guliston also spelled as Gulistan (Uzbek: Guliston / Гулистoн; Russian: Гулистан), formerly known as Mirzachul (Russian: Мирзачуль, until 1961), is the capital of Sirdarya Province in eastern Uzbekistan. It lies in the southeastern part of the Mirzachül (formerly Golodnaya) steppe, 75 miles (120 km) southwest of Tashkent. It has an approx. population of 53,745. The main industry in the area is cottonpicking.
Djizak or Dzhizak (Uzbek: Jizzax / Жиззах; Russian: Джизак) is a city (population 138,400 in 2004) and the center of Jizzakh Province in Uzbekistan, northeast of Samarkand.
Jizzakh was an important Silk Road junction on the road connecting Samarkand with Fergana Valley. It is at the edge of Golodnaya Steppe, and next to the strategic Pass of Jilanuti (Timur's Gate) in the Turkestan Mountains, controlling the approach to the Zeravshan Valley, Samarkand and Bukhara.
The name Jizzakh derives from the Sogdian word for "small fort" and the present city is built of the site of the Sogdian town of Osrūshana. After the Arab conquest of Sogdiana, Jizzakh served as a market town between the nomadic raiders and settled farmers. The Arabs built a series of rabats (blockhouses) at Jizzakh, housing ghazis to protect the people. By the 19th century, these blockhouses had evolved into a major fortress for the Emirate of Bukhara. Russian General Mikhail Chernyayev, the “Lion of Tashkent” failed in his first attempt to take Jizzakh, but succeed in his second try, with a loss of 6 men, against 6000 dead for the defenders. The old town was mostly destroyed, its remaining inhabitants evicted, and Russian settlers brought in.
In 1916, Jizzakh was the center of an anti-Russian uprising, which was quickly suppressed. In 1917, Jizzakh most famous native son, Sharof Rashidov, future secretary of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan, was born.
Modern Jizzakh is quietly tree-lined European, with almost nothing remaining of the pre-Rashidov era. The city has two universities, with a total of approximately 7,000 students, and is home to a football team, Sogdiana Jizak, which plays in the Uzbek League (Oliy Liga).
Namangan Namangan (Uzbek: Namangan / Наманган; Russian: Наманган) is the third-largest city in Uzbekistan (2006 pop. 432,456.). It is the capital of Namangan Province, in the northern edge of Fergana Valley of north-eastern Uzbekistan.
Namangan is about 300 km east of Tashkent, about 65 km west of Andijan, and about 75 km north of Fergana. It is located at 40.98°N 71.58°E 1561 feet (476 meters) above sea level. The Qoradaryo and Naryn Rivers join together to form the Syr Darya just outside the southern edge of the city.
Namangan was originally a settlement of the native turkish population of Central-Asia. After the destructive earthquake in Akhsikanth city, the population of the city moved to Namangan.
Namangan was known to have been a settlement in the 15th century and a part of the Khanate of Kokand by the middle of the 18th century. It takes its name from the local salt mines (in Persian: نمککان namak kan). At the time of the Russian occupation, Namangan was a center of Islamic learning, with 20 madrassahs and over 600 mosques. After annexation by the Russians in 1876, cotton production and food processing became the dominant economic activity. Namangan suffered a destructive earthquake in 1926. The primary language of the people of the Namangan region is Uzbek; Tajik is spoken partially in Chust and Kasan-sai districts.
Since Uzbekistan independence in 1991, Namangan has gained a reputation for Islamic awakening, with many mosques and schools funded by charity organizations from Middle Eastern countries, including, conservative Wahabi sect from Saudi Arabia. This has also translated into political opposition against the secular government of Uzbekistan. Some women have discarded traditional colorful scarves for large white veils or even the black paranja.
Navoiy Navoiy also spelled as Navoi (Uzbek: Navoiy / Навоий; Russian: Навои) is a city (pop 125,800 in 2007) and the capital of Navoiy Province in the southwestern part of Uzbekistan. It is located at latitude 40° 5' 4N; longitude 65° 22' 45E, at an altitude of 382 meters.
Originally known as Kermine ("Karmana") under the Emirate of Bukhara, the city was re-founded in 1958, under the name of the great Uzbek poet and statesman Alisher Navoi, who wrote in Persian and Chaghatai at the court of Emir Husein Boykara (or Husayn Bayqaro) in Herat.
