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fa, سمرقند , native_name_lang = , settlement_type = City , image_skyline = , image_alt = , image_caption =
Clockwise from the top:
The
Registan The Registan was the heart of the ancient city of Samarkand fa, سمرقند , native_name_lang = , settlement_type = City , image_skyline = , image_alt = , image_cap ...

Registan
, necropolis, Hazrat-Hyzr Mosque,
Gur-e-Amir The Gūr-i Amīr or Guri Amir ( fa, گورِ امیر) is a mausoleum of the Persianate Turco-Mongol tradition, Turco-Mongol conqueror Timur (also known as Tamerlane) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. It occupies an important place in the history of Centr ...
,
Bibi-Khanym Mosque The Bibi-Khanym Mosque ( uz, Bibi-Xonim masjidi; fa, مسجد بی بی خانم); also variously spelled as Khanum, Khanom, Hanum, Hanim) is one of the most important monuments of Samarkand fa, سمرقند , native_name_lang = ...

Bibi-Khanym Mosque
.
, image_flag = , flag_alt = , image_seal = Emblem of Samarkand.svg , seal_alt = , image_shield = , shield_alt = , etymology = , nickname = , motto = , image_map = , map_alt = , map_caption = , pushpin_map = Uzbekistan#West Asia#Asia , pushpin_map_alt = , pushpin_mapsize = 300 , pushpin_map_caption = Location in Uzbekistan , pushpin_label_position = , pushpin_relief = 1 , coordinates = , coor_pinpoint = , coordinates_footnotes = , subdivision_type = Country , subdivision_name = , subdivision_type1 =
Vilayat File:Ottoman Empire Administrative Divisions.png, The Vilayets of the Ottoman Empire around 1317 Hijri, 1899 Gregorian A vilayet (; french: vilaïet or vilayet (''eparchia''), eparchy; or Νομαρχία (''nomarchia''), nomarchy * lad, provinsiy ...

Vilayat
, subdivision_name1 = Samarkand Vilayat , subdivision_type2 = , subdivision_name2 = , subdivision_type3 = , subdivision_name3 = , established_title = Settled , established_date = 8th century BCE , founder = , seat_type = , seat = , government_footnotes = , government_type = City Administration , governing_body = Hakim (Mayor) , leader_party = Furqat Rahimov , leader_title = , leader_name = , leader_title1 = , leader_name1 = , leader_title2 = , leader_name2 = , leader_title3 = , leader_name3 = , leader_title4 = , leader_name4 = , unit_pref = Metric , area_footnotes = , area_urban_footnotes = , area_rural_footnotes = , area_metro_footnotes = , area_magnitude = , area_note = , area_water_percent = , area_rank = , area_blank1_title = , area_blank2_title = , area_total_km2 = 120 , area_land_km2 = , area_water_km2 = , area_urban_km2 = , area_rural_km2 = , area_metro_km2 = , area_blank1_km2 = , area_blank2_km2 = , area_total_ha = , area_land_ha = , area_water_ha = , area_urban_ha = , area_rural_ha = , area_metro_ha = , area_blank1_ha = , area_blank2_ha = , length_km = , width_km = , dimensions_footnotes = , elevation_footnotes = , elevation_m = 705 , population_as_of = 1 January 2019 , population_footnotes = , population_total = 513,572 , population_density_km2 = auto , population_metro = 950,000 , population_note = , population_demonym = Samarkandian / Samarkandi , timezone1 = , utc_offset1 = +5 , timezone1_DST = , utc_offset1_DST = , postal_code_type = Postal code , postal_code = 140100 , area_code_type = , area_code = , iso_code = , website
samarkand.uz
(in English) , footnotes = , official_name = , module = Samarkand (; uz, Samarqand, ; tg, Самарқанд; fa, سمرقند), also known as Samarqand, is a city in southeastern
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan (, ; uz, Ozbekiston, ), officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( uz, Ozbekiston Respublikasi), is a landlocked country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land ...

Uzbekistan
and among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an area ...

Central Asia
. There is evidence of human activity in the area of the city from the late
Paleolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic or Palæolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek wikt:παλαιός, palaios - old, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of ...
Era, though there is no direct evidence of when Samarkand was founded; several theories propose that it was founded between the 8th and 7th centuries BCE. Prospering from its location on the
Silk Road The Silk Road () was and is a network of trade route A trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. The term can also be used to refer to trade over bodies of ...

Silk Road
between
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different countries, the in the world after . Covering an area of ap ...

China
and
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
, at times Samarkand was one of the largest cities of Central Asia.Guidebook of history of Samarkand", Most of the inhabitants of this city are Persian-speaking and speak the Tajik Persian dialect. This city is one of the historical centers of the Tajik people in Central Asia, which in the past was one of the important cities of the great empires of
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
. By the time of the
Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and offi ...

Achaemenid Empire
of
Persia Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Tu ...

Persia
, it was the capital of the
Sogdia Sogdia () ( Sogdian: soɣd) or Sogdiana was an ancient Iranian civilization that at different times included territory located in present-day Uzbekistan Uzbekistan (, ; uz, Ozbekiston, ), officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( uz, Ozbekis ...
n
satrap Satraps () were the governors of the provinces of the ancient Medes, Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as in the Sasanian Empire and the Hellenistic period, Hellenistic empires. The satrap served as viceroy to ...
y. The city was conquered by
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (') of the kingdom of and a member of the . He was born in in 356 BC and succeeded his ...

Alexander the Great
in 329 BCE, when it was known as Markanda, which was rendered in
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
as . The city was ruled by a succession of
Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia ...
and
Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambiguation) ** Turkish language, the most widely spoken Turkic language * T ...
rulers until it was conquered by the
Mongols The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") ...

Mongols
under
Genghis Khan Genghis Khan (August 18, 1227), born Temüjin, was the founder and first () of the , which became the in history after his death. He came to power by uniting many of the s of , and, after being proclaimed the universal , or ''Genghis Khan'', he ...

Genghis Khan
in 1220. Today, Samarkand is the capital of
Samarqand Region Samarqand Region (Samarkand Region) ( uz, Samarqand viloyati, russian: Самаркандская область) is one of the regions of Uzbekistan. It is located in the center of the country in the basin of Zarafshan River. It borders with Tajik ...
and one of the largest cities of Uzbekistan. The city is noted as a centre of
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , ed ...
ic
scholar A scholar is a person who pursues academic and intellectual activities, particularly those that develop expertise in an area of Studying, study. A scholar may also be an academic, who works as a professor, teacher or researcher at a university or ...

scholar
ly study and the birthplace of the
Timurid Renaissance The Timurid Renaissance was a historical period in Asian Asian may refer to: * Items from or related to the continent of Asia: ** Asian people, people in or descending from Asia ** Asian culture, the culture of the people from Asia ** Asian cui ...
. In the 14th century,
Timur Timur ; chg, ''Aqsaq Temür'', 'Timur the Lame') or as ''Sahib-i-Qiran'' ( 'Lord of the Auspicious Conjunction'), his epithet. ( chg, ''Temür'', 'Iron'; 9 April 133617–19 February 1405), later Timūr Gurkānī ( chg, ''Temür Kür ...

Timur
(Tamerlane) made it the capital of his empire and the site of his
mausoleum A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type ...

mausoleum
, the
Gur-e Amir The Gūr-i Amīr or Guri Amir ( fa, گورِ امیر) is a mausoleum A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people. A monument wit ...
. The
Bibi-Khanym Mosque The Bibi-Khanym Mosque ( uz, Bibi-Xonim masjidi; fa, مسجد بی بی خانم); also variously spelled as Khanum, Khanom, Hanum, Hanim) is one of the most important monuments of Samarkand fa, سمرقند , native_name_lang = ...

Bibi-Khanym Mosque
, rebuilt during the
Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sovere ...
era, remains one of the city's most notable
landmark A landmark is a recognizable natural or artificial feature used for navigation Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another.Bowditch, 2003:7 ...

landmark
s. Samarkand's
Registan The Registan was the heart of the ancient city of Samarkand fa, سمرقند , native_name_lang = , settlement_type = City , image_skyline = , image_alt = , image_cap ...

