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Samarkand
Samarkand
(Uzbek Latin: Samarqand; Uzbek Cyrillic and Tajik: Самарқанд; Persian: سمرقند‎; Russian: Самарканд; Greek: Σαμαρκάνδη), alternatively Samarqand, is a city in modern-day Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Central Asia. There is evidence of human activity in the area of the city from the late Paleolithic
Paleolithic
era, though there is no direct evidence of when exactly Samarkand
Samarkand
was founded; some theories propose that it was founded between the 8th and 7th centuries BC. Prospering from its location on the Silk Road between China and the Mediterranean, at times Samarkand
Samarkand
was one of the greatest cities of Central Asia.[2] By the time of the Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
of Persia, it was the capital of the Sogdian satrapy. The city was taken by Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
in 329 BC, when it was known by its Greek name of Marakanda.[3] The city was ruled by a succession of Iranian and Turkic rulers until the Mongols under Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
conquered Samarkand
Samarkand
in 1220. Today, Samarkand
Samarkand
is the capital of Samarqand Region
Samarqand Region
and Uzbekistan's second largest city.[4] The city is noted 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
Bibi-Khanym Mosque
(a modern replica) remains one of the city's most notable landmarks. The Registan
Registan
was the ancient center of the city. The city has carefully preserved the traditions of ancient crafts: embroidery, gold embroidery, silk weaving, engraving on copper, ceramics, carving and painting on wood.[5] In 2001, UNESCO
UNESCO
added the city to its World Heritage List
World Heritage List
as Samarkand
Samarkand
– Crossroads of Cultures.

Samarkand
Samarkand
– Crossroads of Cultures

UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site

Bibi-Khanym Mosque

Criteria Cultural: i, ii, iv

Reference 603

Inscription 2001 (25th Session)

Area 1,123 ha

Buffer zone 1,369 ha

Contents

1 Etymology 2 History

2.1 Early history 2.2 Hellenistic period 2.3 Pre-Mongol period 2.4 Mongol period 2.5 Timur(id) rule (14th-15th centuries) 2.6 Post-Timurid regional rulers 2.7 Russian Tzarist and Soviet rule

3 Geography

3.1 Climate

4 People 5 Religion

5.1 The Shia "Iranis" 5.2 Christianity

6 Main sights

6.1 Architecture

7 Notable locals 8 International relations

8.1 Twin towns — sister cities

9 Photo gallery 10 See also 11 References 12 External links

Etymology[edit] The name probably originates in the Sogdian words asmara, "stone, rock" and kand, "fort, town".[6] History[edit] Early history[edit] See also: Timeline of Samarkand

Samarkand, by Richard-Karl Karlovitch Zommer

Triumph by Vasily Vereshchagin, depicting the Sher-Dor Madrasa
Madrasa
in Registan.

Along with Bukhara,[7] Samarkand
Samarkand
is one of the oldest inhabited cities in Central Asia, prospering from its location on the trade route between China and the Mediterranean (Silk Road). Archeological excavations held within the city limits (Syob and midtown) as well as suburban areas (Hojamazgil, Sazag'on) unearthed forty-thousand-year-old evidence of human activity, dating back to the Late Paleolithic
Paleolithic
era. A group of Mesolithic
Mesolithic
era (12th-7th millennium BC) archeological sites were discovered at Sazag'on-1, Zamichatosh and Okhalik (suburbs of the city). The Syob and Darg'om canals, supplying the city and its suburbs with water, appeared around the 7th to 5th centuries BC (early Iron Age). There is no direct evidence when Samarkand
Samarkand
was founded. Researchers of the Institute of Archeology of Samarkand
Samarkand
argue for the existence of the city between the 8th and 7th centuries BC. Samarkand
Samarkand
has been one of the main centres of Sogdian civilization from its early days. By the time of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia it had become the capital of the Sogdian satrapy. Hellenistic period[edit] Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
conquered Samarkand
Samarkand
in 329 BC. The city was known as Maracanda by the Greeks.[8] Written sources offer small clues as to the subsequent system of government.[9] They tell of an Orepius who became ruler "not from ancestors, but as a gift of Alexander".[10] While Samarkand
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 and plastering were introduced.[11] Alexander's conquests introduced classical Greek culture into Central Asia; at least for a time the Greek models were followed closely by the local artisans. This Greek legacy continued as the city became part of the various Greek successor states that emerged following Alexander's death: it would become part of the Seleucid Empire, Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, and Kushan Empire, successively. After the Kushan era the city declined; it did not really revive until the 5th century. Pre-Mongol period[edit]

