Shakhrisabz is the birthplace of Amir Timur (Tamerlane in 1336-1405). In the 14th century, Shakhrisabz was surrounded by a new fortification wall on his orders and became not only a city of trade and crafts, but also of science and culture. The Spanish envoy travelling to Samarkand to the court of Tamerlane stopped in ancient Kesh. The envoy Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo wrote about ancient Shakhrisabz: “…The city was surrounded by an earthen wall and a deep moat, there were drawbridges at the entrances. During the Temurid period, the city became one of the cultural centres of the East. Great scholars and poets like Navoi and Jami visited it. Tamerlane considered making Shakhrisabz the capital of his empire, but chose Samarkand.
The preserved parts of fortification wall of Shakhrisabz show that they were powerful fortifications, similar to the walls of Ichan-Kala in Khiva and Ark in Bukhara. They were also built of mud and clay bricks. The city walls were 8 to 9 metres thick at the base and 11 metres high. After about 50 metres, they were flanked by semicircular towers. A deep moat ran around the walls. On each of the four sides were city gates with the lift bridge. The walls of the city withstood many sieges and remained until the XVIII-XIX centuries, when the Beks of Shakhrisabz defended their independence in the wars with the emirs of Bukhara.