Places worth seeing in Tashkent. Attractions, history, legends
“Velvet hot and ankle-deep dust, scorching duvals (Central Asian fence) with wooden carved gates and the largest and brightest stars ...”. In these words residents of Tashkent describe their hometown. For more than two thousand years, Tashkent has been inspiring the hearts and minds of millions of people, who somehow connected with this city, its culture and history. This is the city you would like to visit again and again, discovering new places and facts every time. But how did this amazing city arise and live all this time?
From the cradle of history
First of all, let's talk about the age of Tashkent. Yes, we have something to tell about the age of the city. For 26 years, Tashkent has grown old for two centuries. The fact is that in 1983 all the Union republics (at that time Uzbekistan was one of the republics of the USSR) congratulated Tashkent on his two thousandth anniversary. But after more than twenty years, new archaeological artifacts were discovered, and in 2009 all countries of the world congratulated the capital on its 2200th anniversary. In other words, Tashkent is actually 2200 years old. Starting to keep its chronicle from the beginning of the second century BC, the city witnessed quite amazing events, both global and regional. It is simply impossible to mention all these events in one article, but the most important ones are still worth mentioning.
In the first millennium of our era, the settlement, which at that time occupied the territory of the future Toshkent (as it sounds in the Uzbek transcription), was captured by the Turkis, but, contrary to their usual practice, they did not destroy it, but improved and settled there. Under the rule of the Turkic government, the territory developed greatly and became the center for the production of weapons and breeding pedigreed horses. But as a result of the constant raids of the Arabs, a fire broke out and destroyed it to the ground. It lay in ruins for almost a hundred years, but the Arabs restored it, and by the 11th century it was renamed Toshkent.
The era of khans and tsars
In the XIV-XV centuries its walls witnessed the ruling of Timur (Tamerlan), as well as his death and a terrible struggle for power between his heirs. By the end of the XVI century, the city became part of the Khanate of Bukhara. Until the XIX century, the city was actively engaged in trading with Russia, until the Khanate of Kokand conquered it, and in 1865 Tashkent became part of the Russian Empire.
This was the beginning of the rapid growth of industry and transport, and in a short time the city became the main railway junction in Central Asia. After the Communists came to power and the formation of the Soviet Union, Tashkent became the capital of the Uzbek SSR, having superseded Samarkand. Since military operations did not threaten this area during World War II, the city became a powerful weapons and industrial base, a social center for the placement of refugees and orphans. At the end of the war, this wonderful city resumed its natural course and followed the road towards a promising future. However, this victorious procession was interrupted by the terrible event of 1966. On April 26 there was a devastating earthquake that destroyed and damaged most of the buildings. Nevertheless, the Union republics were able to almost completely eliminate all the consequences of the disaster in three and a half years. By the time of its 2000th anniversary, Tashkent became the forth-largest city after Moscow, Kiev and Leningrad in terms of population, and second-largest city after Moscow in terms of area.
After Uzbekistan gained independence, Tashkent continued its development and is now a major transportation hub and cultural center.
Let's go on a guided tour
As we already mentioned, Tashkent is a city of stars. Thanks to the clean air and sunny climate, stars do seem brighter here. But it's better to observe them at the outskirts, or even outside the city, so that night lights do not interfere. Then the bluish-black velvet of the sky will allow you to fully enjoy all its treasures. This could be done when you will be leaving the city, but for now let’s return within its borders.
Each capital has its own symbol - a building, a monument or a point on the map, which is the number one place to visit in all guidebooks. The symbol of Tashkent is Independence Square. The square is the place for folk festivals on holidays and a relaxing promenades on weekdays, both for residents and guests of the city. The area of the square is more than 12 hectares, so do not expect to learn everything from the first visit. We have a lot other places to visit, for example, the Khast-Imam ensemble.
It is an example to follow in matters of caring and preserving monuments and respectful interest in the history of our homelands. Its construction began in the XVI century, but numerous earthquakes, wars and merciless times destroyed many of its parts. However, it has got a second wind and was updated and restored in 2007. It combines many unique structures, such as the Mausoleum of abubakr kaffal ash-shashi. But don't stay here too long, because our next stop is the Barak-Khan Madrasah.
Barak-Khan means “lucky guy”, that is how people thought of their ruler of the XVI century - Nowruz Ahmadhan. According to his instructions, this Madrasah was erected opposite the Hast-Imam Mahallah, the center of Islamic experts, philosophers and scientists. But this is not the only famous Madrasah, we are going to visit Kukeldash Madrasah, one of the largest in Central Asia, dating back to 1570. Its name means “milk brother”. The khans, who ruled that time, called its loyal vizier, who built the Madrasah, “milk brother”. This object is considered one of the most famous monuments of Tashkent. But, in order not to stay too long in the past, we will go ahead both on the map and in time and visit the complex dedicated to the memory of the victims of repressions.
Going to Soviet history...
We will not arrange debates now, but we should not forget such history periods either. The years 1937-1953 took away or broke the lives of thousands of people who had too freedom-loving minds or original point of view. The monument was not created to condemn, but to preserve the memory of mostly innocently convicted and executed people. Unfortunately, repressions were not the only challenges for the residents of the Uzbek SSR capital. On April 26, 1966 residents were awakened by a terrible earthquake.
The buildings simply cracked, like the “Courage” monument, when the city was destroyed by an earthquake of 8.3 magnitude. People woke up from a terrible hum and powerful tremors that destroyed most of the buildings. It seemed that their restoration would take more than a decade, but the allied countries and the indestructible courage of all those who were not indifferent allowed to restore the city in literally three years. After 10 years, at the epicenter of the earthquake, a monument was erected that will always remind that human courage and fortitude can accomplish the impossible. Of course, this is very dramatic, and we want to draw your attention to the fact that nature can be not only destructive, but also beautiful. So, we invite you to the Botanical Garden.
The Botanical Garden dates back to 1943. Apparently this was facilitated by a large number of scientists evacuated to Tashkent and just a special love for the nature of the city residents. Its area is 68 hectares, on which 4,500 species of plants grow. Due to the large area, it was possible to create a special microclimate, thanks to which it became possible to grow plants from other climatic zones.
Tashkent always welcomes you
We afraid this will be the end of our written tour, but not the list of attractions of this wonderful city. You must also visit the Sheihantaur Complex, the Zangi-Ata Complex, the Juma Mosque, the Japanese Garden, the Metro, the Zoo, the Palace of Knyaz Romanov, the TV Tower, the Circus, Tashkent Land, the Museum of Railway Engineering and the Park for Recreation and Leisure named after Gafur Gulyama. This is the city that you always want to return to. Now is the time to say goodbye, because you need to think what to take with you on a real tour of Tashkent. One of the leading tour operators in Uzbekistan and Central Asia, Central Asia Journeys, will be glad to arrange it for you. For more than twenty years, its services allow you to learn the amazing history of Uzbekistan and other countries. You will receive top-class and comfortable service, as well as a wealth of positive impressions.