Downtown with Bibi-Khanym Mosque

Samarkand
Samarkand
was conquered by the Persian Sassanians
Sassanians
around 260 AD. Under Sassanian rule, the region became an essential site for Manichaeism, and facilitated the dissemination of the religion throughout central Asia.[12] After the Hephtalites
Hephtalites
(Huns) conquered Samarkand, they controlled it until the Göktürks, in an alliance with the Sassanid Persians, won it at the Battle of Bukhara. The Turks ruled over Samarkand
Samarkand
until they were defeated by the Sassanids
Sassanids
during the Göktürk–Persian Wars. After the Arab
Arab
conquest of Iran, the Turks conquered Samarkand
Samarkand
and held it until the Turkic khaganate collapsed due to wars with the Chinese Tang Dynasty. During this time the city became a protectorate and paid tribute to the ruling Tang. The armies of the Umayyad Caliphate under Qutayba ibn Muslim
Qutayba ibn Muslim
captured the city in around 710 from Turks.[12] During this period, Samarkand
Samarkand
was a diverse religious community and was home to a number of religions, including Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Manichaeism, Judaism
Judaism
and Nestorian Christianity.[13] However, after the Arab
Arab
conquest of Sogdiana, Islam
Islam
became the dominant religion, with much of the population converting.[14] Legend has it that during Abbasid
Abbasid
rule,[15] the secret of papermaking was obtained from two Chinese prisoners from the Battle of Talas
Battle of Talas
in 751, which led to the foundation of the first paper mill of the Islamic world in Samarkand. The invention then spread to the rest of the Islamic world, and from there to Europe. Abbasid
Abbasid
control of Samarkand
Samarkand
soon dissipated and was replaced with that of the Samanids
Samanids
(862–999), though it must be noted that the Samanids
Samanids
were still nominal vassals of the Caliph during their control of Samarkand. Under Samanid rule the city became one of the capitals of the Samanid dynasty and an even more important link amongst numerous trade routes. The Samanids
Samanids
were overthrown by the Karakhanids around 1000. During the next two hundred years, Samarkand
Samarkand
would be ruled by a succession of Turkic tribes, including the Seljuqs and the Khwarazm-Shahs.[16] The 10th-century Iranian author Istakhri, who travelled in Transoxiana, provides a vivid description of the natural riches of the region he calls "Smarkandian Sogd":

I know no place in it or in Samarkand
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... [extends] eight days travel through unbroken greenery and gardens... . The greenery of the trees and sown land extends along both sides of the river [Sogd]... 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.

Mongol period[edit] The Mongols conquered Samarkand
Samarkand
in 1220. Although Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
"did not disturb the inhabitants [of the city] in any way", according to Juvaini he killed all who took refuge in the citadel and the mosque, pillaged the city completely and conscripted 30,000 young men along with 30,000 craftsmen. Samarkand
Samarkand
suffered at least one other Mongol sack by Khan Baraq to get treasure he needed to pay an army. It remained part of the Chagatai Khanate
Chagatai Khanate
(one of four Mongol successor realms) until 1370. The Travels of Marco Polo, where Polo records his journey along the Silk Road, describes Samarkand
Samarkand
as "a very large and splendid city..." The Yenisei area had a community of weavers of Chinese origin and Samarkand
Samarkand
and Outer Mongolia both had artisans of Chinese origin seen by Changchun.[17] The khanate allowed the establishment of Christian bishoprics (see below). Timur(id) rule (14th-15th centuries)[edit] In 1365, a revolt against Chagatai Mongol control occurred in Samarkand.[18] In 1370 the conqueror Timur
Timur
(Tamerlane), the founder and ruler of the Timurid Empire, made Samarkand
Samarkand
his capital. During the next 35 years, he rebuilt most of the city and populated it with the great artisans and craftsmen from across the empire. Timur
Timur
gained a reputation as a patron of the arts and Samarkand
Samarkand
grew to become the centre of the region of Transoxiana. Timur's commitment to the arts is evident in the way he was ruthless with his enemies but merciful towards those with special artistic abilities, sparing the lives of artists, craftsmen and architects so that he could bring them to improve and beautify his capital. He was also directly involved in his construction projects and his visions often exceeded the technical abilities of his workers. Furthermore, the city was in a state of constant construction and Timur
Timur
would often request buildings to be done and redone quickly if he was unsatisfied with the results.[19] Timur
Timur
made it so that the city could only be reached by roads and also ordered the construction of deep ditches and walls, that would run five miles (8.0 km) in circumference, separating the city from the rest of its surrounding neighbors.[20] During this time the city had a population of about 150,000.[21] This great period of reconstruction is encapsulated in the account of Henry III's ambassador, Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo, who was stationed there between 1403 and 1406. During his stay the city was typically in a constant state of construction. "The Mosque
Mosque
which Timur
Timur
had caused to be built in memory of the mother of his wife...seemed to us the noblest of all those we visited in the city of Samarkand, but no sooner had it been completed than he begun to find fault with its entrance gateway, which he now said was much too low and must forthwith be pulled down."[22] Between 1424 and 1429, the great astronomer Ulugh Beg
Ulugh Beg
built the Samarkand
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.[23] However, the observatory was destroyed by religious fanatics in 1449.[23][24] Post-Timurid regional rulers[edit] See also: Russian Turkestan