Navoiy Region has large stocks of natural gas and deposits of precious metals, as well as large stocks of raw materials for production of construction materials. Among these enterprises are Navoi and Zarafshan Gold Mining and Metallurgical Complexes, which extract one of the purest gold in the world. The enterprise NavoiyAzot is the largest producer of mineral fertilizers in the country.
Navoiy Free Industrial Economic Zone (FIEZ)
According to the Decree of the President of Uzbekistan, Free Industrial Economic Zone (FIEZ) with special conditions for foreign investments have already created in Navoi Province of Uzbekistan, in the area of Navoiy
FIEZ is designed to promote a wide range of high-tech and internationally competitive production using modern high-efficiency equipment, technological lines and units, as well as latest innovations. The operation period of FIEZ is 30 years with possible prolongation.
Business entities registered in FIEZ will enjoy exceptional customs, currency and tax regulations, simplified procedure for entry, stay and obtaining of work permit for non-resident citizens. They shall be exempt from paying land, property, income, development of social infrastructure, single payment (for small businesses) taxes, mandatory payments to Republic’s Road Fund and Fund of School Education, depending on the amount of direct investments: from 3 to 10 million euros - for 7 years; from 10 to 30 million euros - for 10 years, with reduction of profit and unified tax payment rates by 50% in the next 5 years; more than 30 million euros - for 15 years, with reduction of profit and unified tax payment rates by 50% in the next 10 years. Along with this, business entities will be exempted from paying customs duties (excluding charges for customs clearance) for equipment, raw materials and components imported for the production of export oriented goods. They will be able to make payments in foreign currency within the FIEZ, as well as to use convenient terms of payments for exported and imported goods.
Coordination and management of FIEZ activity will be carried out by Administrative Council composed of representatives of state bodies and zone administration. The Council can select international company to manage the zone on a contract basis. It is envisaged to create a FIEZ development fund aimed to support infrastructure development.
Navoi province is located in the central part of Uzbekistan, being one of the largest industrial centres of the country. The province possesses rich minerals and raw materials resources – Muruntau gold-bearing field, silica sand fields (of more than 1.5 billion tons), deposits of granite (1.9 billion cubic meters), marble
(420 million cubic meters), phosphorites (1.5 billion tons) and many others.
Navoi Mining and Metallurgy Combinat – the biggest enterprise of the province, is included in top ten largest world producers of uranium and gold (9999 standard). Gold bars produced by the Combinat are awarded with the status of “optimal gold delivery” by London Precious Metals Market and Tokyo Commodities Exchange. Along with mining, the province’s economy is based on production of building materials, chemical, textile and food industries.
40 foreign investment enterprises operate in Navoi province. Most of them are established with participation of investors from USA, China, Russia and the United Kingdom – Uzbek-British Joint Venture “Amantaytau-Goldfields” is successfully working in the province.
The Zone will be located at a distance of 800 meters from the highway E-40, 1,8 km from the cargo terminal of Navoiy Airport, connected to international railway routes towards countries of Europe (via Russia), South Asia (via China), Middle East and the Gulf (via Iran). The distance to the nearest water and gas distribution centres is 800 m, electrical station - 8 km. In August 2010, Hanjin Group (the parent of Korean Air) opened a new cargo terminal at Navoiy Airport
Nukus developed from a small settlement in 1932 into a pleasant, modern Soviet city with broad avenues and big public buildings; however, the city's isolation made it host to the Red Army's Chemical Research Institute, a major research and testing center for chemical warfare weapons.
With the fall of the Soviet Union and the growing environmental disaster of the Aral Sea, the city's situation has deteriorated. Contamination of the surrounding area by wind-borne salt and pesticides from the dry Aral Sea bed have turned the surrounding area into a wasteland, with very high rates of respiratory disorders, cancer, birth defects and deformities.
The panoramic view of Nukus
Nukus is host to the Nukus Museum of Art (also known as the State Art Museum of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, named after Igor V. Savitsky) and State Museum. The State Museum houses the usual collection of artifacts recovered from archaeological investigations, traditional jewelry, costumes and musical instruments, but more interestingly, displays of the area's now vanished or endangered flora and fauna, and on the Aral Sea issue. The Art Museum is noted for its collection of modern Russian and Uzbek art from 1918-1935. Stalin tried his best to eliminate all non Soviet art from this period, and sent most of the artists to the gulag. Both Savitsky himself and the collection at Nukus survived because of the city's remoteness.
