Samarkand – one of the oldest cities in the world (2750 years) – “Pearl of the East”, as it was called chroniclers and poets of antiquity – is located on the territory of the Zarafshan River Basin ( “gold bearing”).

The founder of this Samarkand is a huge settlement of Afrasiab, named by the ancient Greeks Marakanda. Here in the middle of the 1st millennium BC there was the ancient city, which was destroyed in the IV century BC armies of Alexander the Great. In the VIII century, rebuilt the city was again destroyed by the troops of the Arab Caliphate, but revived to life. After the invasion of hordes of Genghis Khan in the XIII century, Afrasiab ceased to exist and the residents moved to the south-west of it, on the territory of the present Samarkand.

The heyday of the medieval town is connected with the rule of Amir Temur (Tamerlane – 1370-1405gg), Selected Samarkand the capital of his vast empire, which included Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, parts of India, the entire territory of the present Central Asia and were in vassal depending on Egypt, Syria, Turkey, the Golden Horde, Mogolistan (territory of present Kyrgyzstan). In the XVI century, it became the capital of the Bukhara and Samarkand during the following centuries, as well as the entire territory of Central Asia, has experienced a period of feudal disintegration. In 1868 the city was occupied by Russian colonial troops and entered in the newly created Zeravshan district of the Turkestan governor general . During this period, there are built houses of European style built, parks, squares and boulevards. Since 1924 year by 1930 year – the capital of Soviet Uzbekistan. Now Samarkand – the second largest and by number of universities city in the country with a population of over 500 000 people.

Basic historical architectural objects

  • Registan square – ensemble of three madrasah (Ulugbek madrasah-XV c., Tilla-Kari madrasah-XVII c., Sher-Dor madrasah-XVII c.)
  • Gur-Emir mausoleum – family crypt of Timuride Dynasty (XV c.)
  • Ulugbek’s museum and the remains of observatory (XV c.)
  • Shakhi-Zinda necropolis ensemble (XI-XIX cc.)
  • Bibi-Khanum mosque (XV c.)

Optional tours:

  • Ak-Saray mausoleum (XV c.)
  • Rukhabad mausoleum (XIV c.)
  • Hodja Daniyar mausoleum (Saint Daniil – XIV-XIX cc.)
  • Abdi-Darun ensemble (XII-XX cc.)
  • Ishrat-khana mausoleum (XV c.)
  • Historical museum at the settlement Afrosiab (was formed by I c. B.C.)
  • Museum of History of Culture and Arts of Uzbekistan
  • City tour


Samarkand region – was established in 1938 year.
Area – 16.77 thousand km2
The administrative center is the city of Samarkand (354 km from Tashkent).

The region is located in the basin, surrounded by spurs of Zeravshansky (from the South) and Turkestan (from the North) ridges, in the valley of the Zeravshan River.
The climate of the region is sharply continental: mild winters with small frosts and dry, hot summers.
Agriculture of the region is represented by cotton growing, horticulture, vegetable growing, viticulture, tobacco growing, cocoon production, and beekeeping.
In the cultivation of fruits, grapes and production of kishmish, the region takes the leading place in the republic.
On the Northern and Southern foothills are extensive pastures, which contributes to the development of meat and dairy cattle breeding. The livestock of cattle in this region occupies a leading position in Uzbekistan. The leading role is played by the Samarkand region in the development of karakul breeding. In Samarkand there is a research institute of karakul breeding.
The basis of the region’s economy is a giant industrial-agrarian complex.
In the bowels of the region, gypsum, limestone, granite, marble, clay for expanded clay, brick raw materials, gravel are mined.

The leading position in the industry is in the heavy and mining industries. Well-established production of household and freight elevators, household electrical appliances, building materials. Machine building, metalworking, chemical, food industries, porcelain and earthenware production are widely represented. The light industry is focused on ginning, sewing, silk-winding and silk-weaving, knitted, shoe and other enterprises.

In the food industry, wine-vodka, canning, tea-growing tobacco enterprises operate.
Samarkand is an important air, railway and automobile hub of the republic.
Higher education in the region is represented by the State University, 5 institutes, branches of Moscow universities

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