This article needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (November 2011)

Samarkand
Samarkand
from space in September 2013.[25]

In 1500 the Uzbek nomadic warriors took control of Samarkand.[21] The Shaybanids
Shaybanids
emerged as the Uzbek leaders at or about this time. In the second quarter of the 16th century, the Shaybanids
Shaybanids
moved their capital to Bukhara
Bukhara
and Samarkand
Samarkand
went into decline. After an assault by the Afshar shahinshah Nader Shah
Nader Shah
the city was abandoned in the 18th century, about 1720 or a few years later.[26] From 1599 to 1756, Samarkand
Samarkand
was ruled by the Ashtrakhanid branch of the Khanate of Bukhara. From 1756 to 1868, Samarkand
Samarkand
was ruled by the Manghud
Manghud
(Mongol) Emirs of Bukhara.[27] Russian Tzarist and Soviet rule[edit] See also: Uzbeks § Russo-Soviet era The city came under imperial Russian rule after the citadel had been taken by a force under Colonel Konstantin Petrovich von Kaufman
Konstantin Petrovich von 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, as well as Baba Beg of Shahrisabz
Shahrisabz
and Jura Beg of Kitab, was repelled with heavy losses. Alexander Abramov became the first Governor of the Military Okrug, which the Russians
Russians
established along the course of the Zeravshan River, with Samarkand
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
Russian Turkestan
and grew in importance still further when the Trans-Caspian railway
Trans-Caspian railway
reached the city in 1888. It became the capital of the Uzbek SSR
Uzbek SSR
in 1925, before being replaced by Tashkent
Tashkent
in 1930. During World War II, after Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
invaded the Soviet Union, a number of citizens of Samarqand were sent to the land of Smolensk, to fight the enemy. Many were taken captive or killed by the Nazis.[28][29] Geography[edit] Samarkand
Samarkand
is located in the center of Uzbekistan. Qarshi
Qarshi
is located 135 km away. Road M37 connects it to Bukhara, 240 km away. Road M39 connects it to Tashkent, 270 km away. The Tajikistan
Tajikistan
border is about 35 km from Samarkand, the road leading to Dushanbe
Dushanbe
which is 210 km away. Road M39 connects it to Mazar-i-Sharif
Mazar-i-Sharif
in Afghanistan, which is 340 km away. Climate[edit] Samarkand
Samarkand
features a Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
(Köppen climate classification Csa) that closely borders on a semi-arid climate 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, 40 °C (104 °F). Most of the sparse precipitation is received from December through April. January 2008 was particularly cold, and the temperature dropped to −22 °C (−8 °F)[30]

Climate data for Samarkand
Samarkand
(1981–2010)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 23.2 (73.8) 26.7 (80.1) 31.7 (89.1) 36.2 (97.2) 39.5 (103.1) 41.4 (106.5) 42.4 (108.3) 41.0 (105.8) 38.6 (101.5) 35.2 (95.4) 29.9 (85.8) 27.5 (81.5) 42.4 (108.3)

Average high °C (°F) 6.8 (44.2) 9.1 (48.4) 14.2 (57.6) 21.1 (70) 26.4 (79.5) 32.2 (90) 34.1 (93.4) 32.9 (91.2) 28.3 (82.9) 21.6 (70.9) 15.3 (59.5) 9.1 (48.4) 20.9 (69.6)

Daily mean °C (°F) 1.9 (35.4) 3.6 (38.5) 8.5 (47.3) 14.9 (58.8) 19.8 (67.6) 25.0 (77) 26.7 (80.1) 25.2 (77.4) 20.1 (68.2) 13.6 (56.5) 8.4 (47.1) 3.8 (38.8) 14.3 (57.7)

Average low °C (°F) −1.7 (28.9) −0.5 (31.1) 4.0 (39.2) 9.4 (48.9) 13.5 (56.3) 17.4 (63.3) 18.9 (66) 17.4 (63.3) 12.7 (54.9) 7.2 (45) 3.4 (38.1) −0.2 (31.6) 8.5 (47.3)

