Capital of Uzbekistan
Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan and Central Asia’s premier metropolis, betrays little of its 2,000-year history as a crossroads of ancient trade routes. This modern city of 2.1 million people, the fourth largest in the CIS after Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kiev, holds much to arrest the curious traveler, from imposing squares, monumentality architecture and fine museums, to the mud-brick maze of the old Uzbek town, autumn colors on dappled poplar lanes and the sweet spray of fountains on burning summer days. The Tashkent oasis lies on the Chirchik River, within sight of the foothills of the western Tian Shan. Mountain melt water feeds the river, in turn feeding the Syr Darya on whose middle reaches once lay the principality of Chach. Archeologists battling myth and legend call its first capital Kanka, a square citadel founded between the fifth and third centuries BC, eight kilometers from the Syr Darya. The architecture and sculptures are an organic part of the city’s landscape and give Tashkent a cheerful air.
In the centuries past, Tashkent was called Chach, Shash, Binkent at various times. Each of the names is a part of the city's history. Tashkent has always been an important international transport junction.
This City shows its shimmering roots as aSilk Road city even today. The city is a major exporter toEastern Europe of silk and textiles, as well as oil, coal, copper, sulfur, rice.
Unfortunately, only a small part of its architectural past is preserved, due to demolition of historical and religious buildings after the revolution of 1917 and a massive earthquake in 1966. Some old buildings lie in the old town to the west of the downtown. A myriad of narrow winding alleys, it stands in sharp contrast to the more modernTashkent.
Tashkent became a Muslim city in the 8th century AD, and was an important commercial center during the middle Ages. Wars and natural calamities have swept most of the buildings dating back to the time of the ancient city.
The Russian influence pre-dates this century; in 1865, the Tsar’s forces took the city, establishing Tashkent as the capital of Imperial Russia’s Turkistan “satrapy,” and, with the arrival of the Trans-Caspian Railway in 1889, the link with Russia was forged. During the Russian Revolution, the area saw widespread violence as White Russians and local nationalists unsuccessfully battled the Red wave.Main attractions
Kukeldash Madrassa is one of the few remained monumental architectural monuments of Tashkent. It was built in the second half of the 16th. Madrassa Kukeldash is under the authority of Religious Board of Mawarannahr Moslems, and at present it is a regularly acting mosque. There is a primary school, which teaches the basis of Islam. Kukeldash madrasah is constructed very traditionally. Any Madrasah in the Muslim country usually has exactly this look. The facade of a building decorated with majolica and inscriptions a high smart arch entrance-Peshtak. Windows are supplied with sun-protection lattices - Pandjara, in patterns of ornaments we find twisted sacred for Moslems names of Allah and Muhammad prophet. Pass through Peshtak, the visitor gets into the court yard of the rectangular form surrounded with suites vaulted rooms - Hudjr, doors of which go inside. The courtyard often ends with a larger dome building - Darskhona (a room for lessons). Hudjrs served as habitation for students, and lessons, as a rule, were carried out in an open-air in a courtyard of madrasah, because the local climate allows doing it during the most part of year.
Tashkent’s citizens are justifiably proud of their metro,Central Asia’s first and bursting with decorative intent.
The subway was opened in 1977. It has 24 km of lines and 19 stations. This subway has a special feature: the tunnels had to be designed to withstand earthquakes up to force 10 on Richter scale.
Tashkent does not have so many historical sites as Samarqand or Khiva but still offer great museums to visit. There a lot of museums where you can see many exhibitions and works of history.
Museum of Applied Arts
Part of this museum was constructed at the end of the 19th century in the elaborate style of the period as the private house of a rich merchant. It now displays various types of national handicrafts - suzanis, golden embroidery , ceramics, jewelry, wood-carving, rugs, etc. - and has a good quality, if increasingly expensive, gift shop offering modern handicrafts and some antiques.
Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts boasts one of the richest collections of paintings in the former USSR. The collection is based on the private collection of Grand Duke Nikolay Konstantinovich Romanov who lived in Tashkent at the beginning of this century. Founded in 1918, the Museum is one of the oldest in the country. Its collection includes Western, Russian, and Uzbek paintings, as well as sculptures and graphic art ofItaly, Spain, Netherlands and France. Oriental art from Burma, China, Japan and India is also well represented.
Here is the name of some other museums:
Amir Temur Museum
Museum of the History of the People ofUzbekistan
Ural Tansykbaev's Museum
Tamara Khanum's Museum
Mukarrama Turgunbayeva's Museum
Sergei Yesenin's Museum
The National Nature Museum
The Navoi Literature Museum
Museum of Health Service of Uzbekistan
Khast Imam Square
TheKhast Imam Square and the Barak Khan Madrassah founded in the 16th century by descendent of Tamerlane who ruled Tashkent for the Shaybanid dynasty. The ornate facade of blue-tiled mosaic and Koranic inscription conceals a rose garden courtyard and 35 hujra. Directly opposite Barak Khan is the Tellya Sheikh Mosque,first built in the same era and now employed as the city’s chief Friday Mosque.