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Coordinates: 39°39′15″N 66°57′35″E / 39.65417°N 66.95972°E / 39.65417; 66.95972

Samarkand
View of the Registan

Seal
Samarkand is located in Uzbekistan
Samarkand
Location in Uzbekistan
Coordinates: 39°39′15″N 66°57′35″E / 39.65417°N 66.95972°E / 39.65417; 66.95972
Country  Uzbekistan
Province Samarqand Province
Elevation 702 m (2,303 ft)
Population (2008)
 - City 596,300
 Urban 643,970
 Metro 708,000
Website http://www.samarkand.info

Samarkand (Uzbek: Samarqand, Самарқанд, Tajik: Самарқанд, Persian: سمرقند, Russian: Самарканд, literally "Stone Fort" or "Rock Town") is the second-largest city in Uzbekistan and the capital of Samarqand Province. The city is most noted for its central position on the Silk Road between China and the West, and for being an Islamic centre for scholarly study. In the 14th century, it became the capital of the empire of Timur (Tamerlane), and is the site of his mausoleum (the Gur-e Amir). The Bibi-Khanym Mosque remains one of the city's most famous landmarks. The Registan was the ancient centre of the city.

In 2001, UNESCO added the 2,750-year-old city to its World Heritage List as Samarkand – Crossroads of Cultures.

Contents

Etymology

Samarkand derives its name from the Old Persian asmara, "stone", "rock", and Sogdian qand, "fort", "town".[1]

Population

In 1939 Samarkand had a population of 134,346,[2] and in 2008 an urban population of 596,300, mostly Persian-speaking Tajiks. Along with Bukhara, Samarkand is one of the historical centers of the Tajik people in Central Asia.[3]

History

Samarkand is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, prospering from its location on the trade route between China and the Mediterranean (Silk Road). At times Samarkand has been one of the greatest cities of Central Asia.

Early history

Founded circa 700 BC by the Persians, Samarkand has been one of the main centres of Persian civilization from its early days. It was already the capital of the Sogdian satrapy under the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia when Alexander the Great conquered it in 329 BC. The Greeks referred to Samarkand as Maracanda.[4]

Samarkand – Crossroads of Culture*
UNESCO World Heritage Site
State Party  Uzbekistan
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iv
Reference 603
Region** Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 2001  (25th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.
Downtown with Bibi Khanym mosque
View of the Registan at night
Bibi-Khanym Mausoleum

Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran between the times of Alexander and the Arab conquest. In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.[5]

Medieval history

At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came under Arab control. Under Abbasid rule, the legend goes,[6] the secret of papermaking was obtained from two Chinese prisoners from the Battle of Talas in 751, which led to the first paper mill in the Islamic world being founded in Samarkand. The invention then spread to the rest of the Islamic world, and from there to Europe.

From the 6th to the 13th century it grew larger and more populous than modern Samarkand[citation needed] and was controlled by the Western Turks, Arabs (who converted the area to Islam), Persian Samanids, Kara-Khanid Turks, Seljuk Turks, Kara-Khitan, and Khorezmshah before being sacked by the Mongols under Genghis Khan in 1220 . A small part of the population survived, but Samarkand suffered at least one other Mongol sack by Khan Baraq to get treasure he needed to pay an army with. The town took many decades to recover from these disasters.

In The Travels of Marco Polo, where Polo records his journey along the Silk Road, Samarkand is described as a "a very large and splendid city..." Here also is related the story of a Christian church in Samarkand, which miraculously remained standing after a portion of its central supporting column was removed.

14th century

In 1365, a revolt against Mongol control occurred in Samarkand.[7]

In 1370, Timur the Lame, or Tamerlane, decided to make Samarkand the capital of his empire, which extended from India to Turkey. During the next 35 years he built a new city and populated it with artisans and craftsmen from all of the places he had conquered. Timur gained a reputation as a patron of the arts and Samarkand grew to become the centre of the region of Transoxiana. During this time the city had a population of about 150,000.[8]

15th century

Between 1424 and 1429, the great astronomer Ulugh Beg built the Samarkand Observatory. The sextant was 11 metres long and once rose to the top of the surrounding three storey structure although it was kept underground to protect it from earthquakes. Calibrated along its length, it was the world’s largest 90 degree quadrant at the time.[9] However, the observatory was destroyed by religious fanatics in 1449.[9]

Modern history

In 1499 the Uzbek Turks took control of Samarkand.[8] The Shaybanids emerged as the Uzbek leaders at or about this time.