Record low °C (°F) −25.4 (−13.7) −22 (−8) −14.9 (5.2) −6.8 (19.8) −1.3 (29.7) 4.8 (40.6) 8.6 (47.5) 5.9 (42.6) 0.0 (32) −6.4 (20.5) −18.1 (−0.6) −22.8 (−9) −25.4 (−13.7)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 41 (1.61) 46 (1.81) 69 (2.72) 60 (2.36) 36 (1.42) 6 (0.24) 4 (0.16) 1 (0.04) 4 (0.16) 17 (0.67) 34 (1.34) 47 (1.85) 365 (14.37)

Average rainy days 8 10 13 11 9 3 2 1 2 6 8 9 82

Average snowy days 9 7 3 0.3 0.1 0 0 0 0 0.3 2 6 28

Average relative humidity (%) 76 74 70 63 54 42 42 43 47 59 68 74 59

Mean monthly sunshine hours 132.9 130.9 169.3 219.3 315.9 376.8 397.7 362.3 310.1 234.3 173.3 130.3 2,953.1

Source #1: Pogoda.ru.net[31]

Source #2: NOAA (sun, 1961–1990)[32]

People[edit] According to various independent sources, Tajiks
Tajiks
(Persian-speaking people) are the major ethnic group in the city, while ethnic Uzbeks form a growing minority.[33] Exact figures are difficult to evaluate, since many people in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
either identify as "Uzbek" even though they speak Eastern Persian as their first language, or because they are registered as Uzbeks by the central government despite their Eastern Persian language
Persian 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
Samarkand
city the Tajiks
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
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
Bukhara
oblasts.[33]

Religion[edit] Historically, Samarkand
Samarkand
was a diverse religious community. Since the 8th century, when the Arabs entered Central Asia, Islam
Islam
has become the main religion. According to some sources, approximately 90% of people are Sunni while Shia Islam, Christianity
Christianity
and Judaism
Judaism
are minor religions.[citation needed]

Ruhabad Mausoleum

Since the advent of Islam, many mosques, madrasas and mausoleum have been built and all of these make the city very attractive for tourists to visit. Many of these monuments were built during 14th–15th centuries by Tamerlane including the Registan
Registan
Mosque
Mosque
and madrasas, the Bibi-Khanum Mosque, the Shakhi-Zinda compound and the Gur-Emir ensemble, as well as Ulugh-Beg's Observatory. Even though 90% of the population of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
are Sunni Muslim, Islam
Islam
is not followed strictly.[34] Visitors state that in style of dress and attitude to religion people of Samarkand
Samarkand
are becoming more westernized rather than keeping their ancestors' tradition and culture. In spite of following Islam, many Sunni Muslims in Samarkand drink alcohol especially during weddings, holidays and birthdays. In addition, there are 14 small wine manufacturers in Uzbekistan, with one of the oldest and famous being in Samarkand.[35] People have a habit of drinking vodka to celebrate good days with their relatives, friends, and neighbors. The Shia "Iranis"[edit] There are many Shia towns in the Samarkand
Samarkand
general area, where Shia Muslims are composed almost entirely of the deported Mervis; the old, approximately 100,000 strong population of Merv
Merv
city and oasis (now in Turkmenistan) who were deported en masse by the Manghit
Manghit
king Shah Murad Beg in the course of the 1780s to the Zarafshan
Zarafshan
basin. They are known locally and identified by the Soviet censuses as the "Irani". They have their own mosques and mausoleums. Christianity[edit] Christians include: Russians, Koreans, Ukrainians
Ukrainians
and Armenians. Only a few churches hold services. Samarkand, the ancient capital of Sogdiana, was an early Metropolitan Archbishopric of Nestorianism. As a crossroads for caravans between China, Persia and the Crimea, it was religiously tolerant. Even the Mongol Chagatai Khanate
Chagatai Khanate
was. Marco Polo
Marco Polo
claims that Samarkand's founder (one of four successors to Genghis Khan) converted to Christianity; in any event his descendant and successor Algigidai (Eljigidey), ruling from 1327, allowed the Dominican Order
Dominican Order
to preach Catholicism and build a church in Samarkand
Samarkand
dedicated to John the Baptist and wrote twice to Pope John XXII, who sent him two Dominican 'ambassadors'. In addition to Nestorians, there were Greek Melkite and Orthodox Christians, but now also a Latin Catholic community, which on 13 August 1329 became the Diocese of Samarcanda / Semiscanten(sis) (Latin), as a suffragan of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Soltaniyeh which had been established in 1318 by papal bull Redemptor noster from the same pope. The Archdiocese was also entrusted to the Dominicans and was meant to become an ecclesiastical province covering the Mongol khanates. By 1400 it had been suppressed, after the demise of the tolerant khanate, having had two recorded incumbents:

Tommaso di Mancasola, Dominican Order
Dominican Order
(O.P.) (August 21, 1329 – ?), the senior of the initial papal envoys Giovanni = John (1359? – ?).