Nukus is also home to the Progress Center, Central Asia's finest English-language institute. Housed in a former Komsomol meeting hall, the institute has received major funding from.
Samarkand History of Iran
see also Kings of Persia · Timeline of IranBefore Common Era
Sajid dynasty 889/890–929
Saffarid dynasty 861–1003
Samanid dynasty 875–999
Ziyarid dynasty 928–1043
Buyid dynasty 934–1062
Ghaznavid Empire 963–1187
Ghori dynasty 1149–1212
Seljuq dynasty 1037–1194
Khwarezmid dynasty 1077–1231
Samarkand (Uzbek: Samarqand; Tajik: Самарқанд; Persian: سمرقند; from Sogdian: "Stone Fort" or "Rock Town") is the second-largest city in Uzbekistan and the capital of Samarqand Province. The city is most noted for its central position on the Silk Road between China and the West, and 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 remains one of the city's most notable landmarks. The Registan was the ancient centre of the city.
There are several theories regarding the name of Samarkand. Persian theories claim that Samarkand derives its name from the Old Persian asmara, "stone", "rock", and Sogdian kand, "fort", "town". Or more closely refers to the meaning: "SAMAR"-"Yard" and "KAND"-"Sugar Cubes" from Persian language.
In 1939 Samarkand had a population of 134,346, and in 2005 an urban population of 384,000, mostly Persian-speaking Tajiks. Uzbeks form a sizable minority. Along with Bukhara, Samarkand is one of the historical centers of the Tajik people in Central Asia.
Samarkand is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, prospering from its location on the trade route between China and the Mediterranean (Silk Road). At times Samarkand has been one of the greatest cities of Central Asia.
Founded circa 700 BC by the Sogdians, Samarkand has been one of the main centres of Iranian civilization from its early days. It was already the capital of the Sogdian satrapy under the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia when Alexander the Great conquered it in 329 BC. The Greeks referred to Samarkand as Maracanda. Samarkand – Crossroads of Culture*
UNESCO World Heritage Site
State Party Uzbekistan
Criteria i, ii, iv
Inscription 2001 (25th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.
Downtown with Bibi Khanym mosque
View of the Registan at night
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest (except at the time of early Sassanids, such as Shapur I). In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks
At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came under Arab control. Under Abbasid rule, the legend goes, the secret of papermaking was obtained from two Chinese prisoners from the Battle of Talas in 751, which led to the first paper mill in the Islamic world being founded in Samarkand. The invention then spread to the rest of the Islamic world, and from there to Europe.
From the 6th to the 13th century it grew larger and more populous than modern Samarkand and was controlled by the Western Turks, Arabs (who converted the area to Islam), Persian Samanids, Kara-Khanid Turks, Seljuk Turks, Kara-Khitan, and Khorezmshah before being sacked by the Mongols under Genghis Khan in 1220. A small part of the population survived, but Samarkand suffered at least one other Mongol sack by Khan Baraq to get treasure he needed to pay an army with. The town took many decades to recover from these disasters.
In The Travels of Marco Polo, where Polo records his journey along the Silk Road, Samarkand is described as a "a very large and splendid city..." Here also is related the story of a Christian church in Samarkand, which miraculously remained standing after a portion of its central supporting column was removed.
14th century. In 1365, a revolt against Mongol control occurred in Samarkand.
In 1370, Timur the Lame, decided to make Samarkand the capital of his empire, which extended from India to Turkey. During the next 35 years he built a new city and populated it with artisans and craftsmen from all of the places he had conquered. Timur gained a reputation as a patron of the arts and Samarkand grew to become the centre of the region of Transoxiana. During this time the city had a population of about 150,000.
Between 1424 and 1429, the great astronomer Ulugh Beg built the Samarkand Observatory. The sextant was 11 metres long and once rose to the top of the surrounding three storey structure although it was kept underground to protect it from earthquakes. Calibrated along its length, it was the world’s largest 90 degree quadrant at the time. However, the observatory was destroyed by religious fanatics in 1449.
See also: Russian Turkestan
In 1500 the Uzbek Turks took control of Samarkand. The Shaybanids emerged as the Uzbek leaders at or about this time.