In the 16th century, the Shaybanids moved their capital to Bukhara and Samarkand went into decline. After an assault by the Persian king, Nadir Shah, the city was abandoned in the 18th century, about 1720 or a few years later.[10]

From 1784, Samarkand was ruled by the emirs of Bukhara.[2]

The city came under Russian rule after the citadel had been taken by a force under Colonel Alexander Abramov in 1868. Shortly thereafter the small Russian garrison of 500 men were themselves besieged. The assault, which was led by Abdul Malik Tura, the rebellious elder son of the Bukharan Emir, and Bek of Shahrisabz, was beaten off with heavy losses. Abramov, now a general, became the first Governor of the Military Okrug which the Russians established along the course of the Zeravshan River, with Samarkand as the administrative centre. The Russian section of the city was built after this point, largely to the west of the old city.

The city later became the capital of the Samarkand Oblast of Russian Turkestan and grew in importance still further when the Trans-Caspian railway reached the city in 1888. It became the capital of the Uzbek SSR in 1925 before being replaced by Tashkent in 1930.

Climate

Samarkand
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
44
 
6
-3
 
 
39
 
8
-1
 
 
71
 
14
3
 
 
63
 
21
9
 
 
33
 
26
13
 
 
4
 
32
16
 
 
4
 
34
18
 
 
0
 
32
16
 
 
4
 
28
11
 
 
24
 
21
6
 
 
28
 
15
2
 
 
41
 
9
-1
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: World Climate Charts

The climate is sharp continental. Summers are dry and hot, whilst winters are cold. July and August are the hottest months of the year with temperatures reaching, and exceeding, 40 °C (104 °F). Most of the little annual precipitation is received from December through April.[11]

Notable People from Samarkand

  • Amoghavajra, an 8th century Buddhist monk who translated Vajrayana scripture, became a powerful figure in the Tang court, and is remembered as one of the three founders of Chinese esoteric Buddhism.
  • Qulich Khan Siddiqi (Nawab Khwaja Abid Siddiqi) and Ghazi Uddin Khan Siddiqi, father and grand father of Qamar-ud-din Khan, Asaf Jah I (Nizam I). Nizam I founded the dynasty that ruled Hyderabad (India) for over 200 years.
  • Islom Karimov, President of Uzbekistan.
  • Malika Kalontarova, folk dancer and People's Artist of USSR (parents were from Samarkand).