Registan
square was the city's ancient centre and is bounded by three monumental religious buildings. The city has carefully preserved the traditions of ancient crafts:
embroidery Embroidery is the craft A craft or trade is a pastime or an occupation that requires particular skills and knowledge of skilled work. In a historical sense, particularly the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages ...

embroidery
, goldwork,
silk Silk is a natural fiber, natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be weaving, woven into textiles. The protein fiber of silk is composed mainly of fibroin and is produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoon (silk), cocoons. The be ...

silk
weaving,
copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductility, ductile metal with very high thermal conductivity, thermal and electrical conductivity. A fre ...

copper
engraving Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard, usually flat surface by cutting grooves into it with a . The result may be a decorated object in itself, as when silver, gold, steel, or are engraved, or may provide an printing pla ...

engraving
,
ceramics A ceramic is any of the various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant Corrosion is a Erosion, natural process that converts a refined metal into a more chemically stable form such as oxide, hydroxide, carbonate or sulfide. It ...

ceramics
,
wood carving Wood carving is a form of woodworking by means of a cutting tool (knife) in one hand or a chisel by two hands or with one hand on a chisel and one hand on a mallet, resulting in a wooden figure or figurine, or in the sculpture, sculptural orna ...

wood carving
, and wood painting. In 2001,
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
added the city to its
World Heritage List A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ha ...
as ''Samarkand – Crossroads of Cultures.'' Modern Samarkand is divided into two parts: the old city, and the new city, which was developed during the days of the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical that extended across and from 1721, succeeding the following the that ended the . The Empire lasted until the was proclaimed by the that took power after the ...
and
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
. The old city includes historical monuments, shops, and old private houses; the new city includes
administrative Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for-profit organization, or government body. Management includes th ...
buildings along with cultural centres and
educational institution An educational institution is a place where people of different ages gain an education, including preschools, childcare, primary-elementary schools, secondary-high schools, and universities. They provide a large variety of learning environments an ...
s.


Etymology

The name comes from Sogdian ''samar'', "
stone A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its chemical composition and the way in which it is formed. Rocks form the Earth's outer solid layer, th ...

stone
, rock" and ''kand'', "
fort A fortification is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, g ...

fort
,
town A town is a human settlement In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth an ...

town
."


History


Early history

Along with
Bukhara Bukhara (; Uzbek language, Uzbek: /; Tajik language, Tajik: Бухоро, ) is the List of cities in Uzbekistan, fifth-largest city in Uzbekistan, with a population of 247,644 , and the capital of Bukhara Region. People have inhabited the region ...

Bukhara
, Samarkand is one of the oldest inhabited cities in
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an area ...

Central Asia
, prospering from its location on the trade route between China and Europe. There is no direct evidence of when it was founded. Researchers at the Institute of Archaeology of Samarkand date the city's founding to the 8th–7th centuries BCE.
Archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better underst ...
excavations conducted within the city limits (Syob and midtown) as well as suburban areas (Hojamazgil, Sazag'on) unearthed 40,000-year-old evidence of human activity, dating back to the
Upper Paleolithic The Upper Paleolithic (or Upper Palaeolithic) also called the is the third and last subdivision of the or Old . Very broadly, it dates to between 50,000 and years ago (the beginning of the ), according to some theories coinciding with the ...
. A group of
Mesolithic The Mesolithic (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

Mesolithic
(12th–7th millennia BCE) archaeological sites were discovered in the suburbs of Sazag'on-1, Zamichatosh, and Okhalik. The Syob and Darg'om
canal Canals are waterways channels Channel, channels, channeling, etc., may refer to: Geography * Channel (geography), in physical geography, a landform consisting of the outline (banks) of the path of a narrow body of water. Australia * ...

canal
s, supplying the city and its suburbs with water, appeared around the 7th–5th centuries BCE (early
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history between the use of the first stone tools by hominins 3.3 million years ago and the ...
). From its earliest days, Samarkand was one of the main centres of
Sogdia Sogdia () ( Sogdian: soɣd) or Sogdiana was an ancient Iranian civilization that at different times included territory located in present-day Uzbekistan Uzbekistan (, ; uz, Ozbekiston, ), officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( uz, Ozbekis ...
n civilization. By the time of the
Achaemenid The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire An empire is a sovereign state consisting of several territories and peoples subj ...

Achaemenid
dynasty of Persia, the city had become the capital of the Sogdian
satrapy Satraps () were the governors of the provinces of the ancient Medes, Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as in the Sasanian Empire and the Hellenistic period, Hellenistic empires. The satrap served as viceroy to ...
.


Hellenistic period

Alexander the Great conquered Samarkand in 329 BCE. The city was known as Maracanda by the Greeks. Written sources offer small clues as to the subsequent system of government; they mention one Orepius who became ruler "not from ancestors, but as a gift of Alexander." While Samarkand suffered significant damage during Alexander's initial conquest, the city recovered rapidly and flourished under the new Hellenic influence. There were also major new construction techniques; oblong bricks were replaced with square ones and superior methods of
masonry Masonry is the building of structures from individual units, which are often laid in and bound together by ; the term ''masonry'' can also refer to the units themselves. The common materials of masonry construction are , building such as , , an ...

masonry
and
plastering Plasterwork is construction Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form Physical object, objects, systems, or organizations,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b. and 1.c. ''Oxford English Dictionary'' Second Edition on CD-ROM (v ...

plastering
were introduced. Alexander's conquests introduced classical Greek culture into Central Asia; for a time, Greek aesthetics heavily influenced local artisans. This Hellenistic legacy continued as the city became part of various successor states in the centuries following Alexander's death, i.e. the
Seleucid Empire The Seleucid Empire (; grc, Βασιλεία τῶν Σελευκιδῶν, ''Basileía tōn Seleukidōn'') was a Greece, Greek state in Western Asia, during the Hellenistic period, Hellenistic Period, that existed from 312 BC to 63 BC. The Sele ...
,
Greco-Bactrian Kingdom The Bactrian Kingdom, known to historians as the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, was a Hellenistic-era Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic ...
, and
Kushan Empire The Kushan Empire ( grc, Βασιλεία Κοσσανῶν; xbc, Κυϸανο, ; Late Brahmi Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia b ...

Kushan Empire
(even though the
Kushana The Kushan Empire ( grc, Βασιλεία Κοσσανῶν; xbc, Κυϸανο, ; Late Brahmi Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia b ...
themselves originated in Central Asia). After the Kushan state lost control of Sogdia during the 3rd century CE, Samarkand went into decline as a centre of economic, cultural, and political power. It did not significantly revive until the 5th century.


Sassanian era

Samarkand was conquered by the Persian
Sassanians The House of Sasan was the house that founded the Sasanian Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians ( Middle Persian: 𐭠𐭩𐭥𐭠𐭭𐭱𐭲𐭥𐭩 '' Ērānshahr''), and called the Neo-Pers ...
c. 260 CE. Under Sassanian rule, the region became an essential site for
Manichaeism Manichaeism (; in New Persian ''Āyīn Mānī''; ) was a major religion founded in the 3rd century AD by the Persian or Parthian prophet Mani () in the Sasanian Empire. Manichaeism taught an elaborate dualistic cosmology describing the s ...
and facilitated the dissemination of the religion throughout Central Asia.


Hephtalites and Turkic Khaganate era

In 350–375 Samarkand was conquered by the nomadic tribes of
Xionites Xionites, Chionites, or Chionitae ( Middle Persian: ''Xiyōn'' or ''Hiyōn''; Avestan: ''Xiiaona''; Sogdian ''xwn''; Pahlavi ''Xyon'') were a nomadic people in Transoxiana and Bactria. The Xionites appear to be synonymous with the Huna peop ...
, the origin of which remains controversial. The resettlement of nomadic groups to Samarkand confirms archaeological material from the 4th century. The culture of nomads from the Middle Syrdarya basin is spreading in the region. In 457-509 Samarkand was part of the
Kidarite The Kidarites, or Kidara Huns, were a dynasty that ruled Bactria Bactria ( Bactrian: , ), or Bactriana, was an ancient region in Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mong ...
state. After the
Hephtalites The Hephthalites ( xbc, ηβοδαλο, translit=Ebodalo), sometimes called the White Huns, were a people who lived in Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the ...
("White Huns") conquered Samarkand, they controlled it until the
Göktürks The Göktürks, Celestial Turks or Blue Turks ( otk, 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, Türük Bodun; zh, 突厥 ''Tūjué''; Wade-Giles: ''T'u-chüeh'') were a nomadic confederation of Turkic peoples in medieval Inner Asia. The Göktürks, un ...
, in an alliance with the Sassanid Persians, won it at the Battle of Bukhara, c. 560 CE. In the middle of the 6th century, a Turkic state was formed in Altai, founded by the Ashina dynasty. The new state formation was named the Turkic Khaganate after the people of the Turks, which were headed by the ruler - the Khagan. In 557-561, the
Hephthalites The Hephthalites ( xbc, ηβοδαλο, translit= Ebodalo), sometimes called the White Huns (also known as the White Hunas, in as the ''Spet Xyon'' and in as the ''Sveta-huna''), were a people who lived in during the 5th to 8th centuries CE. ...