In the second quarter of 16th century, the Shaybanids moved their capital to Bukhara and Samarkand went into decline. After an assault by the Persian king, Nadir Shah, the city was abandoned in the 18th century, about 1720 or a few years later.
From 1599 to 1756, Samarkand was ruled by the Ashtarkhanid dynasty of Bukhara.
From 1756 to 1868, Samarkand was ruled by the Manghyt emirs of Bukhara.
The city came under Russian rule after the citadel had been taken by a force under Colonel Konstantinovich Petrovich Kaufman in 1868. Shortly thereafter the small Russian garrison of 500 men were themselves besieged. The assault, which was led by Abdul Malik Tura, the rebellious elder son of the Bukharan Emir, and Bek of Shahrisabz, was beaten off with heavy losses. Alexander Abramov, became the first Governor of the Military Okrug which the Russians established along the course of the Zeravshan River, with Samarkand as the administrative centre. The Russian section of the city was built after this point, largely to the west of the old city.
In 1886 the city became the capital of the newly formed Samarkand Oblast of Russian Turkestan and grew in importance still further when the Trans-Caspian railway reached the city in 1888. It became the capital of the Uzbek SSR in 1925 before being replaced by Tashkent in 1930.
Urgench Urgench (Uzbek: Urganch / Урганч; Persian: گرگانج / Gorganch; Russian: Ургенч) is a city (1999 pop. 139,100) in western Uzbekistan. It is the capital of the Khorezm Province, on the Amu Darya River and the Shavat canal. The city is situated 450 km west of Bukhara across the Kyzyl Kum Desert. It is located at latitude 41° 32' 60N longitude 60° 37' 60E, at an altitude of 91 meters.
The history of the city goes back to the second half of the 18th century. The city should not be confused with the like-named city of Konya-Urgench (also known as "Old Urgench" or "Gurgench") in Turkmenistan. The city of Old Urgench was relocated to Urgench after the Amu Darya river changed its course in the 16th century, leaving the old town high and dry and without water. New Urgench was a trade center of the Khanate of Khiva.
Modern Urgench is a Soviet-style city, with a plethora of Soviet monuments and cotton motifs adorning every object possible, from street lights to apartment houses. Of note is a monument to the twenty Komsomol members killed by Tekke basmachi on the banks of the Syr Darya in 1922, and a large statue to Muhammed al-Khwarizmi, the 9th century local mathematician who revolutionised algebra, outside the
Hotel Urgench. A flat, drab place, this hotel is the main gateway for tourists to Khiva 35 kilometres to the southeast, whose old city, known as Itchan Kala, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Qarshi (Uzbek: Qarshi / Қарши; Persian: نخشب; Mongolian: Харш; Russian: Карши) is a city in southern Uzbekistan. It is the capital of Qashqadaryo Province and has a population of 197,600 (1999 census estimate). It is about 520 km south-southwest of Tashkent, and about 335 km north of Uzbekistan's border with Afghanistan. It is located at latitude 38° 51' 48N; longitude 65° 47' 52E at an altitude of 374 meters. The city is important in natural gas production, but Qarshi is also famous for its production of woven flat carpets.
Originally the Sogdian city of Nakhshab, and the Islamic Persian city of Nasaf, Qarshi was the second city of the Emirate of Bukhara. It is in the center of a fertile oasis that produces wheat, cotton, and silk and was a stop on the 11 day caravan route between Balkh and Bukhara. The Chagatai Mongol khans Kebek and Qazan built palaces here on the site of Genghis Khan's summer pasture. In 1364, Timur also built a fortified palace with moats in what is now the southern part of the city. The modern name "Qarshi" means fort.
With the decline of Shahrisabz in the 18th century, Qarshi grew in importance, and was the seat of the Crown Prince to the Emirate of Bukhara. The city had a double set of walls, 10 caravanserais and 4 madrassahs during this time. By 1868, the Russians had annexed the Zarafshan Valley, and in 1873, the treaty turning Bukhara into a Russian protectorate was signed in Qarshi, much to the dismay of the Emir's son, Abdul Malik, who took to the hills in rebellion.
In the early 1970s, the first section of a major irrigation project was completed to divert water from the Amu Darya River in Turkmenistan eastward into Uzbekistan in order to irrigate the land surrounding Qarshi. Almost all of these irrigated lands around Qarshi are planted with cotton.