Samarkand is perhaps the most famous city of modern Uzbekistan.The site of Samarkand was settled about 2500 BC.In times of old the city was known as Afrosiab, and also as Maracanda by the Greeks.The city was the capital of Sogdiana,and was conquerd by Alexader the Great in 329 BC.It subsequently grew as a trade center on the route between China and the Maditerranean region.
REGISTAN SQUARE - « Sandy place »
The Registan is of course the main attraction of Samarkand and is every bit as imprassive as its reputation.The Registan was the heart of the ancient Samarkand.The name means « Sandy place ».The ensemble of three medreses is the unique example of town –planning art a remakable pattern of the architectural design of the main town square.Three medreses of the Registan are: Ulugbek Medrese (1417-1420), the Sher-Dor medrese (1619-1636) and the Tilya-Kori Medrese (1646-1660).
The Registan Ensemble is a wonderful combination of the structures built at different times.Extensive restoration workrs are in the process.
GUR AMIR MAUSOLEUM
Today one can visit The Great Emirs tomb in the beautifully reconstructed Gur-Emir Mausoleum «1404-1405» and reflection of his life can be obseved while lookingat the largest piece of jade (greenstone) in the word. The Gue-Emir Mousoleum is a masterpiece of Central Asia architectura. The consruction began in 1403 was connected with a sudden death of Muhammad Sultan Tamerlans heir and his beloved grandson.But actually Ulugbek,another grandson of Tamerlane,completed the work.During hisrule the mousoleum became the family crypt of the timuride dynasty.
THE SHAKH-I- ZINDA ENSEMBLE
Another place of interest is ancient necropolis Shakh-i-zinda (11-19 centuries) situated on souchtectural complex consists of 44 tombs in more than 20 mausoleum.
The restored cathedral Mosque Bibi-Khonum (1399-1404)is one of the most famous architectural attraction of Central Asia The Mosque was erected on Timurs order after his raid of Delhi.This was to be biggest Mosque ever constructed.Until now the Bibi-Khanum Mosque is on the biggest in the Islamic world.