Cultural associations

In fiction

  • In The Arabian Nights (ca. AD 900), King Shah Zaman is king of Samarkand.
  • In Jinyong's wuxia novel The Legend of the Condor Heroes (1957), the Mongol conquest is mentioned in the story.
  • Samarcande (1988) is the title of a novel by Amin Maalouf, about Omar Khayyám's life.
  • Samarqand is the center of the Islamic Renaissance in Kim Stanley Robinson's The Years of Rice and Salt.
  • Angela Carter's short story The Kiss discusses the legend of Tamburlaine's mosque in Samarkand.
  • For part of the history espoused in Clive Barker's Galilee, the city of Samarkand is held as a shining light of humanity, and one of the characters longs to go there.
  • The markets of Samarkand are referred to in the 1920 Edith Wharton novel The Age of Innocence.
  • "Thirty Days In The Samarkand Desert With The Duchess of Kent" by A.E.J. Elliot, OBE is a fictional book cited in a Monty Python sketch
  • The Amulet of Samarkand is the first book in the Bartimaeus Trilogy written by Jonathan Stroud.
  • From W. Somerset Maugham's classic novel Of Human Bondage: "O, my uncle, this cloth knew not the weavers of Samarkand, and those colours were never made in the vats of Bokhara."
  • Robert E. Howard wrote a short story in 1932 for Oriental Stories titled "Lord of Samarkand".
  • In Iris Murdoch's The Nice and The Good, Kate Gray wants to go to Samarkand for holiday but knows nothing about it.
  • In the Jonas Wergeland Trilogy by Jan Kjærstad Samarkand plays a significant role in the first volume The Seducer (Forføreren).
  • The second novel in author Janeen Webb's young adult series, the Sinbad Chronicles, is called The Silken Road to Samarkand.
  • In Leon Uris' novel QB VII, San Francisco is referred to as America's Samarkand, a city well known as a cultural center.
  • Samarkand (Maracanda) and its environs are central to the events in Stephen Pressfield's historical novel The Afghan Campaign.
  • The Road to Samarcand is one of Patrick O'Brian's early novels (1954) about an American teenage boy, the son of recently deceased missionary parents, who travels from China with a small party on the Silk Road en route to the West.
  • In Dnevnoy dozor aka Daywatch (2006), Timur Bekmambetov's epic tale of Good versus Evil, one of the main characters, Anton, sets himself on a mission to find the Chalk of Destiny which he believes is hidden in Timerlane's grave at the city of Samarkand.
  • In Corto Maltese graphical novels by Hugo Pratt one episode is titled The Golden House of Samarkand.
  • In The Venetian Betrayal suspense novel by Steve Berry, the much of the plot involves a fictional Central Asian Federation composed of a united Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikstan, Turkmenistan and the threat its despotic ruler poses to the area fueled by biological weapons and the mysterious final resting place of Alexander the Great.
  • In the epistolary novel It's Getting Later All the Time, by Antonio Tabucchi, the letter/chapter entitled "Books Never Written, Journeys Never Made" begins with the line, "Do you remember when we didn't go to Samarkand?"
  • In JG Ballard's last novel, Kingdom Come (2006), the suburbs of Surrey are as remote as Atlantis and Samarkand to the inhabitants of Chelsea and Holland Park

In poetry, drama and film

  • Samarkand can appear as an archetype of romantic exoticism, notably in the work by James Elroy Flecker: The Golden Journey to Samarkand (1913).
  • Samarkand is one of the cities Audre Lorde describes visiting in her collection of essays and speeches, Sister Outsider.
  • The flowers of Samarkand are mentioned in the Douglas Fairbanks Jr. movie, Sinbad the Sailor
  • The Nightingale of Samarkand is a character in the Broadway musical Once Upon a Mattress.
  • In Islamic literature and discussions, Samarkand has taken on a semi-mythological status and is often cited as an ideal of Islamic philosophy and society, a place of justice, fairness, and righteous moderation.
  • Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, explores the metaphysical significance of the marketplace in a volume of poetry entitled Samarkand and Other Markets I Have Known, 2002.
  • In the American film classic It's a Wonderful Life, the character George Bailey (played by James Stewart) shops for a suitcase, saying, "I want something for a thousand and one nights, with plenty of room for labels from Italy and Baghdad, Samarkand... a great big one."
  • In the Technicolor movie The Golden Horde, the main character, played by David Farrar, defends Samarkand against the Horde. He utters the memorable line, "He who comes to destroy Samarkand shall himself be destroyed."
  • In the song "Sheherazade," on his 1988 album One More Story, Peter Cetera refers to the "Sultan of Samarkand" as the enchanted king of the One Thousand and One Nights tale.
  • In the 2000 TV miniseries, Arabian Nights, starring Dougray Scott and Mili Avital, Samarkand serves as the setting for Scheherazade's telling of the Aladdin tale.
  • The city of Zanarkand in the 2001 console role-playing game, Final Fantasy X, was inspired by Samarkand.[12]
  • In the 2008 action role-playing game, Fable 2, one of the main characters is said to have come from a place called Samarkand.
  • In the Battletech universe one of the key planets in the Draconis Combine is called New Samarkand.
  • In the novel The Storyteller's Daughter, a retelling of the Arabian Nights / The 1000 Nights by Cameron Dokey, it is the home of a ruler.

