Tashkent

Taskent used to be an ancient city on the Great Silk Road from China to Europe. Little remains of the ancient city after the 1966 earthquake and earlier modernization work following the 1917 revolution. Tashkent feels more like Eastern Europe than Central Asia, with its mixture of modern new office buildings, hotels, parks and crumbling Soviet style apartment blocks. Tashkent is a very attractive and vibrant city. Tashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan with the population of more than 3 million people.

The roots of the rich Uzbek culture shine through Tashkent's architecture, museums and metro stations. The Uzbek people are very friendly. The best way to get a full taste of the culture would be to visit the local markets. It is a social place which everyone in Tashkent is bound to visit. Your should also visit Chimgan mountains north of Tashkent, now the territory of the national park. Enjoy beautiful views to the mountains and return back along the shores of the large artificial water reservoir Charvak.

Bukhara and Shakhrisabs

Bukhara, one of the most famous cities on the ancient Silk Road, was historically one of the great trading cities along the Silk Road. The city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old part of town offers an incredible number of sights. The first or last stop of any visit should be the Lab-i-Hauz, a great place to relax, sit, drink tea and wait for the fountains to start again. Seen from the Lab-i-Hauz the Ark or Citadel is at the other end of town. Between those two are magnificent Koranic schools, impressive mosques and a big tall minaret with a history that will make you shiver...

Shakhrisabz is a small town located on the way from Bukhara to Samarkand in a valley, surrounded by the foothills of the Pamir mountains. The town is a pleasant Uzbek backwater and seems to be nothing special – until you start bumping into the ruins dotted around its backstreets, and the megalomaniac ghosts of a wholly different place materialize. This is Timur Lenk’s hometown. Among the architectural monuments of Timur's time there are the remains of the massive portal of the Aq-Saray Palace, which took 20 years to build and was destroyed by Abdulla Khan of Bukhara in the 17th century.

Samarkand

Samarkand is the most famous city of Uzbekistan. The city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Registan square, reportedly the age old intersection of the trade roads, is the reason why people come to Samarkand. It is one of the most beautiful examples of Islamic architecture you will ever see, right up there with the Alhambra in Spain and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. But there are a lot more monuments in Samarakand and around it. Although the old center has not really survived into modern times, you can find reminders of the greatness of the rulers of Samarkand, especially Ulughbek and Tamerlane, all over town. You should also visit in Samarkand the historical memorial of Al Bukhariy located 25 km from the city.

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