Uzbekistan and its Ancient Cities on the Silk Road


Uzbekistan is becoming one of the interesting tourist destinations. According to many tourist agencies the number of tourists willing to visit Central Asia and other eastern countries has significantly increased in recent years. Central Asian states linked with the so-called Great Tourist Road including at least 20 countries between Japan up to Europe. The Republic of Uzbekistan is an important link on this Road as it was once one of the main points of the ancient Silk Road.

Many centuries ago, the civilization that existed here gave life to many famous scientists, philosophers, poets and doctors, many of whose output is still used by many intellectuals around the world. As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of this newly independent country with its renovated monuments of history, culture and architecture, a high level of interest is made available to the international tourist market.
One can travel to Uzbekistan using many different airlines but we recommend you use Uzbekistan Airways, where you can feel the spirit of the East once you board the airplane. Equipped by modern long-distance liners produced by well-known aircraft production companies such as Boeing and Airbus Industry, Uzbekistan Airways provides passengers with the world class service on international flights from Europe, North America, Asia, and Middle East. Domestic flights to the tourist centers of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva are provided on board of the middle-distance British-French RJ-85. In anticipation to meet with past centuries, tourists need just a short time to pass through the procedures of the modern airports, the gateway to the country of turquoise domes.

SamarkandSAMARKAND is one of the oldest cities in the world, established during the middle of the first century BC under the name Marakanda, later it was Afrosiab. The city was conquered by the troops of Alexander the Great, the Arab Caliphate and Genghis Khan. It was the capital of the powerful state of Sogd, the center of Amir Temur's great empire. Temur was the one who cared about the beauty of the city and its strength as a major capital city in the region. The numerous monuments of Samarkand and its suburbs impress tourists with their beauty and splendor. The refined architectural shapes, intricate ornamentation, mosaics, blue-tile domes and facades are interesting for all who visit these beautiful buildings. Blue is important in decorating buildings, it blends in with the blue sky.

The majestic Registan square consists of three rnadrassas namely the Ulugbek, Sher-Dor and TiIIyakari Madrassas. Other places of interest are the Shakhi-Zinda necropolis - most remarkable monument in Samarkand and the Gur-Emir mausoleum -the grave of Temur, his sons and grandsons, The history of the city boasts the names of outstanding writers, scientists and artists from the East including astronomers Kazyzade and Rumi and poets Djami and Navoi.

Our excursion continues to noble BUKHARA, as it was known n the Muslim East since ancient times. More than 140 architectural monuments can be found here, and of the major blue-domed minarets one would have to start with the Kalyan Minaret constructed in 1127. This unique construction rises into the sky for 47 meters. The most striking feature of the minaret is its intricate ornamentation. The world-famous architectural ensemble Lyabi-Hauz, which includes the Kukeldash madrassa, the Khanaka and the Nadira Divan-begi Madrassa is listed in the world catalogue of significant historical buildings. The most unique one, however, is the mausoleum of the Samanids for their ruler lsmail, his father and his grandchild. Baked bricks were used to create a lattice design. The trading domes are equally important as monument, still operating in Bukhara today. Of course, every tourist is recommended to visit the beautiful palace of the last Emir of Bukhara.

KHIVA, the city museum in the open sky, is unique in its beauty known as 'The Pearl of the Khorezm Oases". Important spiritual and cultural values came from the large scientific centers of astronomy, mathematics and medicine that operated in this area centuries ago. A valuable heritage of knowledge was left here by internationally famous scholars such as Beruni, Agakhi and Nadjmiddin. One can stroll through the narrow streets of Khiva, peeking into the small courtyards through the wooden carved doors. The life inside the gardens assures the visitor that it is not just a museum, but also a living city.

The leader of a tourist group from Japan, Yokheo Saban, after a visit to this country said with delight: "In Japan we have read much about the Great Silk Road and its major cities - Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. I was shocked to actually see these ancient cities, monuments, and the blue sky - it is so remarkable.

Many tourists, some of who have only once visited Uzbekistan are of the same opinion. We can sing the praises of these unique cities infinitely. Even though many books and brochures have been written about these cities, it is still better to visit this unique land with Uzbekistan Airways and see everything with your own eyes.


Additional Internet Resources:
Uzbekistan - Guide to Uzbekistan from Advantour.
Tashkent - Pictures and short introduction to Tashkent
Search Uzbekistan - Uzbekistan directory and search engine.
Kazakhstan - Guide to hotels in Kazakhstan: Almaty Hotels, Astana Hotels, Aktau Hotels, Atyrau Hotels.
KIOGE - Kazakhstan International Oil & Gas Exhibition
Astana Hotels - Booking of hotels in Astana via Turkiosk.ru, the Moscow travel agency
Almaty Hotes - Booking of hotels in Almaty via Turkiosk.ru, the Moscow travel agency