In non-fiction

  • See No Evil by Robert Baer is an autobiography about the author's experiences working for the CIA, at one point visiting Samarkand while serving in Tajikistan in the early 1990s.
  • Ibn Battuta the great traveler of the 14th century spent time in Samarkand in the 1330s (see Ross Dunn The Adventures of Ibn Battuta: A Muslim Traveler of the 14th century).
  • Robert D. Kaplan's 1996 political travelogue The Ends Of The Earth has him traversing through a number of places in Africa, Europe, and Asia. In that book, one of the countries is Uzbekistan, and Samarkand is one of the places in Uzbekistan he visits, along with a young translator whose namesake is Ulug Beg.
  • Murder in Samarkand by Craig Murray is a book about the UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan's experiences in this role, until he resigned over human rights abuses in the country in October 2004.
  • Mountains of Heaven: Travels in the Tien Shan Mountains, 1913 by Charles Howard-Bury includes an account of his return journey, featuring a few days in Samarkand.

In music

  • In 1972, Swedish composer Thorstein Bergman wrote "Om du någonsin kommer fram till Samarkand" ("If you ever reach Samarkand") made famous by Swedish singer Lill Lindfors in 1978.
  • In 1977, the Italian singer and composer Roberto Vecchioni issued an LP titled Samarcanda.
  • In 1987, dance music group The Beyond, signed to Midnight Music Records, released the album Episcense which includes the song "Samarkand Sunrise".
  • In 1994, the Spanish rock band La Frontera released the album La rueda de las armas afiladas which includes the song "Arenas de Samarkanda". It was released as a single.
  • Also in 1994, the Esperanto folk duo Nataŝa & Ĵomart released the album Samarkand.
  • In 2004, violinist Lucia Micarelli released the album Music from a Farther Room, which includes the song "Samarkand".

Sister cities

These cities were major cities of Greater Khorasan:

Other sister cities

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ Room, Adrian (2006). Placenames of the World: Origins and Meanings of the Names for 6,600 Countries, Cities, Territories, Natural Features and Historic Sites (2nd edition ed.). London: McFarland. pp. 330. ISBN 0786422483. "Samarkand. City, southeastern Uzbekistan. The city derives its name from that of the former Greek city here of Marakanda, captured by Alexander the Great in 329 B.C.. Its own name derives from the Old Persian asmara, "stone", "rock", and Sogdian kand, "fort", "town"." 
  2. ^ a b Columbia-Lippincott Gazeteer. p. 1657
  3. ^ D.I. Kertzer/D. Arel, Census and identity, p. 187, Cambridge University Press, 2001
  4. ^ Columbia-Lippincott Gazeteer (New York: Comubia University Press, 1972 reprint) p. 1657
  5. ^ Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984) Vol. 16, p. 204
  6. ^ Quraishi, S. "A survey of the development of papermaking in Islamic Countries", Bookbinder, 1989 (3): 29-36.
  7. ^ Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th Ed., p. 204
  8. ^ a b Columbia-Lippincott Gazeteer, p. 1657
  9. ^ a b "Samarqand". Raw W Travels. http://www.rayw20.co.uk/SAMARQAND.htm. Retrieved November 1, 2009. 
  10. ^ Britannica. 15th Ed., p. 204
  11. ^ Samarkand.info. "Weather in Samarkand". Samarkand, Uzbekistan. http://www.samarkand.info/html/weather.html. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  12. ^ (2001) in Studio BentStuff: Final Fantasy X Ultimania Ω (in Japanese). DigiCube/Square Enix, 476. ISBN 4-88787-021-3.

