Over the centuries, the Cities of Uzbekistan have played an important Role on the Great Silk Road, the historic intercontinental Route. However, the city of Samarkand was the only one called “the Heart of the Great Silk Road”.
As a “Pearl of Islamic Architecture” and “Mirror of the World”, Samarkand has been known since ancient times. A contemporary of Rome, Athens and Babylon, this city has already celebrated its 2750th anniversary. The city reached its heyday during the reign of Amir Temur, the greatest military ruler in Central Asia after Genghis Khan, when Samarkand was chosen as the Capital of the powerful Mawaraunnahr Empire. At that time, extensive urban development work was carried out. The great ruler had brought together talented architects and craftsmen here in Samarkand, whose works of art have survived for centuries. Mirzo Ulugbek, the grandson of Amir Temur, continued these traditions. The monuments of Samarkand today are majestic and magnificent. You can feel the breath of history itself in this city, preserved in the historical ruins, madrassas, mausoleums and minarets.
The legendary Registan Square in Samarkand is a unique architectural masterpiece of Central Asia. Since ancient times, this square has been the commercial and public centre of Samarkand. Even today, after surviving for centuries, groups of historic walls and towers of three beautiful madrassas – Ulugbek, Sherdor and Tilla-Kori – still rise here.
The Gur-Emir Mausoleum is another Pearl of historical Samarkand. In this Mausoleum are the Tombs of the Grand Ruler, his two Sons and two Grandchildren, including the outstanding Scientist and Philosopher of the Orient, Mirzo Ulugbek. The Mausoleum of Guri Amir, which resembles a bud of a blue tulip with tightly folded petals, is particularly popular with visitors.
Registan Square, Mausoleum of Gur-Emir, Bibi-Hanym, Shahi Zinda, Ulugbek Observatory, is not a complete list of all those monuments that fascinate visitors to Samarkand – the Heart of the Great Silk Road.