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Home : Holidays : Asia : Uzbekistan : Tashkent - the Capital of Uzbekistan

Tashkent - the Capital of Uzbekistan

In the centuries past, Tashkent, the present capital of Uzbekistan, was called Chach, Shash, Binkent at various times. Each of the names is a part of the city's history. Tashkent has always been an important international transport junction. Unfortunately, only a small part of its architectural past is preserved, due to demolition of historical and religious buildings after the revolution of 1917 and a massive earthquake in 1966. Some old buildings lie in the old town to the west of the downtown. A myriad of narrow winding alleys, it stands in sharp contrast to the more modern Tashkent. Of interest among the older buildings are the 16th century Kukeldash Madrassah, which is being restored as a museum, and the Kaffali-Shash Mausoleum. Many of the Islamic sites in Tashkent, like Khast-Imam structure, are not open to non-Muslims, and visitors should always ask permission before entering them.

Tashkent houses many museums of Uzbek and pre-Uzbek culture. These include the State Art Museum, which houses a collection of paintings, ceramics and the Bukharian royal robes. The Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts exhibits embroidered wall hangings and reproduction antique jewelry. As important historical figures, such as Amir Timur - better known as Tamerlane in the West - are being given greater prominence, the exhibits and perspective of the museums are also changing.

Tashkent, Uzbekistan - History

Tashkent-the capital of Uzbekistan republic-is one of the ancient city appeared on the cross of the Great Silk Road from China to Europe.
First information about Tashkent as city settling is in the ancient east sources of the second century before A.D. In China sources it was called Yuni; in the inscription of the year 262 before A.D. of Persian king Shampur the First on the ?° Caaba of Zoroastrian?± Tashkent oasis was called Chach; in the transcriptions of some china sources the city also was called Shi, and in the Arabian-Shash. By the sayings of Biruniy and Mahmud Kashgariy, the name Tashkent was appeared from the Turkic sources of 9-12 centuries. In Russia in 15th century it was famous as Tashkura.

Tashkent, Uzbekistan - Sights of Interest

  • Zangiata

With name Temur and Ulugbek connected the construction of Zangi-ata mausoleum in the village, called later Zangiata (Tashkent region). By the legend, in 90-s of 14 century Temur ordered to build mausoleum over the grave of saint sheikh Ay-hoja, called in life Zangi-ata (the father of life). Zangi-ata mausoleum-this is multistage longitudinal pivotal mausoleum- complex typical for Timur??s time. In the time of Ulugbek there was built portal to mausoleum (first half of 15 century). Now remained only basis of the building-portal, ziarathona and gurhana (burial-vault) in the graduated building. Double cupolas on arched canvases cover buildings; in ziarathona five arches let down low, by this model were built other next mausoleums of Tashkent. Under cupola made 16-hedron arches. Outside cupolas lifted on the drums-cylindrical over ziarathona, 12-hedron over gurhana. Unique details had remained: carved marble headstone Zangi-ata and remains of abacus in gurhana, mosaic mihrab in ziarathona, and mosaic panel on the portal. The building is made of baked bricks (25/26-5/6 cm), its sizes are 18.5??13 meters, rooms-6.15??6.15 and 3.75??3.75 meters, and height is 19 meters. Mausoleum-complex consists of the yard, surrounded with hujra, madrasah, built in 18-19 centuries, in 1870 in the southeast there was built an mosque and in 1914-1915 before the mosque there was built minaret.

  • Kukeldash Madrassah

Kukeldash Madrassah is one of the few remained monumental architectural monuments of Tashkent. It was built in the second half of the 16th century in the time of Abdullachan (1557-1598) under the Leadership of Kulbobo Kukeldash who was a vizier, a scientist and a poet. Madrassah Kukeldash is under the authority of Religious Board of Mawarannahr Moslems, and at present it is a regularly acting mosque. There is a primary school, which teaches the basis of Islam.

  • Khast-Imam

An interesting ensemble was erected in a place called Khast-Imam. The ensemble comprises the Barak-Khana Madrassah of the 16th century, Teleshayakh Mosque, part of which houses an important religious library, the 16th century Kaffal-Shashi mausoleum, which was built over the grave of Abubekr Mukhmmad Kaffal-Shashi, and the Imam al-Bukhari Institute.

  • Anbar-bibi mausoleum

In Zangi-ata village of Tashkent region there is a monument of the end of 14 ¨C beginning of 15 century ¨C this is Anbar-bibi mausoleum (or Kambar-ana) -the wife of Zangi-ata. In legends she also is called Anbar-bibi - this saint woman was patroness of women and mothers.
Anbar-bibi mausoleum is situated on the cemetery to the southwest from Zangiata mausoleum. Two stepped headstones situate in the mausoleum-over the burial place of Anbar-bibi and Ulugpashi. Mausoleum is one chamber, portal domical kiosk, like cube with cut corners and small portal prominent from it. Niches with flat end faced on the sides of front, this is unusual form, and probably it was caused because of change in design during the construction.
The building is crosswise covered by double sphere conical cupola on the arch canvases; external-in the cylindrical drum. Five arches of canvases are let down low. D¨?cor did not remain; by old pictures is known brick mosaic on the drum of cupola. Walls are from burnt bricks (25/26-5/6 cm). Sizes: 9??6.4 m, height is 13.5 m, room-4.8 ??4.8 m.