Hephthalites
empire was defeated by the joint actions of the Turks and Sassanids, which led to the establishment of a common border between the two empires. In the early Middle Ages, Samarkand was surrounded by four rows of defensive walls and had four gates. An ancient Turkic burial with a horse was investigated on the territory of Samarkand. It dates back to the 6th century. During the period of the ruler of the Western Turkic Kaganate,
Tong Yabghu Qaghan Tong Yabghu Qaghan (r. 618–628 or 630) (also known as ''T'ung Yabghu'', ''Tong Yabghu Khagan'', and ''Tong Yabğu'', Traditional Chinese 統葉護可汗, Simplified Chinese: 统叶护可汗, pinyin Tǒng Yèhù Kěhán, Wade-Giles: T'ung Yeh-hu K' ...
(618-630), family relations were established with the ruler of Samarkand - Tong Yabghu Qaghan gave him his daughter. Some part of Samarkands have been Christians since the 4th century. In the 5th century, a
Nestorian Nestorianism is a polysemic Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic field. Polysemy is thus ...
chair was established in Samarkand. At the beginning of the 8th century, it was transformed into a Nestorian metropolitanate. Discussions and polemics arose between the Sogdian followers of
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
and
Manichaeism Manichaeism (; in New Persian ''Āyīn Mānī''; ) was a major religion founded in the 3rd century AD by the Persian or Parthian prophet Mani () in the Sasanian Empire. Manichaeism taught an elaborate dualistic cosmology describing the s ...
, reflected in the documents.


Early Islamic era

The armies of the
Umayyad Caliphate The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under ...
under
Qutayba ibn Muslim Abū Ḥafṣ Qutayba ibn Abī Ṣāliḥ Muslim ibn ʿAmr al-Bāhilī ( ar, أبو حفص قتيبة بن أبي صالح مسلم بن عمرو الباهلي; 669–715/6) was an Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِ ...
captured the city from the Turks c. 710 AD. During this period, Samarkand was a diverse religious community and was home to a number of religions, including
Zoroastrianism Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is an Iranian religions, Iranian religion and one of the world's oldest continuously-practiced organized faiths, based on the teachings of the Iranian peoples, Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster (also known as ''Za ...
,
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
,
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, ...

Hinduism
,
Manichaeism Manichaeism (; in New Persian ''Āyīn Mānī''; ) was a major religion founded in the 3rd century AD by the Persian or Parthian prophet Mani () in the Sasanian Empire. Manichaeism taught an elaborate dualistic cosmology describing the s ...
,
Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots as an organized religion ...
, and
Nestorian Christianity The Church of the East ( syc, , ''ʿĒḏtā d-Maḏenḥā''), also called the Persian Church, East Syrian Church, Babylonian Church, Seleucian Church, Edessan Church, Chaldean Church, or the Nestorian Church, was an Eastern Christian Ea ...
, with most of the population following Zoroastrianism. Qutayba generally did not settle Arabs in Central Asia; he forced the local rulers to pay him tribute but largely left them to their own devices. Samarkand was the major exception to this policy: Qutayba established an Arab
garrison Garrison (from the French ''garnison'', itself from the verb ''garnir'', "to equip") is the collective term for any body of troop A troop is a military sub-subunit Sub-subunit or sub-sub-unit is a subordinated element below platoon lev ...

garrison
and Arab governmental administration in the city, its Zoroastrian
fire temple A fire temple, Agiary, Atashkadeh ( fa, آتشکده), Atashgah () or Dar-e Mehr () is the place of worship for the followers of Zoroastrianism Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is one of the world's oldest continuously practiced religion Reli ...

fire temple
s were razed, and a
mosque A mosque (; from ar, مَسْجِد, masjid, ; literally "place of ritual prostration"), also called masjid, is a place of worship for Muslims. Any act of worship that follows the Salah, Islamic rules of prayer can be said to create a mosque, w ...

mosque
was built. Much of the city's population converted to Islam. As a long-term result, Samarkand developed into a center of Islamic and Arabic learning. At the end of the 740s, a movement of those dissatisfied with the power of the
Umayyads The Umayyad dynasty ( ar, بَنُو أُمَيَّةَ, Banū Umayya, Sons of Umayya) or Umayyads () were the ruling family of the Muslim Umayyad Caliphate, caliphate between 661 and 750 and later of Al-Andalus, Islamic Iberia in Europe between 7 ...
emerged in the Arab Caliphate, led by the commander
Abu Muslim , image = Abbasid silver dirham in the name of abu Muslim struck at Marv in AH 132 (749-50), The David Collection, Copenhagen (36241672762).jpg , image_size = , caption = Abbasid silver dirham in the name of Abu ...
, who, after the victory of the uprising, became the governor of Khorasan and Maverannahr (750-755). He chose Samarkand as his residence. His name is associated with the construction of a multi-kilometer defensive wall around the city and the palace. Legend has it that during
Abbasid The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islam Islam (;There ar ...
rule, the secret of
papermaking Papermaking is the manufacture of paper and cardboard, which are used widely for printing, writing, and packaging, among many other purposes. Today almost all paper is Pulp and paper industry, made using industrial machinery, while handmade pape ...
was obtained from two
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
prisoners from the
Battle of Talas The Battle of Talas or Battle of Artlakh (; ar, معركة نهر طلاس, translit=maerakat nahr talas, Nastaliq: ) was a military engagement between the Abbasid, Abbasid Caliphate along with its ally, the Tibetan Empire, against the Chinese ...

Battle of Talas
in 751, which led to the foundation of the first
paper mill A paper mill is a factory A factory, manufacturing plant or a production plant is an industrial Industrial may also refer to: Industry * Industrial archaeology, the study of the history of the industry * Industrial engineering, engineering ...
in the Islamic world at Samarkand. The invention then spread to the rest of the Islamic world and thence to Europe. Abbasid control of Samarkand soon dissipated and was replaced with that of the
Samanids People A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established ...
(875–999), though the Samanids were still nominal vassals of the Caliph during their control of Samarkand. Under Samanid rule the city became a capital of the Samanid dynasty and an even more important node of numerous trade routes. The Samanids were overthrown by the
Karakhanids The Kara-Khanid Khanate (), also known as the Karakhanids, Qarakhanids, Ilek Khanids or the Afrasiabids (), was a Turkic khanate A khaganate or khanate was a political entity ruled by a khan, khagan Khagan or Qaghan ( otk, 𐰴𐰍 ...
around 999. Over the next 200 years, Samarkand would be ruled by a succession of
Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambiguation) ** Turkish language, the most widely spoken Turkic language * T ...
tribes, including the
Seljuqs The Seljuk dynasty, or Seljuks ( ; fa, آل سلجوق ''Al-e Saljuq'', alternatively spelled as Seljuqs or Saljuqs), also known as Seljuk Turks, Seljuk Turkomans "The defeat in August 1071 of the Byzantine emperor Romanos Diogenes by the Turkom ...
and the
Khwarazmshahs Khwarazmshah was an ancient title used regularly by the rulers of the Central Asian region of Khwarazm starting from the Late Antiquity until the advent of the Mongol invasions and conquests, Mongols in the early 13th-century, after which it was use ...
. The 10th-century Iranian author Istakhri, who travelled in
Transoxiana Transoxiana or Transoxania is an ancient name referring to a region and civilization located in lower roughly corresponding to modern-day eastern , , southern and southern . Geographically, it is the region between the rivers to its south and ...
, provides a vivid description of the natural riches of the region he calls "Smarkandian Sogd":
I know no place in it or in Samarkand itself where if one ascends some elevated ground one does not see greenery and a pleasant place, and nowhere near it are mountains lacking in trees or a dusty steppe... Samakandian Sogd... xtendseight days travel through unbroken greenery and gardens... . The greenery of the trees and sown land extends along both sides of the river .. and beyond these fields is pasture for flocks. Every town and settlement has a fortress... It is the most fruitful of all the countries of Allah; in it are the best trees and fruits, in every home are gardens, cisterns and flowing water.


Kara-Khanid Khanate, Karakhanid (Ilek-Khanid) period (11th-12th centuries)

After the fall of the
Samanids People A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established ...
state in the year 999, it was replaced by the Qarakhanid State, where the Turkic Qarakhanid dynasty ruled.Kochnev B. D., Numizmaticheskaya istoriya Karakhanidskogo kaganata (991—1209 gg.). Moskva «Sofiya», 2006 After the state of the Qarakhanids split into 2 parts, Samarkand became a part of the West Karakhanid Kaganate and in 1040-1212 was its capital. The founder of the Western Qarakhanid Kaganate was Ibrahim Tamgach Khan (1040-1068). For the first time, he built a madrasah in Samarkand with state funds and supported the development of culture in the region. During his reign, a public hospital (bemoristan) and a madrasah were established in Samarkand, where medicine was also taught. The memorial complex was founded by the rulers of the Karakhanid dynasty in the 11th century. The most striking monument of the Qarakhanid era in Samarkand was the palace of Ibrahim ibn Hussein (1178-1202), which was built in the citadel in the 12th century. During the excavations, fragments of monumental painting were discovered. On the eastern wall, a Turkic warrior was depicted, dressed in a yellow caftan and holding a bow. Horses, hunting dogs, birds and periodlike women were also depicted here.


