Bukhara is one of the oldest cities in Central Asia with more than 2.5 thousand years of history, with many magnificent mosques, madrasahs and other architectural monuments included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The city is famous for its many craftsmen and artisans. Bukhara is also known as a “city-museum”, with more than 140 architectural monuments. Its main architectural values are the small mausoleum of the Samanids, which recently celebrated its millennium, and the Poi-Kalyan architectural complex. A stunning panorama of ancient Bukhara opens from the circular gallery of its minaret.
The architectural monuments of world significance also include the mausoleums of Chashma-Agrob, Buyan-Kuli-Khan, Saifiddin-Bokharzi and the summer residence of the Bukhara emirs – the city citadel Ark. The list of relics continues with the cult ensemble Gaukushon at the Khoja-Kalyan mosque, the Khoja-Gaukushon madrasah, the unique Magoki-Attori mosque, the Jami palace mosque, the Ulugbek, Abdulaziz-Khan, Modari-Khan and Abdulla-Khan madrasahs and the country palace of the last emir of the country Mokhi-Khossa.
Labi-Khauz is a rectangular pool framed by monumental madrasahs: Kukeldash and khanaka Nadira-Divanbegi. The amazing Toki-Zargaron market is also perfectly preserved there.
There are many historical monuments in the vicinity of Bukhara: the settlement of Varakhsha, the suburban mosque Namozgokh, the haven of wandering dervishes-monks, the Khanaka Faizabad, the tomb of the sheikhs Chor-Bakr, the ruins of the Rabati-Malik caravanserai in Kermin.
According to topschoolsintheusa, Tashkent is not the best place for a traveler who wants to see the real East. This is a typical Soviet metropolis, the fourth most populous city in the CIS after Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kyiv. Only a few blocks remained from the old city in the Chorsu bazaar area: in 1966, Tashkent was almost completely destroyed by a powerful earthquake. Of the surviving monuments in Tashkent, it is worth visiting the Sheikhantaur ensemble (consisting of three mausoleums – Yunus-Khan, Sheikhantur and Kaldirgach-Biya), the mausoleums of Zainutdin-Bobo and Sufi-Ota, as well as the architectural ensemble of Khazrati-Imam. Of the religious buildings, the functioning Kukeldash madrasah, the Abdul-Kasim-Eshon madrasah, as well as the Khast-Imam ensemble with the Barak-Khan madrasah and the Kaffali-Shash mausoleum have been preserved. Also of interest are the picturesque mosques of Jami, Mirza-Yusuf, Khairabat-Eshon and the Sheikh-Tilla mosque on Hast-Imam square.
For many centuries, the city of Samarkand has been associated with exotic mysticism and romantic charm. The well-known expression “Golden Road to Samarkand” hides countless stories behind it.
Samarkand is one of the oldest cities in Central Asia. Conveniently located between India, Persia and China, it has been a key point of the Great Silk Road for centuries. Samarkand has a long and dramatic history: it was practically wiped out by the Mongols of Genghis Khan, then Tamerlane brought the city back to life and made it the capital of his vast empire, and under Ulugbek, the grandson of Tamerlane, many madrasahs were built in the city – so Samarkand became the scientific capital of the East. Almost all the unique architectural monuments of the time of Tamerlane have been preserved in Samarkand to this day.
The main attraction of Samarkand is Registan, one of the most beautiful squares in the world, surrounded by many majestic ancient buildings, minarets and mausoleums. The art of glazed cladding reached its highest point there: on many old buildings there is not the slightest surface area without decoration. A striking example is the Tillya-Kari madrasah, the most beautiful madrasahs of Ulugbek and Sher-Dor.
Starting from Registan, it is worth going around the entire old city to see the mausoleum of Ishrat-Khon (women from the Timurid dynasty are buried in it), the famous observatory of Ulugbek, the mausoleum of Ruhabad (the tomb of the Islamic mystic Burkhaneddin Sagaraji), the mausoleums of Khoja Abdi-Darun, Al-Bukhari and biblical prophet Daniel.