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Asia : Central Asia : Uzbekistan : Samarkand
Enjoying the view of Registan, Samarkand
Enjoying the view of Registan, Samarkand

Samarkand, also Samarqand, is perhaps the most famous city of modern Uzbekistan. The city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Understand

The site of Samarkand was settled about 2000 BC. In times of old the city was also known as Afrosiab, and also Maracanda by the Greeks. The city was the capital of Sogdiana, an ancient Persian province, and was conquered by Alexander the Great in 329 BC. It subsequently grew as a trade center on the Silk Road, the great trading route between China and the Mediterranean region. In the early 8th century AD, it was conquered by the Arabs and soon became an important center of Muslim culture. In 1220 Samarkand was almost completely destroyed by the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan. It flourished again when Timur-i-Leng (known as Tamerlane in the West) made it the capital of his empire in 1369. As his capital Timur put Samarkand on the world map and much of the architecture visible today was built by him or his descendants. The empire declined in the 15th century, and nomadic Uzbeks (Shaybanids) took Samarkand in 1500. In 1784 the emirate of Bukhara conquered it. The city was taken by Russia in 1868 and once again began to assume importance. From 1924 to 1930, Samarqand was the capital of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR). Samarkand is a must see for all travellers visiting the area.

Get in

By plane

Uzbekistan Airways [1] operates flights from Tashkent on Wed and Sun (operated by AN-24, flying time: 1:15 hrs, return flights to Tashkent on Thur and Mon) and on Tue, Sat and Sun (operated by B757, flying time 1 hr).

By train

Train 2 leaves Tashkent on Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat and Sun at 7.00 a.m., arriving in Samarkand at 10.50 a.m., Train 50 leaves Tashkent every day at 7.00 p.m., arriving in Samarkand at 11.55 p.m.

Train 1 leaves Samarkand on Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat and Sun at 5.00 p.m., arriving in Tashkent at 8.50 p.m. Train 49 leaves Samarkand every day at 7 a.m., arriving in Tashkent at 10.55 a.m.

By road

Samarkand is about 4 hours by road from Tashkent; shared taxis leave from Sobir Rahimov bus station. The distance from Samarkand to Tashkent is 295 km, to Bokhara 280 km and to Khiva 745 km.

  • Afrosiab or Afrosiyob Remains: Located on an irrigated valley of the Zerafshan River in the center of Uzbekistan, area of present Samarkand always ensured favorable conditions for human settlements. As proof, one can freely walk through the ancient ruins of Afrosiab, which are a few hundred meters from the center of the city. A Museum is located in the center of the remains. The famous Persian Pehlvan Rustam and Sohrab Belonged to the Afrosiyob. (Not authenticated but part of Folk Lores)
Registan
Registan
Gur-Emir
Gur-Emir
  • Registan: This is of course the main attraction of Samarkand and is every bit as impressive as its reputation. It Consists of Sherdor Madrissa, Ulugbek Madrissa and Mosque. In Summers in the evening generally special folk programs are organized.
  • Gur-Emir: As a conqueror there are few that are Tamerlane equal, both in territory and lives taken. It is said that he made pyramids out of the skulls of his vanquished. Today one can visit his tomb in the beautifully reconstructed Gur-Emir Mausoleum (1404-1405, 15-17 centuries) and reflect on his life while looking at the largest piece of jade (greenstone) in the world.
  • Shakh-i-Zinda: Another point of interest is ancient necropolis Shakh-i-Zinda (9-14, 19 centuries)situated on southeastern mound of Afrosiab. This architectural complex consists of 44 tombs in more than 20 mausoleums. The greatest Significance of Shah E Zinda is that he was the First cousin of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH and resembles the Prophet the most. (Hadrat Hissam Ibne Abbass or Kissam Ibne Abbass)
  • Bibi-Khonum: The restored Mosque Bibi-Khonym (named after the wife of Temur 1399-1404) is one of most well known architectural attractions of Central Asia. The Mosque was erected on Timur's order after his raid of Delhi. The Minaret of the Mosque was supposed to be the tallest.
  • Khazrat-Khizr: This mosque is one of the ancient edifices of Samarkand was destroyed by Genghis Khan's hordes. It was rebuilt in 19 century. A beautiful Mosque stands on the elevation at the entrance of town from where their eye wanders over Bibi-Khonym Mosque, the big bazaar and the mountains in the South.
  • Tomb of Prophet Daniel: Amongst other curiosities in Samarkand is the tomb of the Hebrew Prophet Daniel, which is in the cemetery section of Afrosiab next to a pleasant stream. For a small fee you may enter the tomb, which contains a burial chamber around 18 meters long. Muslim men will offer prayers while you listen respectfully. After the conquest of Syria the Grave was transported to Samarkand under the orders of Amir Temur.
  • Ulugbek's Observatory: Another curiosity is the observatory of Ulugbek (Timur's grandson). It was located by the Russian archeologists. Only the foundations remain but it is truly extraordinary. Ulugbek was an astronomer, scientist and architect. His scientific and astronomical discoveries greatly advanced knowledge in these fields.
  • The Mausoleum of Al Buxori Al Bukhari located in suburb of Samarkand, in Payerik. Al Buxori was collector of the sayings of prophet Muhamed and compiled them in to a book Known as Hadith Bukhari Sharif or Bukhari Sahih. He was burried in the place where his mausoleum is located now. His Mausoleum was reconstructed by Uzbek Government and supported by some Muslim Governments, the brick were delivered from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait. The constructers and artists from all Uzbekistan and Iran were working to reonstruct the complex. The Green Marble was supplied by the Pakistan Government
  • Abu Mansoor Al Matrudi Mausoleum Newly Renovated the Mausoleum of great Sunni Faqi is located 1 Km from masjid Bibi Khanum inside the Residential area. Visitor has to walk. Mirza Zaheer Ud Din Babur in his book Babur Noma has praised the knowledge and Command on Fiqah of Abu Mansoor Al Matrudi.

