Samarkand is the ancient capital of Uzbekistan, the history of the city counts more than three dozen centuries, capital of ancient Sogdiana, and the state of the Samanids, the main city of the Empire of Tamerlane and today it is the second populous city in Uzbekistan.
In Samarkand you can get direct flights from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Kazan, but most tourists go there from Tashkent. From Tashkent airport there are regular daily flights to Samarkand. Also in Samarkand can be reached by buying a ticket on modern high-speed train "Afrasiab", a trip which will be only slightly more than two hours.
Many of the architectural monuments of Samarkand, listed as world heritage by UNESCO.
While in Samarkand, be sure to visit the following places:
1. Ensemble of Registan square is the main architectural landmark is a square, three sides of which are madrassas.
The Ulugh beg madrasah (1420г) is the oldest madrasah complex in the Western part, Sher-Dor Madrasah (17th century) or "the abode of tigers" in the Eastern part, Madrasas Tilla-Kari (17 century) in the Northern or Central part. They have a rich gold finish, mosaics and majolica, paintings, and represent a unique monument of Islamic architecture 14-17 centuries.
Also near Tillya-Kari is located dakhma — burial structure Sheibanids dynasty of the rulers of Samarkand, 15th century buildings.
2. The Gur-Emir mausoleum — the tomb of the Great Tamerlane, as well as some of his associates and descendants of the Timurid dynasty. Built in 1404, under the guidance of the famous architect from Isfahan Mahmoud Isfahani. It is believed that the mausoleum Gur-Emir became the prototype and inspiration for several other monuments of the Timurid period, such as the Taj Mahal and the mausoleum Hanouna in India.
Inside the mausoleum is decorated with tiles, marble panels, gold. In the center of the enclosed rectangle in which are situated the graves, including "Dark green tombstone of Tamerlane", made of a single piece of jade black.
3. The ensemble of Shakhi Zinda.
A large ensemble of mausoleums 9-19 centuries, located on the Eastern slope of the ancient Afrasiab. Represents a "city" of medieval mausoleums with his "Central" streets and alleys.
In the structure of the architectural complex includes more than 20 historic structures. The complex was formed in the 9th century, according to the legends of the burial of the cousin of the Prophet Muhammad - Kusam Ibn Abbas, and for 9 centuries was "attached" the new mausoleums. The greatest number of buildings dates back to the Timurid era 14-15 century.Most of the buildings are decorated with colored tiles, murals, tiles.
4. The mausoleum of Khoja Doniyor - according to legend, the ashes of St. Daniel (Donier), the biblical prophet, author of one of the books of the Old Testament, are buried in the mausoleum. The place is considered sacred for Muslims, Christians and Jews. On the territory of the mausoleum is a sacred healing spring, as well as a pistachio tree, consecrated by Patriarch Alexy II.