Mongol period

The Mongols Mongol conquest of Khwarezmia#Samarkand, conquered Samarkand in 1220. Ata-Malik Juvayni, Juvaini writes that Genghis killed all who took refuge in the citadel and the mosque, pillaged the city completely, and conscription, conscripted 30,000 young men along with 30,000 craftsmen. Samarkand suffered at least one other Mongol sack by Baraq (Chagatai Khan), Khan Baraq to get treasure he needed to pay an army. It remained part of the Chagatai Khanate (one of four Mongol successor realms) until 1370. ''The Travels of Marco Polo, The Travels'' of Marco Polo, where Polo records his journey along the Silk Road in the late 13th century, describes Samarkand as "a very large and splendid city..." The Yenisei area had Semu#Similar practices in other areas of the Mongol Empire, a community of weavers of Chinese origin, and Samarkand and Outer Mongolia both had artisans of Chinese origin, as reported by Qiu Chuji, Changchun. After Genghis Khan conquered Central Asia, foreigners were chosen as governmental administrators; Chinese and Qara-Khitays (Khitans) were appointed as co-managers of gardens and fields in Samarkand, which Muslims were not permitted to manage on their own. The khanate allowed the establishment of Christian bishoprics (see below).


Timur's rule (1370-1405)

Ibn Battuta, who visited in 1333, called Samarkand "one of the greatest and finest of cities, and most perfect of them in beauty." He also noted that the orchards were supplied water via ''norias''. In 1365, a revolt against Chagatai Mongol control occurred in Samarkand. In 1370 the conqueror
Timur Timur ; chg, ''Aqsaq Temür'', 'Timur the Lame') or as ''Sahib-i-Qiran'' ( 'Lord of the Auspicious Conjunction'), his epithet. ( chg, ''Temür'', 'Iron'; 9 April 133617–19 February 1405), later Timūr Gurkānī ( chg, ''Temür Kür ...

Timur
(Tamerlane), the founder and ruler of the Timurid Empire, made Samarkand his capital. Over the next 35 years, he rebuilt most of the city and populated it with great artisans and craftsmen from across the empire. Timur gained a reputation as a patron of the arts, and Samarkand grew to become the centre of the region of
Transoxiana Transoxiana or Transoxania is an ancient name referring to a region and civilization located in lower roughly corresponding to modern-day eastern , , southern and southern . Geographically, it is the region between the rivers to its south and ...
. Timur's commitment to the arts is evident in how, in contrast with the ruthlessness he showed his enemies, he demonstrated mercy toward those with special artistic abilities. The lives of artists, craftsmen, and architects were spared so that they could improve and beautify Timur's capital. Timur was also directly involved in construction projects, and his visions often exceeded the technical abilities of his workers. The city was in a state of constant construction, and Timur would often order buildings to be done and redone quickly if he was unsatisfied with the results. By his orders, Samarkand could be reached only by roads; deep ditches were dug, and walls in circumference separated the city from its surrounding neighbors. At this time, the city had a population of about 150,000.''Columbia-Lippincott Gazetteer'', p. 1657 Henry III of Castile, Henry III's ambassador Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo, who was stationed at Samarkand between 1403 and 1406, attested to the never-ending construction that went on in the city. "The Mosque which Timur had built seemed to us the noblest of all those we visited in the city of Samarkand. "


Ulugbek's period (1409-1449)

In 1417-1420, Timur's grandson Ulugbek built a madrasah in Samarkand, which became the first building in the architectural ensemble of Registan. Ulugbek invited a large number of astronomers and mathematicians of the Islamic world to this madrasah. Under Ulugbek Samarkand became one of the world centers of medieval science. Here, in the first half of the 15th century, a whole scientific school arose around Ulugbek, uniting prominent astronomers and mathematicians - Giyasiddin Jamshid Kashi, Kazizade Rumi, al-Kushchi. Ulugbek's main interest in science was astronomy. In 1428, the construction of the Ulugbek observatory was completed. Her main instrument was the wall quadrant, which had no equal in the world.


16th - 18th centuries

In 1500, nomadic Uzbeks, Uzbek warriors took control of Samarkand. The Shaybanids emerged as the city's leaders at or about this time. In 1501, Samarkand was finally taken by Muhammad Shaybani from the Uzbek dynasty of Shaybanids, and the city became part of the newly formed “Bukhara Khanate”. Samarkand was chosen as the capital of this state, in which Muhammad Shaybani Khan was crowned. In Samarkand, Muhammad Shaybani Khan ordered to build a large madrasah, where he later took part in scientific and religious disputes. The first dated news about the Shaybani Khan madrasah dates back to 1504 (it was completely destroyed during the years of Soviet power). Muhammad Salikh wrote that Sheibani Khan built a madrasah in Samarkand to perpetuate the memory of his brother Mahmud Sultan.Mukminova R. G., K istorii agrarnykh otnosheniy v Uzbekistane XVI veke. Po materialam «Vakf-name». Tashkent. Nauka. 1966 Fazlallah ibn Ruzbihan in "Mikhmon-namei Bukhara" expresses his admiration for the majestic building of the madrasah, its gilded roof, high hujras, spacious courtyard and quotes a verse praising the madrasah. Zayn ad-din Vasifi, who visited the Sheibani-khan madrasah several years later, wrote in his memoirs that the veranda, hall and courtyard of the madrassah are spacious and magnificent. Abdulatif Khan, the son of Mirzo Ulugbek's grandson Kuchkunji Khan, who ruled in Samarkand in 1540-1551, was considered an expert in the history of Maverannahr and the Shibanid dynasty. He patronized poets and scientists. Abdulatif Khan himself wrote poetry under the literary pseudonym Khush. During the reign of the Ashtarkhanid Imamkuli-Khan (1611-1642) famous architectural masterpieces were built in Samarkand. In 1612-1656, the governor of Samarkand, Yalangtush Bahadur, built a cathedral mosque, Tillya-Kari madrasah and Sherdor madrasah. After an assault by the Afsharid dynasty, Afshar Shahanshah Nader Shah, the city was abandoned in the early 1720s. From 1599 to 1756, Samarkand was ruled by the Astrakhan Khanate, Ashtrakhanid branch of the Khanate of Bukhara. File:Rajasthan3.jpg, Ulugh Beg Madrasah File:Rajasthan.jpg, Sher-Dor Madrasah File:Registan Tillya-Kari madrasah2014.JPG, Tilya Kori Madrasah Ulugh-beg Madrassa courtyard.JPG, Ulugh Beg Madrasah courtyard File:Lion(or tiger) on the Sher-dor madrassa.JPG, Tiger on the Sher-Dor Madrasah iwan


Second half of the 18th - 19th centuries

From 1756 to 1868, it was ruled by the Manghud Emirs of Emirate of Bukhara, Bukhara.''Columbia-Lippincott Gazetteer''. p. 1657 The revival of the city began during the reign of the founder of the Uzbek dynasty, the Mangyts, Muhammad Rakhim (1756-1758), who became famous for his strong-willed qualities and military art. Muhammad Rakhimbiy made some attempts to revive Samarkand.


Russian Tzarist period

The city came under imperial Russian rule after the citadel had been taken by a force under Colonel Konstantin Petrovich von Kaufman in 1868. Shortly thereafter the small Russian garrison of 500 men were themselves Siege of Samarkand (1868), besieged. The assault, which was led by Abdul Malik Tura, the rebellious elder son of the Emirate of Bukhara, Bukharan Emir, as well as Baba Bey, Beg of Shahrisabz and Jura Beg of Kitab, Uzbekistan, Kitab, was repelled with heavy losses. General Alexander Konstantinovich 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 west of the old city. In 1886, the city became the capital of the newly formed Samarkand Oblast of Russian Turkestan and regained even more importance when the Trans-Caspian railway reached it in 1888.