Buy

Samarkand Zeera is famous all over the world for its aroma. Samarkand Pistachio, smaller in Size but very popular. Samarkand Shafran Or Zafran is famous but inferior in quality as compared with Iranian.

Eat

The most famous product of Samarkand is their bread, "Samarkand Non". A visitor will rarely find anybody leaving Samarkand with out buying Non as a gift. There are so many interesting stories about "Samarkand Non".

  • Cafe Nur, Registan 9 (Almost opposite Registan). Ordinary clean local cafe selling pizza (3500S) etc., including vegetarian options. Good for travellers because of the location and because the owner speaks excellent English.  edit
  • Regal Palace Restaurant, Regal Palace Hotel (Samarkand Airport). Indian Food Prepared by Indian Chef etc., including vegetarian options. The Only Restaurant offering Indian Food. 7 USD Lunch 9 USD Dinner.  edit

Drink

Samarkand is a conservative city as compared with Tashkent. There are few Night Clubs and Bars. On Afrosiab Hotel there is a Night Club and Bar. In President Hotel Guests can have Beer in Nice Environments. Incante Show Club is at a walking Distance from Afrosiab Hotel and in the evening visitors can watch Pole Dance.

  • Hotel Regal Palace (Regal Palace Hotel Building), Kunaev Street, Samarkand Airport (Samarkand Airport), +998 97 4431080 (), [2]. checkin: 14.00; checkout: 12.00. $65-85 including breakfast.  edit
  • Hotel Zarafshan, 65 Sharaf Rashidov St (beside Central Park in the new part of town), +998 662 333 372. A recently renovated old Soviet hotel with loads of moody charm. Rooms are variable, so ask to see more than one if the first isn't to your liking. The front desk staff were very helpful. $15-30.  edit
  • Bahodir B&B, Mulokandov 132 (In the city center, a stones throw away from the Registan, behind the museum.), +998 (83) 66 235 85 29. checkout: 12:00. This place seems to be the main meeting point for backpackers in Samarkand. The courtyard with teabeds makes a nice place for few beers and sharing travel stories. The staff is friendly, honest and willing to sell beer from their fridge. However, if staying in the dorm, be warned that the shared bathroom is worse than the "bug pit" of Bukhara. US$ 6 for a dorm bed, doubles from US$ 18 , breakfast is included and a dinner costs US$2 extra..  edit
  • B&B Davr, Samarkand,Republik of Uzbekistan,Ali Kushchi st.43 (In the city center, close to the Registan), [4]. checkout: 12:00. B&B with rooms set around a courtyard. They also do dinners on request which are a delicious and massive spread and very reasonable. The son of the owner speaks English. US$ 15 per person per night incl breakfast.  edit
  • Jahongir B&B, Chirokchi #4 (50 metres behind the wall on Suzangaron str. from the SUPERMARKET store on the corner), +998 66 391 92 44 (info@jahongirbandb.com), [5]. checkin: 15:00; checkout: 11:00. Jahongir B&B is located in the heart of Historical part of Samarkand within 5 minutes from Registan Ensemble. Comfortable rooms with modern amenities. Services include: dinners on request, wireless internet, taxi on call, guide services, laundry & dry clean. $10-20. (39°39'3.35С,66°58'39.71E) edit
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

