Travelling to the Republic of Uzbekistan should be written down on everybody's bucket list. Despite the recent fears about this wide region of Asia, the country is safe and quiet and it deserves to be recognised more as an international astonishing destination. A ten-day trip will be enough to sip and feel this culture as much as we can.
Uzbekistan borders with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. It was a former Soviet Republic and during the Medieval Ages, it was an important hub for the Silk Route[. The country is still important for the cotton and silk supplies worldwide, but it is extremely recommended to visit some of its historic cities too.
Tashkent, the capital city
As the main city of the country,Tashkent got several interesting places to visit. The Mausoleum of Zaynudin Bobo, the Madrasa Kukeldash, Amir Timur Museum and the bazaar Chorsu are definitely the more fascinating ones. A Madrasa is a college for students to complete their advanced Islamic studies. Since the presence of small groups of Orthodox and Catholics, other different buildings are present in the city, like the cathedrals of the Sacred Heart and the Virgin Assumption. Bazaar Chorsu is the local market and it is located nearby the Madrasa.
Amir Timur is well-known as the Tamerlane, who was a general and emperor during 1300. He was a conqueror and along his war endeavours an enlightened leader, as he contributed to the development and rise of sciences, cultures, architectures, music and beaux-arts. Hence, under his government, the country faced the so-called Timur Renaissance.
Known as the city of winds or the city of wild boars, the most powerful and wonderful venue here is the Khudayar Khan Palace, built between 1863 and 1873, Nowadays, 19 rooms out of the former 113 are still intact. The decorations of the buildings are made of majolica and mosaics and they are simply amazing. The bright colours and the flawless light just give the sense of pure beauty.
Perhaps the most famous name acknowledged worldwide, the city of Samarkand – cultures' crossroad belongs to the UNESCO's list for the world heritage sites. It became part of this ambitious award in 2001, as it is one of the oldest city in the world that had flourished under the silk route between China and Europe. Tamerlane too put his eyes on this centre, so much that he transformed it in the former capital city generating numerous positive and aesthetic changed. In this way, Samarkand flourished until the decline caused by the Persian invasion two centuries later. In any case, the Tamerlane Mausoleum is set here, and it represents a typical Islamic architecture.
Other three Madrasas fill the city centre, plus the complex of Ulug Beg Observatory. Ulug Beg was a sultan and Tamerlane's nephew, and with this structure, he was able to make scientific discoveries, like the Zij-I Sultani astronomic boards. Moreover, he established the duration of the year in 365 days and the Earth axial grade (that it still valid today).
Don't' miss out this two jewels. The Madrasa Kukeldash in Bukhara is the biggest one of Central Asia. Indeed, there are lots of Madrasas around the territory, so if you want to have a different taste of the culture, just pop in some local market. Exotic smells and scents and genuine colours will mesmerise you. Even Bukhara is included in the UNESCO's heritage list.
Khiva was a small fortress and a commercial site on the silk route. The major business was, unfortunately, the slaves market that continued until the XVII century. It is said it was founded by Sam, one of Noah' sons. In 1991 it entered in the UNESCO's heritage sites too. Romantic sunsets will await lovers and dreamy people.
With an organised tour, it is possible to visit silk factories and rugs and cotton outlets. Just ask your local travel agency if they have tour packages out there. If you'd like to book with specialised tour operator, have a look to the Indy Guide website that offers tours in Central Asia: https://indy-guide.com/