Soviet period

Samarkand was the capital of the Uzbek SSR from 1925 to 1930 before being replaced by Tashkent. During World War II, after Nazi Germany Operation Barbarossa, invaded the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
, a number of Samarkand's citizens were sent to Smolensk to Battle of Smolensk (1941), fight the enemy. Many were German mistreatment of Soviet prisoners of war, taken captive or killed by the Nazis."Soviet Field of Glory"
Additionally, thousands of refugees from the occupied western regions of the USSR fled to the city and it served as one of the main hubs for the fleeing civilians in the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic and the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
as a whole. The scientific study of the history of Samarkand begins after the conquest of Samarkand by the Russian Empire in 1868. The first studies of the history of Samarkand belong to N. Veselovsky, V. Bartold and V. Vyatkin. In the Soviet period, the generalization of materials on the history of Samarkand was reflected in the two-volume "History of Samarkand" edited by the academician of Uzbekistan Ibraghim Muminov. On the initiative of Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Uzbek SSR I. Muminov and with the support of Sharaf Rashidov, the 2500th anniversary of Samarkand was widely celebrated in 1970. In this regard, a monument to Mirzo Ulugbek was opened, the Museum of the History of Samarkand was founded, a 2-volume history of Samarkand was prepared and published. After Uzbekistan gained independence, several monographs were published on the ancient and medieval history of Samarkand.


Geography

Samarkand is located in southeastern Uzbekistan, in the Zarefshan River valley, 135 km from Qarshi. Road M37 connects Samarkand to
Bukhara Bukhara (; Uzbek language, Uzbek: /; Tajik language, Tajik: Бухоро, ) is the List of cities in Uzbekistan, fifth-largest city in Uzbekistan, with a population of 247,644 , and the capital of Bukhara Region. People have inhabited the region ...

Bukhara
, 240 km away. Road M39 connects it to Tashkent, 270 km away. The Tajikistan border is about 35 km from Samarkand; the Tajik capital Dushanbe is 210 km away from Samarkand. Road M39 connects Samarkand to Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan, which is 340 km away.


Climate

Samarkand has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification ''Csa'') that closely borders on a semi-arid climate (''BSk'') with hot, dry summers and relatively wet, variable winters that alternate periods of warm weather with periods of cold weather. July and August are the hottest months of the year, with temperatures reaching and exceeding . Precipitation is sparse from December through April. January 2008 was particularly cold; the temperature dropped to


People

According to official reports, a majority of Samarkand's inhabitants are Uzbeks, who are a Turkic people. However, most "Uzbeks" are in fact Tajiks, who are an Iranian people, even though their passports list their ethnicity as Uzbek. Approximately 70% of Samarkand residents are Tajik language, Tajik (Persian language, Persian)-speaking Tajiks.Karl Cordell, "Ethnicity and Democratisation in the New Europe", Routledge, 1998. p. 201: "Consequently, the number of citizens who regard themselves as Tajiks is difficult to determine. Tajikis within and outside of the republic, Samarkand State University (SamGU) academic and international commentators suggest that there may be between six and seven million Tajiks in Uzbekistan, constituting 30% of the republic's 22 million population, rather than the official figure of 4.7%(Foltz 1996;213; Carlisle 1995:88).Lena Jonson (1976) "Tajikistan in the New Central Asia", I.B.Tauris, p. 108: "According to official Uzbek statistics there are slightly over 1 million Tajiks in Uzbekistan or about 3% of the population. The unofficial figure is over 6 million Tajiks. They are concentrated in the Sukhandarya, Samarqand and Bukhara regions."Richard Foltz. A History of the Tajiks. Iranians of the East. London: I.B. Tauris, 2019 Tajiks are especially concentrated in the eastern part of the city, where the main architectural landmarks are. According to various independent sources, Tajiks are Samarkand's majority ethnic group. Ethnic Uzbek people, Uzbeks are the second-largest groupPaul Bergne: ''The Birth of Tajikistan. National Identity and the Origins of the Republic''. International Library of Central Asia Studies. I.B. Tauris. 2007. Pg. 106 and are most concentrated in the west of Samarkand. Exact demographic figures are difficult to obtain since some people in Uzbekistan identify as "Uzbek" even though they speak Tajik language, Tajiki as their first language, often because they are registered as Uzbeks by the central government despite their Tajiki language and identity. As explained by Paul Bergne:
During the census of 1926 a significant part of the Tajik population was registered as Uzbek. Thus, for example, in the 1920 census in Samarkand city the Tajiks were recorded as numbering 44,758 and the Uzbeks only 3301. According to the 1926 census, the number of Uzbeks was recorded as 43,364 and the Tajiks as only 10,716. In a series of kishlaks [villages] in the Khojand Okrug, whose population was registered as Tajik in 1920 e.g. in Asht, Kalacha, Akjar i Tajik and others, in the 1926 census they were registered as Uzbeks. Similar facts can be adduced also with regard to Ferghana, Samarkand, and especially the Bukhara oblasts.
Samarkand is also home to large ethnic communities of "Iranian peoples, Iranis" (the old, Persian language, Persian-speaking, Shia population of Merv city and oasis, deported en masse to this area in the late 18th century), Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Armenians, Azeris, Tatars, Koryo-saram, Koreans, Poles, and Germans, all of whom live primarily in the centre and western neighborhoods of the city. These peoples have emigrated to Samarkand since the end of the 19th century, especially during the Soviet Era; by and large, they speak the Russian language. In the extreme west and southwest of Samarkand is a population of :ru:Среднеазиатские арабы, Central Asian Arabs, who mostly speak Uzbek; only a small portion of the older generation speaks Central Asian Arabic. In eastern Samarkand there was once a large mahallah of Bukharian Jews, Bukharian (Central Asian) Jews, but starting in the 1970s, hundreds of thousands of Jews left Uzbekistan for Israel, United States, Canada, Australia, and
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
. Only a few Jewish families are left in Samarkand today. Also in the eastern part of Samarkand there are several quarters where :ru:Среднеазиатские цыгане, Central Asian "Gypsies" (Lyuli, Djugi, Parya language, Parya, and other groups) live. These peoples began to arrive in Samarkand several centuries ago from what are now India and Pakistan. They mainly speak a dialect of the Tajik language, as well as their own languages, most notably Parya.


Language

The state and official language in Samarkand, as in all Uzbekistan, is the Uzbek language. Uzbek is one of the Turkic languages and the mother tongue of Uzbeks, Turkmens, :ru:Среднеазиатские иранцы, Samarkandian Iranians, and most :ru:Среднеазиатские арабы, Samarkandian Arabs living in Samarkand. About 95% of signs and inscriptions in the city are in Uzbek, mostly in the Uzbek alphabet, Uzbek Latin alphabet). As in the rest of Uzbekistan, the Russian language is the de facto second official language in Samarkand, and about 5% of signs and inscriptions in Samarkand are in this language. Russians, Belarusians, Poles, Germans, Koryo-saram, Koreans, the majority of Ukrainians, the majority of Armenians, Greeks, some Tatars, and some Azerbaijanis in Samarkand speak Russian. Several Russian-language newspapers are published in Samarkand, the most popular of which is ":ru:Самаркандский вестник, Samarkandskiy vestnik" (Russian: ''Самаркандский вестник'' — ''Samarkand Herald''). The Samarkandian TV channel STV conducts some broadcasts in Russian. De facto, the most common native language in Samarkand is Tajik language, Tajik, which is a dialect or variant of the Persian language. Samarkand was one of the cities in which the Persian language developed. Many classical Persian poetry, poets and writers lived in or visited Samarkand over the millennia, the most famous being Ferdowsi, Abulqasem Ferdowsi, Omar Khayyam, Jami, Abdurahman Jami, Rudaki, Abu Abdullah Rudaki, Suzani Samarqandi, and Kamal Khujandi. While the official stance is that Uzbek is the most common language in Samarkand, some data indicate that only about 30% of residents speak it as a native tongue. For the other 70%, Tajik is the native tongue, with Uzbek the second language and Russian the third. However, as no population census has been taken in Uzbekistan since 1989, there are no accurate data on this matter. Despite Tajik being the second most common language in Samarkand, it does not enjoy the status of an official or regional language. Only one newspaper in Samarkand is published in Tajik, in the Tajik alphabet, Cyrillic Tajik alphabet: ":ru:Овози Самарканд, Ovozi Samarqand" (Tajik: ''Овози Самарқанд'' — ''Voice of Samarkand''). Local Samarkandian STV and "Samarqand" TV channels offer some broadcasts in Tajik, as does one regional radio station. In addition to Uzbek, Tajik, and Russian, native languages spoken in Samarkand include Ukrainian language, Ukrainian, Armenian language, Armenian, Azerbaijani language, Azerbaijani, Tatar language, Tatar, Crimean Tatar language, Crimean Tatar, Arabic (for a very small percentage of Samarkandian Arabs), and others.