Main sights[edit]

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View of the Registan

Ulugh Beg
Ulugh Beg
Madrasa

Sher-Dor Madrasa

Tilya Kori Madrasa

The Registan, a famous example of Islamic architecture. It consists of three separate buildings:

Madrasa
Madrasa
of Ulugh Beg
Ulugh Beg
(1417–1420) Sher-Dor Madrasa
Madrasa
(Lions Gate) (1619–1635/36). Tilla-Kori Madrasa
Madrasa
(1647–1659/60).

Bibi-Khanym Mosque
Bibi-Khanym Mosque
(replica) Gur-e Amir
Gur-e Amir
Mausoleum
Mausoleum
(1404) Observatory of Ulugh Beg
Ulugh Beg
(1428–1429) Shah-i-Zinda
Shah-i-Zinda
necropolis Historical site of Afrasiyab (7th century BC – 13th century) Siyob Bazaar Afrasiab Museum of Samarkand

Architecture[edit]

Building the Great Mosque
Mosque
of Samarkand. Illustration by Bihzad
Bihzad
for the Zafar-Nameh. Text copied in Herat
Herat
in 1467-68 and illuminated c. the late 1480s. John Work Garret Collection, Milton S. Eisenhower Library, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. Fols. 359v-36or.

Timur
Timur
initiated the building of Bibi Khanum after his campaign in India
India
in 1398-1399. Before its reconstruction after an earthquake in 1897, Bibi Khanum had around 450 marble columns that were established with the help of 95 elephants that Timur
Timur
had brought back from Hindustan. Also from India, artisans and stonemasons designed the mosque's dome, giving it its distinctiveness amongst the other buildings.[19] The best-known structure in Samarkand
Samarkand
is the mausoleum known as Gur-i Amir. It exhibits many cultures and influences from past civilizations, neighboring peoples, and especially those of Islam. Despite how much devastation the Mongols caused in the past to all of the Islamic architecture
Islamic architecture
that had existed in the city prior to Timur's succession, much of the destroyed Islamic influences were revived, recreated, and restored under Timur. The blueprint and layout of the mosque itself follows the Islamic passion of geometry and other elements of the structure had been precisely measured. The entrance to the Gur-i Amir is decorated with Arabic calligraphy and inscriptions, the latter being a common feature in Islamic architecture. The attention to detail and meticulous nature of Timur
Timur
is especially obvious when looking inside the building. Inside, the walls have been covered in tiles through a technique, originally developed in Iran, called "mosaic faience," a process where each tile is cut, colored, and fit into place individually.[19] The tiles were also arranged in a specific way that would engrave words relating to the city's religiosity; words like "Muhammad" and "Allah" have been spelled out on the walls using the tiles.[19] The ornaments and decorations of the walls include floral and vegetal symbols which are used to signify gardens. Gardens are commonly interpreted as paradise in the Islamic religion and they were both inscribed in tomb walls and grown in the city itself.[19] In the city of Samarkand, there were two major gardens, the New Garden and the Garden of Heart's Delight, and these became the central areas of entertainment for ambassadors and important guests. A friend of Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
in 1218 named Yelü Chucai, reported that Samarkand
Samarkand
was the most beautiful city of all where "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."[36] The floors of the mausoleum is entirely covered with uninterrupted patterns of tiles of flowers, emphasizing the presence of Islam
Islam
and Islamic art in the city. In addition, Persian carpets with floral printings have been found in some of the Timurid buildings.[37] Turko-Mongol influence is also apparent in the architecture of the buildings in Samarkand. For instance, nomads previously used yurts, traditional Mongol tents, to display the bodies of the dead before they were to engage in proper burial procedures. Similarly, it is believed that the melon-shaped domes of the tomb chambers are imitations of those yurts. Timur
Timur
naturally used stronger materials, like bricks and wood, to establish these tents, but their purposes remain largely unchanged.[19] The color of the buildings in Samarkand
Samarkand
also has significant meaning behind it. For instance, blue is the most common and dominant color that will be found on the buildings, which was used by Timur
Timur
in order to symbolize a large range of ideas. For one, the blue shades seen in the Gur-i Amir are colors of mourning. Blue was the color of mourning in Central Asia
Central Asia
at the time, as it is in many cultures even today, so its dominance in the city's mausoleum appears only logical. In addition, blue was also seen as the color that would ward off "the evil eye" in Central Asia
Central Asia
and the notion is evident in the number of doors in and around the city that were colored blue during this time. Furthermore, blue was representative of water, which was a particularly rare resource around the Middle East and Central Asia; coloring the walls 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 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
and Transoxiana. Past Mongol leaders, like Ogodei, built textile workshops in their cities in order to be able to produce gold fabrics themselves. There is evidence that Timur
Timur
tried to preserve his Mongol roots. In the chamber in which his body was laid, "tuqs" were found - those are poles with horses' tails hanging at the top, which was symbolic of an ancient Turkic tradition where horses, which were valuable commodities, were sacrificed in order to honor the dead, [19] and a cavalry standard type shared by many nomads, up to the Ottoman Turks. Notable locals[edit]

