Samarkand and Silk Road

Samarkand-Crossroads of Cultures

Samarkand

is one of the oldest cities in Central Asia that located on the Silk Road in the Center of Uzbekistan. It was founded between 7th and 8th centuries BC. By the time of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia, it was the capital of the Sogdian satrapy. The city was taken by Alexander the Great in 329 BC, when it was known by its Greek name of Marakanda. Afrosiyab,Sogdian, Marakanda have been one of the old name of Samarkand in the past. The Mongols under Genghis Khan conquered Samarkand in 1220. It is capital of Samarkand region and is Uzbekistan’s third largest city. Samarkand is as old city as Roma, Paris and London. The city is noted for being an Islamic centre for scholarly study. Imam Al-Bukhariy, Imam al-Motrudiy lived there. Islam was a dominate religion in the city after conquered by Qutayba ibn Muslim in 710. The Arabians named “Transoxiana “this region. The city has carefully preserved the traditions of ancient crafts: embroidery, gold embroidery, silk weaving, carpet, sword, and engraving on copper, ceramics, carving and painting on wood and also very famous Samarkand Silk Paper. This old paper workshop has used still. You can visit the Samarkand Silk Paper. In the 14th century it became the capital of the empire of Timur (Tamerlane) and In 1370 Timur, the founder and ruler of the Timurid Empire, made Samarkand his capital. During the next 35 years, he rebuilt most of the city and populated it with the great artisans and craftsmen from across the empire. At this time the trade was developed between Asia and Europe. Even Temur met with Henry III’s ambassador, Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo, who was stationed there between 1403 and 1406. In addition there was born a great astronomer, his name is Ulugh Beg built the Samarkand Observatory.

In 2001, UNESCO added the city to its World Heritage List as Samarkand – Crossroads of Cultures