Tashkent, in Uzbek, Toshkent or Тошкент, in Russian, Tashkent or Ташкент, is a vast metropolis inhabited by more than 2,000,000 people located in the south-eastern Uzbekistan, and its capital since 1991. From the geographical point of view, the city grew into an oasis watered by rivers and Circik Keles, an area very beautiful natural landscapes and the cradle of prosperous Eurasian cultures. Over the last twenty years or so, or since the fall of the Soviet Union, Tashkent became the largest economic and cultural center of the newly-formed Republic of Uzbekistan, the seat of the main national industries and most important center in the field of communications, as well that the main “bridge” with the rest of the world due to its busy international airport.
The city’s origins are very old. The founders were most likely Arabs in 750 AD, decided to build a settlement in the oasis near the river Circik, area inhabited for many years by the nomadic peoples of Turkestan. The first occupants of the city’s buildings were the Chinese, who invaded a few decades before the advent of the army of Genghis Khan, in 1219, destroyed much of the city center, later rebuilt. In 1809, Tashkent was annexed to the Khanate Koland, under which it remained until 1865, when it came under the interference of the Russian Empire. With the fall of the tsars, the city, like the rest of Uzbekistan, was incorporated into the Soviet Union as the capital of the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, strategic region from which the Bolsheviks set off to conquer the Emirate of Bukhara. During the Second World War, following the occupation of Germany’s Nazi good part of Russia south-west, were transferred to the city numerous industries, many of which remained operational until the early 90s. On 25 April 1966 was a dramatic day for Tashkent, struck by a violent earthquake with an intensity of 7.5 on the Richter scale that left more than 300,000 people homeless. In 1991, Tashkent became the capital of Uzbekistan.
Today Tashkent can be considered the true heart of Central Asia, a title earned due to the importance of economic and social infrastructure and investment in this area. That said, you certainly can not say that the city is a tourist destination more compelling in the region, indeed. Because of the destruction that is first in the earthquake of 1966, and then the ill-fated Soviet urban policy, Tashkent appears today as a city deprived of its historical soul, remained under the rubble and replaced austere Soviet architecture.
One of the few survivors of the destruction complex is the old town, the Eski shakhar, an intricate maze of narrow streets and dusty roads onto which humble houses made of mud and brick, old majestic mosques and madrasas, left standing by the planners of Moscow with the aim to show what state would appear the buildings without the “cures” Soviet. One of the most important is that madrasas Kukeldash, a structure dating back to the sixteenth century still being restored. In the immediate vicinity there is the small mosque Jami, whose construction dates back to the fifteenth century, used in the era of Soviet occupation as a repository of processed sheets. The emblem of the city is the Chorsu bazaar, a huge outdoor market extended to the foot of the madrasa Kukeldash attended by thousands of Uzbeks usually dressed in traditional clothes. The only Soviet building with a bit of style is the Navoi Opera and Ballet Theatre, the city theater, in which you can enjoy some interesting Western representations. In total contrast to the boundary, but marked by a significant symbolic value, the Palace of Prince Romanov, built in the nineteenth by the Grand Duke Nikolai Konstantinovich, a cousin of Tsar Alexander III of Russia, it is one of those buildings to visit.
If the disasters of the late twentieth century led to the loss of many historic buildings, the love and passion for his past proved by the city made it possible to relive the history of Tashkent in many museums scattered around the city. The Museum of Fine Arts houses a wonderful collection of works of art made before the start of the Russian Turkestan, among which are Buddhist statues carved over 1000 years ago, Zoroastrians artifacts and dozens of frescoes Sogdians. Another museum is the Museum of Applied Arts, which opened in 1937 as a showcase for local arts of the late nineteenth century. Regardless of the collections on display, also the only building still deserves to be seen and appreciated, as designed in a classic traditional Uzbek end of the eighteenth century. Other museums are also devoted to literature, geology, antiquities and also to rail.
The climate is continental, characterized by cold winters and snowy winters and hot summers. In summer maximum temperatures can even exceed 40 degrees, helping to generate a muggy oppressive only partially prevented by low humidity. In the winter months the average diurnal range between -5 and 5 degrees, while at night it falls steadily below zero. Precipitation is very limited and the focus between the months of March and April and October and November.
With regard to transport, Tashkent is undoubtedly the main point of reference in general and Uzbekistan in Central Asia. The city is endowed with an international airport antediluvian but comfortable, as connected to different ports around the world and located just six kilometers south of the center. Other means by which you can move to the capital of Uzbekistan are buses and trains, not particularly fast but efficient enough.
Originally posted 2012-09-14 05:52:09.