Your complete guide to places to go in Samarkand including Samarkand’s top sightseeing places, restaurants, pubs and bars, hints on shopping in Samarkand, tourist attractions in Samarkand, sports, parks and more.
For many centuries the name Samarkand has carried with it an air of exotic mysticism and romantic allure. Who has not heard the expression “The Golden Road to Samarkand?” Five simple words served as a passport to countless tales.
For much of Central Asia’s history, the cities of Bukhara and Samarkand dominated the region, while Tashkent was a minor commercial town. Bukhara was an important site of Islamic learning, and Samarkand was a political, economic, and cultural center on the Silk Road trade route. Samarkand also served as the seat of the Timurid Empire, ruled at the peak of its power by Amir Timur (or Tamerlane, 1369 – 1405). Both Samarkand and Bukhara have strong Persian influences in language, culture, and ethnic makeup, a fact that is reflected in their Soviet and post-Soviet populations.The Islamic architecture in Samarkand, with its main square (Registan), the astronomer Ulug Bek’s observatory, and madrassahs on the Registan, became symbols of the Timurid Empire’s power and scientific achievements. Samarkand later served as an important comparison point for Soviet artists and building designers when creating ‘Soviet-Uzbek’ architecture.