  • Shayhantaur Ensemble

At the beginning of 13th century on the eve of Mongolian conquest Tashkent oasis was destroyed by Khorezm-shah Muhammad. In 14-15 centuries the city again obtain it??s meaning as trade and cultural center in the structure of power of Temur and Temurids. The city afresh built up and expanded to the south and east, behind its walls complex of cultural constructions near respected grave of Havendi Tahur sheikh (Shayhantaur ensemble, situated on the Navoy avenue) begin to develop.
The cult of sheikh was praised by his offspring Hoja Ahrar, who was head of priesthood in the government of Timurids from second half of 15th century. In 15th century was built mausoleum of Havendi Tahur sheikh, the basis of planning for which is longitudinal axis two chamber mausoleum complex, typical for Central Asia of the end of 15th century. Present monument raised in 18-19 centuries on the foundation of mentioned monument of 15th century, with prior planning. Mausoleum is build from burnt bricks; its sizes are 16.2??9m, room-6??6 and 4.1?? 4.1 m, height of cupola of ziarathona-12.8 m.

  • Yunus-khan Mausoleum

Besides Shayhantaur ensemble on the Navoy avenue there is a mausoleum of Tashkent ruler Yunus-khan (1415 ¨C 1487). It is situated on the territory of Shayhantaur cemetery. It represents T-shaped khanaka-mausoleum. The main south facade has portal with low wings; on the facade, as in the corners of cruciform hall with north-ledge half-octagon niche, there are two-storied hudjras. The hall is opened with three-sides doorways, covered with sphero-conal dome on cross archs; second-storied hudjras are covered with cupolas on the multi-row thyroid pendentives. The outer dome hall was reconstructed in 1970. The windows are decorated with wood and ganch panjara, there are fragments of ganch girikh (a geometrical ornament) on the archs and mukannas-stalactites (decorative ganch arrangement of cupolas) in the hall. Its sizes are 21,5x20,5, building width ¨C 16 m, the hall ¨C 7x7m.

  • TV Tower

The TV Tower is the highest construction in the Central Asia. Its construction began to in 1979 and was completed in 1981. Project of architects were U.L. Semashko, N.G. Terziev-Tzarukova, engineers E.P. Morozova, M.D. Musheeva. Its construction incorporates an ability to withstand Earthquakes of seismic magnitude of 9 on the Richter Scale, has an overall height of 375 metres. The lattice styled tower trunk is supported by three inclined slips, which ensure the building's steadiness and give an impression of lightness.

At the heights of 100 metres and 220 metres the tower is girdled with 5 telecasting stations for 5 television Programmes, radio broadcasting station and a meteorological station. There is also observation deck, where you can enjoy magnificent views of the city, revealing the many bars and restaurants located therein. Our restaurants will serve you with fine dishes of Uzbek cuisine. The interior the building is decorated with national paintings.

  • Exhibition Hall

Exhibits in the Exhibition Hall of Uzbekistan Artists Union change continually. Light, roomy halls are put not only at famous artists disposal, but that of young??s as well. There is an exhibition hall in the center of the city. It was opened in 1974. The central is the hall of sculpture and graphics. There are halls of painting and applied art around it. The building itself is interesting as well. There is a tracery summer gallery around it. National d¨?cor, chiaroscuro, colours are used on the façade. There is a stand on the ground floor where one can buy works of art. There is another, hall in the open air. It is a small park with original sculptures. On warm sunny day the works of artists and sculptors are exhibited in the park.

  • Tashkent Metro

Tashkent is the only city in the Central Asia, which has underground. The metro construction was started in 1973 and in 1977 the first line began to operate. Today Tashkent metro - it is 36 stations and they differ from each other. Architectural and artistic decoration of each station depicts its name. The peculiarity of metro is rather swallow station position. Some stations have escalators, 7 ones belong to tower type, 4 ones to arch type and one (Mustakillik) to tower-individual type. The leading architects and artists of Uzbekistan took part in designing of the stations. In interior d¨?cor there were used solid and stable materials: metal (engraving), glass, plastic, granite, marble, smalt, art ceramics, carved alabaster. Each station is originality work of art, devoted to a certain theme.
Tashkent metro has three lines: Chilonzor, Uzbekistan and Yunus-Obod. Underground is a favourite means of transport of people in Tashkent. You can go to any part of the city in no time (The interval between trains is 240 seconds).