Religion


Islam

Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , ed ...
entered Samarkand in the 8th century, during the Muslim conquest of Transoxiana, invasion of the Arabs in Central Asia (
Umayyad Caliphate The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under ...
). Before that, almost all inhabitants of Samarqand were Zoroastrians, and many Nestorians and Buddhists also lived in the city. From that point forward, throughout the reigns of many Muslim governing powers, numerous
mosque A mosque (; from ar, مَسْجِد, masjid, ; literally "place of ritual prostration"), also called masjid, is a place of worship for Muslims. Any act of worship that follows the Salah, Islamic rules of prayer can be said to create a mosque, w ...

mosque
s, madrasahs, minarets, [shrine]s, and mausoleums were built in the city. Many have been preserved. For example, there is :ru:Мемориальный комплекс имама Аль-Бухари, the Shrine of Muhammad al-Bukhari, Imam Bukhari, an Ulama, Islamic scholar who authored the History of hadith, hadith collection known as ''Sahih al-Bukhari'', which Sunni Islam, Sunni Muslims regard as one of the most authentic (''Hadith terminology#Ṣaḥīḥ, sahih'') hadith collections. His other books included ''Al-Adab al-Mufrad''. Samarkand is also home to :ru:Мавзолей Абу Мансура Матуриди, the Shrine of Abu Mansur al-Maturidi, Imam Maturidi, the founder of Maturidism and the :ru:Мавзолей Ходжа Дониёр, Mausoleum of the Prophet Daniel, who is revered in
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , ed ...
,
Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots as an organized religion ...
, and
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
. Most inhabitants of Samarkand are Muslim, primarily Sunni Islam, Sunni (mostly Hanafi) and Sufism, Sufi. Approximately 80-85% of Muslims in the city are Sunni, comprising almost all Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Samarqandian Arabs living therein. Samarqand's best-known Islamic sacred lineages are the descendants of Sufi leaders such as Khodja Akhror Wali (1404–1490) and Makhdumi A’zam (1461–1542), the descendants of Sayyid Ata (first half of 14th c.) and Mirakoni Xojas (Sayyids from Mirakon, a village in Iran). The liberal policy of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev opened up new opportunities for the expression of the religious identity. In Samarkand, since 2018, there has been an increase in the number of women wearing the hijab. File:AlBukhari mausoleum.jpg, :ru:Мемориальный комплекс имама Аль-Бухари, Imam Bukhari Shrine File:Imammaturidi.jpg, :ru:Мавзолей Абу Мансура Матуриди, Imam Maturidi Shrine File:Ruhabad.JPG, :ru:Мавзолей Рухабад, Ruhabad Mausoleum File:Nuriddin Basir Mausoleum 1.jpg, :ru:Мавзолей Нуриддина Басира, Nuriddin Basir Shrine File:Mausoleum Khoja Daniyar 5221.JPG, :ru:Мавзолей Ходжа Дониёр, Khoja Daniyar Mausoleum


Shia Muslims

The Samarqand Region, Samarqand Vilayat is one of the two regions of Uzbekistan (along with Buxoro Region, Bukhara Vilayat) that is home to a large number of Shiites. The total population of the Samarqand Vilayat is more than 3,720,000 people (2019); according to some data, about 1  50 thousand are Shiites, mostly Twelver, Shia Twelvers. There are no exact data on the number of Shiites in the city of Samarkand, but the city has several Shiite mosques and madrasas. The largest of these are the Punjabi Mosque, the Punjabi Madrassah, and the Mausoleum of Mourad Avliya. Every year, the Shiites of Samarkand celebrate Ashura, as well as other memorable Shiite dates and holidays. Shiites in Samarkand are mostly :ru:Среднеазиатские иранцы, Samarqandian Iranians, who call themselves ''Irani''. Their ancestors began to arrive Samarkand in the 18th century. Some migrated there in search of a better life, others were sold as slavery, slaves there by Turkmens, Turkmen captors, and others were soldiers who were posted to Samarkand. Mostly they came from Khorasan Province, Khorasan, Mashhad, Sabzevar, Nishapur, and Merv; and secondarily from Iranian Azerbaijan, Zanjan, Iran, Zanjan, Tabriz, and Ardabil. Samarkandian Shiites also include Azerbaijanis, as well as small numbers of Tajiks and Uzbeks. While there are no official data on the total number of Shiites in Uzbekistan, they are estimated to be "several hundred thousand." According to WikiLeaks, in 2007–2008, the United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom held a series of meetings with Sunni mullahs and Shiite imams in Uzbekistan. During one of the talks, the imam of the Shiite mosque in
Bukhara Bukhara (; Uzbek language, Uzbek: /; Tajik language, Tajik: Бухоро, ) is the List of cities in Uzbekistan, fifth-largest city in Uzbekistan, with a population of 247,644 , and the capital of Bukhara Region. People have inhabited the region ...

Bukhara
said that about 300,000 Shiites live in the Bukhara Vliayat and 1 million in the Samarqand Vilayat. The Ambassador slightly doubted the authenticity of these figures, emphasizing in his report that data on the numbers of religious and ethnic minorities provided by the government of Uzbekistan were considered a very "delicate topic" due to their potential to provoke interethnic and interreligious conflicts. All the ambassadors of the ambassador tried to emphasize that traditional Islam, especially Sufism and Sunnism, in the regions of Bukhara and Samarqand is characterized by great religious tolerance toward other religions and sects, including Shiism File:Panjab Shia Mosque in Samarkand.jpg, :ru:Панджоб (мечеть), Panjab Shia Mosque File:Panjab Madrasa in Samarkand.jpg, :ru:Медресе Панджоб, Panjab Shia Madrasa File:Murad Avliya Mausoleum and Courtyard.jpg, :ru:Мавзолей Мурад Авлия, Murad Avliya Shrine


Christianity


History

Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
was introduced to Samarkand when it was part of Soghdiana, long before the penetration of
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , ed ...
into Central Asia. The city then became one of the centres of Nestorianism in
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an area ...

Central Asia
. The majority of the population were then Zoroastrians, but since Samarkand was the crossroads of trade routes among
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different countries, the in the world after . Covering an area of ap ...

China
, Greater Iran, Persia, and
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
, it was religiously tolerant. Under the
Umayyad Caliphate The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under ...
, Zoroastrians and Nestorians were persecuted by the Arabs, Arab conquerors; the survivors fled to other places or converted to Islam. Several Nestorian temples were built in Samarkand, but they have not survived. Their remains were found by archeologists at the ancient site of Afrasiyab (Samarkand), Afrasiyab and on the outskirts of Samarkand. In the three decades of 1329–1359, the :ru:Самаркандская епархия (титулярная), Samarkand eparchy of the Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church served several thousand Catholics who lived in the city. According to Marco Polo and Johann Elemosina, a descendant of Chagatai Khan, Chaghatai Khan, the founder of the Chagatai Khanate, Chaghatai dynasty, Eljigidey, converted to Christianity and was baptized. With the assistance of Eljigidey, the Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist was built in Samarkand. After a while, however, Islam completely supplanted Catholicism. Christianity reappeared in Samarkand several centuries later, from the mid-19th century onward, after the city was seized by the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical that extended across and from 1721, succeeding the following the that ended the . The Empire lasted until the was proclaimed by the that took power after the ...
. Russian Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodoxy was introduced to Samarkand in 1868, and several churches and temples were built. In the early 20th century several more Orthodox cathedrals, churches, and temples were built, most of which were demolished while Samarkand was part of the USSR.


Now

The second-largest religious group in Samarkand after
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , ed ...
is the Russian Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate). More than 5% of Samarkand residents are Orthodox, mostly Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians, and also some Koryo-saram, Koreans and Greeks. Samarkand is the center of the Samarkand branch (which includes the Samarkand Region, Samarkand, Qashqadaryo Region, Qashqadarya, and Surxondaryo Region, Surkhandarya provinces of Uzbekistan) of the :ru:Ташкентская и Узбекистанская епархия, Uzbekistan and Tashkent eparchy of the :ru:Среднеазиатский митрополичий округ, Central Asian Metropolitan District of the Russian Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. The city has several active Orthodox churches: :ru:Собор Святителя Алексия Московского (Самарканд), Cathedral of St. Alexiy Moscowskiy, :ru:Храм Покрова Пресвятой Богородицы (Самарканд), Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin, and :ru:Храм Святого Георгия Победоносца (Самарканд, действующий), Church of St. George the Victorious. There are also a number of inactive Orthodox churches and temples, for example that of :ru:Храм Святого Георгия Победоносца (Самарканд, недействующий), Church of St. George Pobedonosets. There are also a few tens of thousands of Catholic Church, Catholics in Samarkand, mostly Poles, Germans, and some Ukrainians. In the center of Samarkand is St. John the Baptist Church, Samarkand, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, which was built at the beginning of the 20th century. Samarkand is part of the Apostolic Administration of Uzbekistan. The third largest Christian sect in Samarkand is the Armenian Apostolic Church, followed by a few tens of thousands of Armenian Samarkandians. Armenian Christians began emigrating to Samarkand at the end of the 19th century, this flow increasing especially in the Soviet era. In the west of Samarkand is the :ru:Церковь Святой Богородицы (Самарканд), Armenian Church Surb Astvatsatsin. File:Orthodox church in Samarkand 11-09.JPG, :ru:Собор Святителя Алексия Московского (Самарканд), Orthodox Cathedral of St. Alexiy Moscowskiy File:Church Cover Blessed Virgin in Samarkand 12-55.JPG, :ru:Храм Покрова Пресвятой Богородицы (Самарканд), Orthodox Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin File:Church of St. George Victorious Samarkand 08-19.JPG, :ru:Храм Святого Георгия Победоносца (Самарканд, действующий), Orthodox Church of St. George the Victorious File:Church of St. George Victorious in Samarkand 08-18.JPG, :ru:Храм Святого Георгия Победоносца (Самарканд, недействующий), Orthodox Church of St. George Pobedonosets File:Church Saint John Baptist in Samarkand 23-38.JPG, St. John the Baptist Church, Samarkand, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church File:St. Mary Church in Samarkand 10-54.JPG, :ru:Церковь Святой Богородицы (Самарканд), Armenian Church Surb Astvatsatsin Samarkand also has several thousand Protestantism, Protestants, including Lutheranism, Lutherans, Baptists, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Adventism, Adventists, and members of the Korean Presbyterian church. These Christian movements appeared in Samarkand mainly after the independence of
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan (, ; uz, Ozbekiston, ), officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( uz, Ozbekiston Respublikasi), is a landlocked country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land ...