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Ancient and feudal eras

Amoghavajra, 8th-century Buddhist monk, a founder of Chinese esoteric Buddhism. Abu Mansur Maturidi, Sunni theologist of the 10th century Nizami Aruzi Samarqandi, poet and writer of the 12th century Suzani Samarqandi, 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

modern era

Islam
Islam
Karimov, first president of Uzbekistan Lev Leviev (born 1956), Israeli billionaire businessman, philanthropist, and investor Irina Viner
Irina Viner
head coach of the Russian rhythmic gymnastics federation Vladimir Vapnik professor of computer science and statistics, co-inventor of SVM method in machine learning

International relations[edit]

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Colour photograph of a Madrasa
Madrasa
taken in Samarkand
Samarkand
c. 1912 by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky.

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Uzbekistan Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

Lahore, Pakistan New Delhi, India Nishapur, Iran Bukhara, Uzbekistan Balkh, Afghanistan Merv, Turkmenistan

Cuzco, Peru[citation needed] Lviv, Ukraine Kairouan, Tunisia Eskişehir, Turkey

İzmir, Turkey Khujand, Tajikistan Banda Aceh, Indonesia Gyeongju, South Korea

Photo gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Samarkand
Samarkand
Airport

References[edit]

^ https://samarkand.blog ^ Guidebook of history of Samarkand", ISBN 978-9943-01-139-7 ^ "History of Samarkand". Sezamtravel. Retrieved 1 November 2013.  ^ "Uzbekistan: Provinces, Major Cities & Towns - Statistics & Maps on City Population". Citypopulation.de. Retrieved 2014-08-23.  ^ Энциклопедия туризма Кирилла и Мефодия. 2008. ^ Room, Adrian (2006). Placenames of the World: Origins and Meanings of the Names for 6,600 Countries, Cities, Territories, Natural Features and Historic Sites (2nd ed.). London: McFarland. p. 330. ISBN 0-7864-2248-3. Samarkand
Samarkand
City, southeastern Uzbekistan. The city here was already named Marakanda, when captured by Alexander the Great in 329 BC. Its own name derives from the Sogdian words samar, "stone, rock", and kand, "fort, town".  ^ Vladimir Babak, Demian Vaisman, Aryeh Wasserman, Political organization in Central Asia
Central Asia
and Azerbaijan: sources and documents, p.374 ^ Columbia-Lippincott Gazetteer (New York: Columbia University Press, 1972 reprint) p. 1657 ^ Wood, Frances (2002). The Silk Road: two thousand years in the heart of Asia. London.  ^ Shichkina, G.V. (1994). "Ancient Samarkand: capital of Soghd". Bulletin of the Asia Institute. 8: 83.  ^ Shichkina, G.V. (1994). "Ancient Samarkand: capital of Soghd". Bulletin of the Asia Institute. 8: 86.  ^ a b Dumper, Stanley (2007). Cities of the Middle East and North Africa: A Historical Encyclopedia. California. p. 319.  ^ Dumper, Stanley (2007). Cities of the Middle East and North Africa: A Historical Encyclopedia. California.  ^ Whitfield, Susan (1999). Life Along the Silk Road. California: University of California Press. p. 33.  ^ Quraishi, Silim "A survey of the development of papermaking in Islamic Countries", Bookbinder, 1989 (3): 29–36. ^ Dumper, Stanley (2007). Cities of the Middle East and North Africa: A Historical Encyclopedia. California. p. 320.  ^ Jacques Gernet (31 May 1996). A History of Chinese Civilization. Cambridge University Press. pp. 377–. ISBN 978-0-521-49781-7.  ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th Ed, p. 204 ^ a b c d e f g Marefat, Roya (Summer 1992). "The Heavenly City of Samarkand". The Wilson Quarterly. 16 (3): 33–38. JSTOR 40258334.  ^ Wood, Frances (2002). The Silk Roads: two thousand ears in the heart of Asia. Berkeley. pp. 136–7.  ^ a b Columbia-Lippincott Gazetteer, p. 1657 ^ Le Strange, Guy (trans) (1928). Clavijo: Embassy to Tamburlaine 1403-1406. London. p. 280.  ^ a b "Samarqand". Raw W Travels. Retrieved November 1, 2009.  ^ http://www.oxuscom.com/timursam.htm#9 ^ "Samarkand, Uzbekistan". Earthobservatory.nasa.gov. Retrieved 2014-08-23.  ^ Britannica. 15th Ed, p. 204 ^ Columbia-Lippincott Gazetteer. p. 1657 ^ "Soviet Field of Glory" (in Russian) ^ Rustam Qobil (2017-05-09). "Why were 101 Uzbeks killed in the Netherlands in 1942?". BBC. Retrieved 2017-05-09.  ^ Samarkand.info. "Weather in Samarkand". Retrieved 2009-06-11.  ^ "Weather and Climate-The Climate of Samarkand" (in Russian). Weather and Climate (Погода и климат). Archived from the original on December 6, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.  ^ " Samarkand
Samarkand
Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 6, 2016.  ^ a b Paul 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 ^ Peyrouse, Sebastien (2016-02-10). "Does Islam
Islam
Challenge the Legitimacy of Uzbekistan's Government?". PonarsEuarasia - Policy Memos.  ^ "Food and Drink in Uzbekistan". www.worldtravelguide.net. Retrieved 2016-10-01.  ^ Liu, Xinru (2010). The Silk Road
Silk Road
in world history. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-516174-8.  ^ Cohn-Wiener, Ernst (June 1935). "An Unknown Timurid Building". The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs. 66 (387): 272–273+277. JSTOR 866154. 

