Uzbekistan Travel

Uzbekistan - Tashkent City

Area: 256 sq. km
Population: more than 2,5 mln

Tashkent is one of the largest cities in Central Asia. It is located in the northwestern part of the Republic of Uzbekistan, in the Chirchik River Valley, 440-480 m above sea level. The snowcovered hills of the Chimiyon Mountains and cliffs of the Tian Shan Mountains can be 1 seen in the northeast of Tashkent. The climate is continental with little snow in winter and frequent warm fluctuations. Summers are long, hot and dry. The minimum temperature in winter is 24 degrees Celsius below zero with a maximum of 43 degrees Celsius above zero in summer. The networks of the Chirchik River, the Bozsuv, Salar, Ankhor, Korasuv, Okkurghon, Burjar, Oktepa, and Korakamish canals flow through different parts of the city and considerably affect the climate of the city considerably. Tashkent is one of the ancient cities of the region with a two-thousand-year-old history. The name of the city has changed through different historical periods: Yuni, Chach, and Binkent. The city was first mentioned as "Tashkent" in the 11th century works of Beruny and Makhmud Koshgary.

Tashkent was erected in a densely populated valley as a trade center between nomadic tribes and settler communities. Its convenient geographical location contributed to its development as a trade link between western and eastern merchants, while its benevolent climate made agriculture and livestock farming prosperous. During the Istand2nd centuries B.C.Tashkent acquired the features of an ancient city. There was a fortified defense wall made of bricks with a (literally wall erected out of clay)and a palace inside. The outer defense wall was constructed in keeping with the fortification features of that period. The city was a place of lively trade. Coins of close and distant countries ranging from the Byzantium in the west to China in the east are witness to that fact. During the first quarter of the 8th century the city of Tashkent (Chach) was demolished by Arab conquerors.

It was only rebuilt in the 9th century - not on top of the ruins, but 4-5 km away to the northwest, on the banks of the Bozsuv canal. In the 13th century Khorazmshokh Muhammad once again destroyed Tashkent. Only in the 14th and early 15th century, as part of Amir Temur's state, the city acquired its previous status of stronghold, its borders expanded, and industry, culture and trade developed. A new wall encircled the city, wonderful architectural buildings were erected, parts of which have been preserved to days (Kukaldosh and Barokkhon madrasahs). During that time, the urban planning was taken into account: along the caravan roads around the city center and the ark were streets, which led to the gates. The gates were given the names of the cities that the road going through them led to. Behind the gates were cemeteries named after local saints.

Life in this ancient city centered on the market where the trade deals were struck and different discussions on religion and literature took place. The traders and craftsmen of the city actively participated in the social affairs of the city. Public buildings such as mosques, madrasah (Islamic educational institutions) and public baths were erected in and around the markets, as well as caravansaries (an inn for caravans) that played an important role in the social life of such medieval cities.

The architectural layout of Tashkent has developed throughout the years and has been influenced by natural and social factors. The streets, full of sunlight and very narrow, especially in inner city, were lined with beautifully decorated houses. The walls of the houses were decorated with carvings and entrance doors - with wood engravings. The endless need for protection from earthquakes and hot climate resulted in the invention of interesting types of houses with covered yards in two colors and removable window shutters. The architecture and sizes of the mosques, madrasah and cemeteries were very different from the flat-roofed buildings giving the skyline an interesting form, and a variety of colors.

Tashkent was part of the Kokand khanate. The Bukhara emirate attempted to occupy it several times but failed. In 1865 Tashkent was occupied by Russian troops and became the center of the Turkestan general governance. In 1918 the city was declared the center of Turkestan ASSR. In 1924 the capital of Uzbekistan was moved to the city of Samarkand, but in 1930 Tashkent regained the status of capital.

The independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan was declared on August 31,1991 in Tashkent. Today Tashkent is the political center of Uzbekistan. The residence of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Oliy Majlis (parliament), the Cabinet of Ministers, embassies of foreign countries and organizations are all located in Tashkent.

Tashkent is also a major industrial center. Twenty percent of all goods in the country are produced in Tashkent. There are 300 large- and medium-sized enterprises in Tashkent. Aircraft, cotton harvesters, cotton refinery machinery, cars, tractors, compressors, excavators, and TV sets are produced in Tashkent. There are enterprises of light and food industry, as well. The Tashkent Hydro Electric Power Station is a main source of power for the city. Tashkent is a major railroad link and is the hub of a dense highway and air network. The urban public transportation system is well developed. The stations of Tashkent subway are decorated with amazing artwork.

Tashkent is a major scientific center with the Academy of Sciences, 30 scientific research institutes, the State and Society Building Academy of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Academy of Arts, and more than 20 establishments of higher education.

There is a wide range of cultural centers including theaters, museums, concert halls and libraries. In recent years the outlook of the city has considerably changed with the arrival of efficient highways, wide boulevards, new buildings, fountains and statues. Visitors to Tashkent can enjoy the harmony of modern architecture alongside relics of ancient buildings and statues in the context of typical oriental markets.

Administratively the city is divided into 11 districts: Akmal Ikromov, Bektemir, Mirzo Ulugbek, Mirobod, Syrghali, Sobir Rakhimov, Chilonzor, Shaikhonlokhur, Yunusobod, Yakkasaroy, and Khamza, The head of the city is Khokim (mayor) who resides over about 500 self-government bodies or neighborhood (makhalla) committees.

Tashkent Internet Reseources

Tashkent - Guide to Tashkent, the capital of modern Uzbekistan.

Tashkent Hotels - Booking of hotels