There is more than one meaning of Samarkand discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Wikipedia-logo.png
Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Proper noun

Singular
Samarkand

Plural
-

Samarkand

  1. A city in Uzbekistan.

Translations


German

Wikipedia-logo.png
German Wikipedia has an article on:
Samarkand

Wikipedia de

Proper noun

Samarkand n.

  1. Samarkand (city in Uzbekistan)

Simple English

Coordinates: 39°39′15″N 66°57′35″E / 39.65417°N 66.95972°E / 39.65417; 66.95972

Samarkand
View of the Registan
File:Samarkand city
Seal
Coordinates: 39°39′15″N 66°57′35″E / 39.65417°N 66.95972°E / 39.65417; 66.95972
Elevation 702 m (2,303 ft)
Population
 - City 596,300
 Urban 643,970
 Metro 708,000
Website http://www.samarkand.info

Samarkand is a famous city.[1] It is the second-largest city in Uzbekistan and the capital of Samarqand Province.

The city is on the old Silk Road between China and the West, and is an Islamic centre for scholarly study. In the 14th century, it became the capital of the empire of Timur (Tamerlane), and is the site of his mausoleum, the Gur-e Amir. The Bibi-Khanym Mosque remains one of the city's most famous landmarks. The Registan was the ancient centre of the city.

In 2001, UNESCO added the 2,750-year-old city to its World Heritage Site list as Samarkand – Crossroads of Cultures.

Contents

History

Samarkand is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, prospering from its location on the trade route between China and the Mediterranean (Silk Road). At times Samarkand has been one of the greatest cities of Central Asia.

Founded circa 700 BC by the Persians, Samarkand has been one of the main centres of Persian civilization from its early days. Alexander the Great conquered it in 329BC.

Medieval history

At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came under Arab control. Under Abbasid rule, the legend goes,[2] the secret of papermaking was obtained from two Chinese prisoners in 751. This led to the first paper mill in the Islamic world being founded in Samarkand. The invention then spread to the rest of the Islamic world, and from there to Europe.

Samarkand was sacked by the Mongols under Genghis Khan in 1220 . Some of the people survived, but later Samarkand suffered at least one other Mongol sack. The town took many decades to recover from these disasters. In The Travels of Marco Polo, where Polo records his journey along the Silk Road, Samarkand is described as a "a very large and splendid city..." He also writes about a Christian church in Samarkand, which miraculously remained standing after a portion of its central supporting column was removed.

In 1370, Timur the Lame, or Tamerlane, decided to make Samarkand the capital of his empire, which extended from India to Turkey. During the next 35 years he built a new city and populated it with artisans and craftsmen from all of the places he had conquered. Timur gained a reputation as a patron of the arts, and Samarkand grew to have a population of about 150,000.[3]

Modern history

In 1499, the Uzbek Turks took control of Samarkand.[3] They moved the capital to Bukhara and Samarkand went into decline.[3] The city came under Russian rule in 1868. The Russian section of the city was built after this point, largely to the west of the old city.

The city later became the capital of the Samarkand Oblast of Russian Turkestan and grew in importance still further when the Trans-Caspian railway reached the city in 1888. It became the capital of the Uzbek SSR in 1925 before being replaced by Tashkent in 1930.

References

  1. Uzbek: Samarqand; Persian: سمرقند; Russian: Самарканд, means "Stone Fort" or "Rock Town"
  2. Quraishi S. 1989. A survey of the development of papermaking in Islamic Countries. Bookbinder. 29-36.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Columbia-Lippincott Gazeteer, p. 1657








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