Bibliography

Alexander Morrison, Russian Rule in Samarkand
Samarkand
1868-1910: A Comparison with British India
India
(Oxford, OUP, 2008) (Oxford Historical Monographs).

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Samarkand.

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

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Samarkand.

Samarkand
Samarkand
Silk Road
Silk Road
Seattle Project, University of Washington The history of Samarkand, according to Columbia University's Encyclopædia Iranica Samarkand
Samarkand
- Crossroad of Cultures, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization GCatholic - former Latin Catholic bishopric Samarkand: Photos, History, Sights, Useful information for travelers About Samarkand
Samarkand
in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Latest

Preceded by Gurganj Capital of Khwarazmian Empire 1212–1220 Succeeded by Ghazna

Preceded by Tabriz Capital of Iran
Iran
(Persia) 1370–1501 Succeeded by Tabriz

Preceded by - Capital of Timurid dynasty 1370–1505 Succeeded by Herat

v t e

Samarqand Region

Capital: Samarkand

Districts and seats

Bulungur District
Bulungur District
(Bulungur) Ishtikhon District
Ishtikhon District
(Ishtikhon) Jomboy District
Jomboy District
(Jomboy) Kattakurgan District
Kattakurgan District
(Paishanba) Koshrabot District
Koshrabot District
(Koshrabot) Narpay District
Narpay District
(Oqtosh) Nurobod District (Nurobod) Oqdarya District
Oqdarya District
(Laish) Pakhtachi District
Pakhtachi District
(Ziadin) Payariq District
Payariq District
(Payariq) Pastdargom District
Pastdargom District
(Juma) Samarqand District
Samarqand District
(Gulabad) Toyloq District
Toyloq District
(Toyloq) Urgut District
Urgut District
(Urgut)

v t e

Cities of Uzbekistan

Capital

Tashkent

Cities

Andijan Angren Asaka Bekabad Beruniy Bukhara Chimboy Chirchiq Chust Fergana Guliston G‘ijduvon G‘uzor Jizzakh Juma Kattaqo‘rg‘on Kogon Kosonsoy Margilan Mo‘ynoq Muborak Namangan Navoiy Nukus Nurota Olmaliq Qarshi Qorako‘l Qorasuv Qo‘ng‘irot Qo‘qon Rishton Samarkand Shahrisabz Shirin Sirdaryo Termez To‘rtko‘l To‘ytepa Uchquduq Urgench Urgut Vabkent Xiva Xo‘jayli Yangiabad Yangiyer Yangiyo‘l Zarafshan

v t e

Tourist attractions in Uzbekistan

World Heritage Sites

Listed

Historic Centre of Bukhara Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz Itchan Kala Samarkand
Samarkand
– Crossroads of Cultures Western Tien-Shan