Uzbekistan
in 1991.


Main sights


Ensembles

File:Registan square Samarkand.jpg, Registan, Registan Ensemble and Square File:Shakh-i-Zinda.jpg, Shah-i-Zinda, Shahi Zinda Ensemble


Mausoleums and shrines


Mausoleums

File:ShrineofAmirTimur.jpg, Gur-e-Amir, Gure Amir (Shrine of Timur and Timurids) File:Мавзолей Ак-Сарай.jpg, :ru:Мавзолей Аксарай, Aqsaray Timurids Mausoleum File:Samarqand Bibi Khanum Mausoleum.jpg, :ru:Мавзолей Биби Ханум, Bibi Khanum Mausoleum File:Mausoleum Ishrathona 05.JPG, :ru:Ишратхона, Ishratkhana Mausoleum File:Makhsumbobo Mausoleum.jpg, :ru:Мавзолей Махсумбобо, Makhsum Baba Mausoleum


Holy shrines and mausoleums

File:AlBukhari mausoleum.jpg, :ru:Мемориальный комплекс имама Аль-Бухари, Imam Bukhari Shrine File:Ruhabad.JPG, :ru:Мавзолей Рухабад, Ruhabad Mausoleum File:Imammaturidi.jpg, :ru:Мавзолей Абу Мансура Матуриди, Imam Maturidi Shrine File:Murad Avliya Mausoleum.jpg, :ru:Мавзолей Мурад Авлия, Murad Avliya Shrine File:Mausoleum Khoja Daniyar 5221.JPG, :ru:Мавзолей Ходжа Дониёр, Khoja Daniyar Mausoleum File:Nuriddin Basir Mausoleum 1.jpg, :ru:Мавзолей Нуриддина Басира, Nuriddin Basir Shrine


Other Complexes

File:Khodzha Abdu-Derun Mausoleum 03.jpg, :ru:Ансамбль Абди-Дарун, Abdu Darun Complex File:Entrance to the Abdu Berun Ensemble in Samarkand.jpg, :ru:Ансамбль Абди Бирун, Abdu Berun Complex File:Chorsu.JPG, Chorsu (Samarkand), Chorsu File:Ulugh Beg observatory 2.JPG, Ulugh Beg Observatory, Ulughbek Observatory


Madrasas

File:Samarkand, Registan, Ulugbek Medressa (6238565020).jpg, Ulugh Beg Madrasa, Samarkand, Ulughbek Madrasa File:Rajasthan.jpg, :ru:Медресе Шердор, Shirdar Madrasa File:Tilla-Kori madrasah - Exterior views 1.JPG, :ru:Медресе Тилля-Кари, Tilla Kari Madrasa File:Khoja Ahrar entrance.jpg, :ru:Ансамбль Ходжа-Ахрар, Khoja Ahrar Madrasa File:Panjab Madrasa in Samarkand.jpg, :ru:Медресе Панджоб, Panjab Madrasa


Mosques

File:Mosque Bibi Khanum (5).JPG, Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Bibi Khanum Mosque File:Namazga mosque 4682.JPG, :ru:Мечеть Намазгох (Самарканд), Namazgah Mosque File:La mosquée Khazret Khyzr (Samarcande) (6009412301).jpg, :ru:Мечеть Хазрет-Хызр, Hazrat Hizir Mosque File:Panjab Shia Mosque in Samarkand.jpg, :ru:Панджоб (мечеть), Panjab Shia Mosque File:Khodja Nisbatdor Mosque 1.jpg, :ru:Мечеть Ходжа Нисбатдор, Khoja Nisbatdar Mosque


Architecture

Timur initiated the building of Bibi Khanum after his 1398–1399 campaign in India. Bibi Khanum originally had about 450 marble columns, which were hauled there and set up with the help of 95 elephants that Timur had brought back from Hindustan. Artisans and stonemasons from India designed the mosque's dome, giving it its distinctive appearance amongst the other buildings. An 1897 earthquake destroyed the columns, which were not entirely restored in the subsequent reconstruction. The best-known landmark of Samarkand is the mausoleum known as Gur-i Amir. It exhibits the influences of many cultures, past civilizations, neighboring peoples, and religions, especially those of Islam. Despite the devastation wrought by Mongols to Samarkand's pre-Timurid Islamic architecture, under Timur these architectural styles were revived, recreated, and restored. The blueprint and layout of the mosque itself, with their precise measurements, demonstrate the Islamic passion for geometry. The entrance to the Gur-i Amir is decorated with Arabic calligraphy and inscriptions, the latter a common feature in Islamic architecture. Timur's meticulous attention to detail is especially obvious inside the mausoleum: the tiled walls are a marvelous example of mosaic faience, an Iranian technique in which each tile is cut, colored, and fit into place individually. The tiles of the Gur-i Amir were also arranged so that they spell out religious words such as "Muhammad" and "Allah." The ornamentation of the Gur-i Amir's walls includes floral and vegetal motifs, which signify gardens; the floor tiles feature uninterrupted floral patterns. In Islam, gardens are symbols of paradise, and as such, they were depicted on the walls of tombs and grown in Samarkand itself. Samarkand boasted two major gardens, the New Garden and the Garden of Heart's Delight, which became the central areas of entertainment for ambassadors and important guests. In 1218, a friend of Genghis Khan named Yelü Chucai reported that Samarkand was the most beautiful city of all, as "it was surrounded by numerous gardens. Every household had a garden, and all the gardens were well designed, with canals and water fountains that supplied water to round or square-shaped ponds. The landscape included rows of willows and cypress trees, and peach and plum orchards were shoulder to shoulder." Persian carpets with floral patterns have also been found in some Timurid buildings. The elements of traditional Islamic architecture can be seen in traditional mud-brick Uzbek houses that are built around central courtyards with gardens. Most of these houses have painted wooden ceilings and walls. By contrast, houses in the west of the city are chiefly European-style homes built in the 19th and 20th centuries. Turko-Mongol influence is also apparent in Samarkand's architecture. It is believed that the melon-shaped domes of the mausoleums were designed to echo Yurt, ''yurts'' or ''gers'', traditional Mongol tents in which the bodies of the dead were displayed before burial or other disposition. Timur built his tents from more-durable materials, such as bricks and wood, but their purposes remained largely unchanged. The chamber in which Timur's own body was laid included "Tug (banner), tugs", poles whose tops were hung with a circular arrangement of horse or yak tail hairs. These banners symbolized an ancient Turkic tradition of sacrificing horses, which were valuable commodities, to honor the dead. Tugs were also a type of cavalry standard used by many nomads, up to the time of the Ottoman Turks. Colors of buildings in Samarkand also have significant meanings. The dominant architectural color is blue, which Timur used to convey a broad range of concepts. For example, the shades of blue in the Gur-i Amir are colors of mourning; in that era, blue was the color of mourning in Central Asia, as it still is in various cultures today. Blue was also considered the color that could ward off "the evil eye" in Central Asia; this notion is evidenced by in the number of blue-painted doors in and around the city. Furthermore, blue represented water, a particularly rare resource in the Middle East and Central Asia; walls painted blue symbolized the wealth of the city. Gold also has a strong presence in the city. Timur's fascination with vaulting explains the excessive use of gold in the Gur-i Amir, as well as the use of Goldwork (embroidery), embroidered gold fabric in both the city and his buildings. The Mongols had great interests in Chinese- and Persian-style golden silk textiles, as well as ''nasij'' woven in
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
and Transoxiana. Mongol leaders like Ögedei Khan built textile workshops in their cities to be able to produce gold fabrics themselves.