The cult place of Samarkand is the cathedral mosque of Timur Bibi-Khanym, next to which is the mausoleum of Timur himself and his descendants Gur-Emir. Also of interest are the City Museum of Arts, the Ak-Saray mausoleum, the Namozgokh mosque, the Khoja-Ahror madrasah and the Hazrat-Khizr mosque. From the north, the Afrasiab ancient settlement adjoins the city limits, in the southern part of which a unique ensemble of Shokhi-Zinda tombs stretches.
The remains of fortress walls, the Buddhist cult cave complex of Kara-Tepe, the remains of a feudal city, the mausoleum of Hakim at-Termezi, the unique Kirk-Kiz (Forty Girls) building, the Sultan-Saadat mausoleum ensemble, the Kokidor-Ata mausoleum, the Jakurgan minaret, the archaeological museum Termez and many Muslim and Buddhist buildings from different eras. In the bowels of the surrounding city – an abundance of ancient mines and cave cities, many of which have not yet been explored.
For centuries, Khiva has captured the imagination with countless camel caravans laden with exotic silk and spices, noisy bazaars, glittering madrasahs, cruel rulers and the largest slave market in Central Asia. Brave explorers of the 19th century lured European society to Khorezm with intriguing stories about a mysterious and dangerous desert oasis.
Today, tourists flock to Khiva to see the fabulous sights of the magical city in reality. Khiva, with its stunning mosques and madrasahs, is the most grandiose example of Islamic architecture in the world. The Historical Center of Khiva, the fortress of Ichan-Kala, is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Inside the old city of Khiva, Ichan-Kala, there are hotels and restaurants for tourists. The main entrance is the western gate leading to the square to the madrasah of Mohammed Amin Khan.
Next to it is the Kalta Minar minaret, lined with bluish-green tiles. Opposite is the entrance to Kukhna-Ark, the palace of the Khiva khans. Further down Pahlavon-Mahmud Street are the interesting Friday Mosque, the Islam-Khuja Madrasah, and the mausoleum of Pahlavon Mahmud, the patron saint of Khiva.
Almost a thousand kilometers of desert in the extreme west of Uzbekistan is the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan. In Soviet times, it became the epicenter of an environmental catastrophe on a global scale, when, as a result of irrigation of the desert regions of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, the waters of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya stopped reaching the Aral Sea. The best place to realize the scale of the problem is the former fishing port of Muynak, now a hundred kilometers from the coast. In the capital of the republic, Nukus, there is the State Museum of Art named after. Savitsky is one of the few large collections of Russian art of the 20-30s of the 20th century. And the whole space between Nukus and the Amu Darya is studded with ancient fortresses – the ruins of different centuries, the last witnesses of a civilization that has almost disappeared without a trace. The most interesting are Ayaz-Kala, Toprak-Kala and Chelpyk-Kala.
The Beldersay ski resort, located on the steep spurs of the Tien Shan, is remarkable for two things: exceptionally “cold” slopes and proximity to Tashkent – just an hour’s drive. The striking phenomenon of the Tien Shan slopes is that the snow does not melt here, even when the air temperature reaches an incredible +15 °C! The skiing season in Beldersay lasts from November to May, and you can enjoy dry and elastic snow, both when the markets of Tashkent are bursting with an abundance of fruits, and when the Ferghana Valley is covered with an amazing flower carpet. The history of resort development in the region began in the 19th century, when the tsarist governor-general von Kaufmann fell under the spell of Beldersay and built his residence here. The ski center in the resort was established in 2000, so the infrastructure is quite new, in addition, it is well maintained.
Fergana is the greenest city in Central Asia. Ferghana is located at the crossroads to all other cities in the Ferghana Valley, at an altitude of 610 meters above sea level, about 420 km east of Tashkent. Its territory occupies more than 70 sq. km. Fergana is considered the third largest city on the southern side of the Fergana Valley with a population of 320,000 people.
There are not many architectural and historical monuments in Ferghana, but even without them the city is very picturesque and has its own unique look. The main decorations of the city are centuries-old trees: plane trees, poplars, oaks. They have long turned Ferghana into a garden city.
The suburbs of Ferghana are also famous for their extremely beautiful places. In the foothills of the Alai Range, immersed in the greenery of gardens and vineyards, the village of Chimyon is spread, known for its healing mineral springs, on the basis of which the Chimyon balneological sanatorium, the largest health resort in Central Asia, was opened.