Tentative list

Abdulkhan Bandi Dam Akhsikath Ak Astana-Baba Ancient Termiz Ancient Pap Andijan Arab-Ata Mausoleum Bahoutdin Architectural Complex Boysun Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum Chor-Bakr Desert Castles of Ancient Khorezm Gissar Mountains Historic Centre of Qoqon Kanka Khanbandi Khazarasp Minaret in Vobkent Mir-Sayid Bakhrom Mausoleum Poykent Rabati Malik
Rabati Malik
Caravanserai Sarmishsay Shahrukhiya Sheikh Mukhtar-Vali Complex Shokhimardon Silk Road
Silk Road
Sites in Uzbekistan Siypantosh Rock Paintings Varakhsha Zaamin Mountains Zarautsoy Rock Paintings

Cultural

Archaeological sites

Afrasiyab Akhsikath Ancient Pap Burchmulla Dalverzin Tepe Hazorasp Itchan Kala Khalchayan Khiva Koi Krylgan Kala Obi-Rakhmat Grotto Orlat plaques Poykent Sarmishsay Shahrukhiya Siypantosh Rock Paintings Zarautsoy Rock Paintings

Complexes

Bahoutdin Architectural Complex Lyab-i Hauz Po-i-Kalyan Registan

Forts

Ark of Bukhara Urda fortress

Madrasas

Kukeldash Madrasa The Madrasa
Madrasa
of Abulkosim Madrasah of Nadir Divan-begi Mir-i Arab
Arab
Madrasa Sher-Dor Madrasah Tilya-Kori Madrasah Ulugh Beg
Ulugh Beg
Madrasa

Mausoleums

Ak Astana-Baba Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum Chor-Bakr Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum
Mausoleum
of Sheikh Zaynudin Mir-Sayid Bakhrom Mausoleum Saif ed-Din Bokharzi & Bayan-Quli Khan Mausoleums Samanid Mausoleum Sayyed Bahram Mausoleum Shah-i-Zinda Sheikh Mukhtar-Vali Complex Sheihantaur Sultan Saodat

Museums

Afrasiab Museum of Samarkand Amir Timur
Timur
Museum Art Gallery of Uzbekistan Bukhara
Bukhara
State Architectural Art Museum-Preserve Memorial house museum of Tamara Khanum Museum Afshona Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan The Museum of Communication History in Uzbekistan Museum of Geology The Museum of Health Care of Uzbekistan Museum of Olympic Glory Museum of Victims of Political Repression in Tashkent Nukus
Nukus
Museum of Art Shahrisabz
Shahrisabz
Museum of History and Material Culture State Museum of History of Uzbekistan State Museum of Nature of Uzbekistan Tashkent
Tashkent
Museum of Railway Techniques Tashkent
Tashkent
Planetarium Tashkent
Tashkent
Polytechnical Museum The Alisher Navoi State Museum of Literature Ulugh Beg
Ulugh Beg
Observatory

Places of worship

Ak Mosque Baland Mosque Bibi-Khanym Mosque Bolo Haouz Mosque Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Chor Minor Dzhuma Mosque Kalân Mosque Kalyan minaret Khonakhan Mosque Magok-i-Attari Mosque Magok-i-Kurpa Mosque Mosque
Mosque
of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani Sacred Heart Cathedral St. John the Baptist
John the Baptist
Church

Theaters

Navoi Theater Osh State Academic Uzbek Music and Drama Theater named after Babur

Others

Khanaka of Nadir Divan-begi Monument to Nizami Ganjavi in Tashkent Mustaqillik Maydoni Rabati Malik Siyob Bazaar Square of Martyrs in Uzbekistan Tashkent
Tashkent
Tower

Natural

Lakes

Aydar Lake Lake Charvak

National parks

Chatkalskiy State Nature Reserve Zaamin National Park

v t e

Iranian architecture

Styles

Parsian

Achaemenid pre-Parsian

Parthian

Khorasani Sasanian

Other

Azeri Isfahani Razi

Types

Bazaars Caravanserais Khaneqah Mosques Tekyeh

Elements

Ab anbar Andaruni Biruni Burj Chahartaq Dalan e Vorudi Gonbad Hashti Howz Imamzadeh Iwan Kariz Kucheh Panjdari Persian Garden (hayāt) Qanat Robats Sahn Shabestan Talar Windcatchers Yakhchal

Traditional cities

Amol Andijan Baku Bam Bukhara Ctesiphon Derbent Ganja Gur-e-Amir Hatra Herat Isfahan Kashan Khiva Khorramabad Mashhad Merv Nakhchivan Nishapur Persepolis Qazvin Qom Samarkand Shahrisabz Shiraz Susa Tabriz Takht-e Soleymān Tehran Yazd

Theory and analysis

Islamic architecture Traditional Persian residential architecture Traditional water sources of Persian antiquity

Lists

Architects of Iran Args, castles, and ghal'ehs List of ab anbars of Qazvin List of mosques List of ziyarat-gahs

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 152380790 GND: 4051471-7 BNF:

.