Suburbs

Samarkand's recent expansion led to it having suburbs, including: Gulyakandoz, Superfosfatnyy, Bukharishlak, Ulugbek, Ravanak, Kattakishlak, Registan, Zebiniso, Kaftarkhona, Uzbankinty.


Transport


Local

Samarkand has a strong public-transport system. From Soviet times up through today, municipal buses and taxis (GAZ-21, GAZ-24, GAZ-3102, VAZ-2101, VAZ-2106 and VAZ-2107) have operated in Samarkand. Buses, mostly SamAuto and Isuzu Motors, Isuzu buses, are the most common and popular mode of transport in the city. Taxis, which are mostly Chevrolets and Daewoo Motors, Daewoo sedans, are usually yellow in color. Since 2017, there have also been :ru:Самаркандский трамвай, several Samarkandian tram lines, mostly Vario LF.S Czech trams. From the
Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sovere ...
Era up until 2005, Samarkandians also got around via trolleybus. Finally, Samarkand has the so-called "Marshrutka," which are Daewoo Damas and GAZelle minibuses. File:Beruni street in Samarkand.jpg, Many yellow taxis on the streets of Samarkand File:Hotel in Rudaki and Dahbed Streets in Samarkand.jpg, Taxi and tram on Rudaki Street in Samarkand File:Tram in Samarkand.jpg, Tram in Samarkand File:Beruni and Rudaki Streets in Samarkand.jpg, Beruni and Rudaki Streets in Samarkand File:Mirzo Ulughbek Street in Samarkand 2.jpg, Taxi and bus on Mirzo Ulughbek Avenue in Samarkand Until 1950, the main forms of transport in Samarkand were carriages and "Araba (carriage), arabas" with horses and donkeys. However, the city had a steam tram in 1924–1930, and there were more-modern trams in 1947–1973. File:Самарканд - 103 - Близ главного входа в Шахи-Зинде.jpg, "Araba" and donkey in Samarkand in 1890 File:Самарканд - 1 - Станция Самарканд, конечный пункт Закаспийской военной железной дороги.jpg, Samarkand railway station in 1890 File:Hammond Slides Samarkand 44.jpg, "Araba" in Samarkand in 1964 File:Hammond Slides Samarkand 04.jpg, "Araba" in Samarkand in 1964


Air transport

In the north of the city is Samarkand International Airport, which was opened in the 1930s, under the Soviets. As of spring 2019, Samarkand International Airport has flights to Tashkent, Nukus, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Istanbul, and Dushanbe; charter flights to other cities are also available.


Railway

Modern Samarkand is an important railway center of Uzbekistan; all national east–west railway routes pass through the city. The most important and longest of these is Tashkent–Kungrad. High-speed Tashkent–Samarkand high-speed rail line trains run between Tashkent, Samarkand, and Bukhara. Samarkand also has international railway connections: Saratov–Samarkand, Moscow–Samarkand, and Nur-Sultan–Samarkand. File:Samarkand Railway Station.jpg, Samarkand railway station File:Afrosiyob Express Train in Station - Samarkand - Uzbekistan (7502824436) (3).jpg, Afrasiyab (Talgo 250) high-speed train in Samarkand railway station File:Passengers Dismounting from Afrosiyab Express Train - Samarkand Train Station - Samarkand - Uzbekistan (7480148270).jpg, In Samarkand railway station File:Talgo 250 Afrosiyob.jpg, Afrasiyab (Talgo 250) high-speed train In 1879–1891, the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical that extended across and from 1721, succeeding the following the that ended the . The Empire lasted until the was proclaimed by the that took power after the ...
built the Trans-Caspian Railway to facilitate its expansion into Central Asia. The railway originated in Krasnovodsk (now Türkmenbaşy, Turkmenistan, Turkmenbashi) on the Caspian Sea coast. Its terminus was originally Samarkand, whose station first opened in May 1888. However, a decade later, the railway was extended eastward to Tashkent and Andijan, and its name was changed to Central Asian Railways. Nonetheless, Samarkand remained one of the largest and most important stations of the Uzbekistan SSR and Soviet Central Asia.


Notable locals

; Ancient and feudal eras * Amoghavajra, 8th-century Buddhist monk, a founder of Chinese esoteric Buddhism * Muhammad Abu Mansur al-Maturidi, Abu Mansur Maturidi, Sunni theologist of the 10th century * Nizami Aruzi Samarqandi, Persian poet and writer of the 12th century * Suzani Samarqandi, Persian poet of the 12th century * Fatima bint Mohammed ibn Ahmad Al Samarqandi, a 12th-century ulema (Islamic scholar) * Najib ad-Din-e-Samarqandi, scholar of the 13th century * Jamshīd al-Kāshī, astronomer and mathematician of the 15th century * Shams al-Dīn al-Samarqandī, scholar * Nawab Khwaja Abid Siddiqi, general for the Mughal Empire, grandfather of Qamar-ud-din Khan, Asif Jah I * Malik Ibrahim, Ibrahim Asmarakandi, 14th century proselytizer who introduced Islam to Java ; Modern era * Zarrukh Adashev, professional kickboxer and mixed martial artist * Bobomurat Ahmedov, (born 1963), Uzbek professor of theoretical physics and astrophysics * Marsel İlhan, No1 tennis player in Turkey * Lev Avnerovich Leviev, Lev Leviev (born 1956), Israeli billionaire businessman, philanthropist, and investor * Islam Karimov, first president of Uzbekistan * Nadira Murray (formerly Alieva), British writer, producer, belly dancer * Vladimir Vapnik professor of computer science and statistics, co-inventor of SVM method in machine learning * Irina Viner head coach of the Russian rhythmic gymnastics federation


International relations


Twin towns – sister cities

Samarkand is Sister city, twinned with: * Balkh, Afghanistan * Banda Aceh, Indonesia * Cusco, Peru * Jūrmala, Latvia * Kairouan, Tunisia * Khujand, Tajikistan * Krasnoyarsk, Russia * Lahore, Pakistan * Liège, Belgium * Mary, Turkmenistan, Mary, Turkmenistan * Merv, Turkmenistan * Mexico City, Mexico * New Delhi, India * Agra, India * Nishapur, Iran * Plovdiv, Bulgaria * Rio de Janeiro, Brazil * Samara, Russia * Xi'an, China


Friendly cities

Samarkand has friendly relations with: * Antalya, Turkey * Babruysk, Belarus * Bremen, Germany * Eskişehir, Turkey * Florence, Italy * Gyeongju, South Korea * Istanbul, Turkey * İzmir, Turkey * Lyon, France * Lviv, Ukraine * Valencia, Spain


Gallery

File:Samarkand city sights12.jpg File:Samarkand city sights13.jpg File:Samarkand city sights10.jpg File:Samarkand city sights899.jpg File:Samarkand city sights11.jpg File:Samarkand city sights8.jpg File:Samarkand city sights7.jpg File:Samarkand city sights6.jpg File:Samarkand city sights3.jpg File:Samarkand city sights5.jpg File:Samarkand city sights4.jpg File:Samarkand city sights1.jpg File:Samarkand city sights2.jpg File:Samarkand city sights.jpg


See also

* Samarkand Airport


References


Bibliography

* Alexander Morrison, Russian Rule in Samarkand 1868–1910: A Comparison with British India (Oxford, OUP, 2008) (Oxford Historical Monographs). * Azim Malikov, Cult of saints and shrines in the Samarqand province of Uzbekistan in International journal of modern anthropology. No.4. 2010, pp. 116–123 * Azim Malikov, The politics of memory in Samarkand in post-Soviet period // International Journal of Modern Anthropology. (2018) Vol: 2, Issue No: 11, pp: 127 – 145 * Azim Malikov, Sacred lineages of Samarqand: history and identity // Anthropology of the Middle East, Volume 15, Issue 1, Summer 2020, р.34-49


External links

* Forbes, Andrew, & Henley, David:
Timur's Legacy: The Architecture of Bukhara and Samarkand
' (CPA Media).

University of Washington

according to Columbia University's Encyclopædia Iranica
Samarkand – Crossroad of Cultures
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization


Samarkand: Photos, History, Sights
Useful information for travelers
About Samarkand in Uzbekistan Latest

Tilla-Kori Madrasa was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List
{{Authority control Samarkand, Populated places in Samarqand Region Populated places along the Silk Road Cities in Central Asia Archaeological sites in Uzbekistan World Heritage Sites in Uzbekistan Sasanian cities Former capitals of Iran Former national capitals Samarkand Oblast Sogdian cities