Uzbekistan is a Central Asian nation and former Soviet republic. The nation is known for its mosques, mausoleums and other sites which are linked to the Silk Road an ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean.
Tashkent the capital of Uzbekistan is known for its many museums and mix of modern and Soviet-era architecture.
One of the oldest bazaars in Tashkent is Alay Bazaar. It began in the 12th – 13th centuries on Mount Alay. At first it was a trading place on the trade route from East Turkestan in the Fergana Valley. It became a full-fledged bazaar in the 19th century. Today it is a place where you can buy eastern sweets, fruit and other foods. There is also a flea market where various goods are sold and its known for its two-story complex of jewelry selling silver and gold. The bazaar as such is an integral part of Eastern culture.
Chorsu Bazaar is the city’s famous farmers market, topped by a giant green dome just off the Old Town’s southern edge. You can find lots to like here including fresh spices, dairy products, bread and candy. Fruit such as pomegranates, melons, persimmons and others. Souvenir hunters can find colorful sitting mats, skull caps, traditional cloaks and interesting knives.
The Palace of Prince Romanov is an unusual monument once the residence of Prince Romanov. It was built in 1891 right in the city center. It is a one-story private residence where the grandson of Emperor Nicholay I lived.
This impressive building is richly decorated with carved grids, unusually shaped windows, towers and other decorative elements. Since the duke was a hunter the front entrance was decorated with bronze figures of deer and hunting dogs. In the back is a large garden that was laid out by the famous Tashkent botanist and pharmacist I.I. Krause. Today the building is used as the Reception House of the MFA of Uzbekistan.
Tillya Sheikh Mosque Friday mosque of the 19th century is one of the largest mosques in Tashkent. It consists of the winter building, summer yard, dome in the center and dome gallery.
There are huge minarets and inside there is a spiral staircase which is climbed in order to call upon all the faithful to prayer.
Amir Timur Square in the center of the city was named after Amir Timus, the commander and founder of a huge medieval empire. It was established by order of General M. Chernyaev in 1882.
In the center of the square is a monument to Amir Timus, an outstanding commander and statesman of the XIV century, who managed to found a centralized united state composing of 27 countries in the vast territory from the Mediterranean Sea to India. The monument represents a bronze figure of Amir Timur with imperial regalia on a reared horse. The plinth is engraved with his famous motto in four languages “Power is in Justice”.
The square is surrounded by various buildings such as the Forums Palace built in 2009 where important state and international events are held. The building is decorated with majestic columns and its dome reaches almost 48m in height, its peak crowned with stork figures.
The Amir Timur Museum holds exhibits dedicated to the epoch of Timur and the Tiumrid dynasty. There is a copy of the Ottoman Koran in the central hall on the ground floor. The walls of the halls are decorated by the best artists in Uzbekistan, depicting scenes from Timur’s life.
On the Square the most famous architectural monument is the Tashkent Chime. It was constructed in 1947 and is the symbol of Tashkent. The famous clock mechanism was brought from the German city of Allenstein. Today it is a combination of old and new chimes.
The German Kirche is a Gothic building that overlooks age-old trees. This is an Evangelical Lutheran Church and is the only Lutheran Church in Tashkent. It was built in 1899. The church was built of brown-yellow brick.
In the center of the city you’ll find Independence Square. This is a lovely place with beautiful fountains. Here you can see an Independence Monument in the form of a globe with Uzbekistan’s borders outlined on it. This is where important events are held such as Uzbekistan Independence Day on September 1 and New Year’s on January 1. During the celebrations there are musicians, clowns and rope-dancers.
The central figure of the square is sixteen marble columns joined by a bridge, supporting the sculptures of storks who symbolize peace and quietness from the earliest times. There are green zones and beautiful fountains from both sides that stretch from the colonnade to the Independence Monument. Beneath the monument is a figure of a woman holding a baby in her arms – a symbol of Mother-Motherland.
The highest construction in Central Asia is the TV Tower with an overall height of 375 meters. This tower has the ability of withstand Richter magnitude 9 earthquake. The lattice-style tower trunk is supported by three inclined slips. It can be seen from all over the city. There is a 100m viewing platform and you can even go up to the next level at 220m. At 110m there is a revolving restaurant.
The Crying Mother Monument is fronted by an eternal flame. It was constructed in 1999 to honor the 400,000 Uzbek soldiers who died in WW II. The niches along two corridors house their names.
Alisher Navoi Monument is found on a vast promenade and is a post-Soviet monument in honor of Alisher Navoi, Uzbekistan’s newly chosen cultural hero.
The monument is located in one of the greatest city parks Alisher Navoi National Park. There are ornamental flower gardens and places for relaxation.
Heading south you’ll find amusement park rides and a large man-made lake where you can hire paddle boats in the warmer months.
The State Art Museum of Uzbekistan was established in 1918 and holds 100 artworks of sculpture, paintings, drawings, porcelain by Russian and Western European master from the collections of Prince Romanov and other private collectors.
The State Museum of History of Uzbekistan is one of the oldest museums in Central Asia and was founded 136 years ago. The museum lists more than 250,000 exhibits from primitive times to the present. The museum has four floors. The first floor has an exhibition gallery for modern exhibitions of various themes held periodically. On the second floor visitors discover the history of Uzbekistan from ancient times to the Timurid era. The third floor has exponents of the period of three khanates of Uzbekistan history and the fourth floor has exhibitions of the latest history of the 19th – 20th centuries.
The museum has a gift shop where you can purchase item of Uzbek applied arts like embroidery, carpets, miniatures and ceramics.
Mirzo Ulubek Recreation Park is one of the first and best recreation parks in Tashkent. There is an artificial pond, many trees and benches for relaxation. For both adults and children there are amusement rides and attractions.
Gafur Gulyan Park is one of the greenest parks covering 23 acres. There are many different kinds of attractions. In the center of the park is a small green island with various wildlife.
Earthquake Memorial to remember the men and women who rebuilt Tashkent after the 1966 earthquake.
Ankhor Canal is found on the shoreline of Ankhor River. It is a most picturesque place and popular with people who enjoy swimming all year round.
Tashkent Botanical Garden for more than fifty years thousands of plants from all over the world have been collected here. There are various lovely natural zones. Visitors will find more than 4500 kinds of trees, flowers and other plants. The botanical garden is divided into five parts, corresponding to the flora of Central Asia, Eastern Asia, North America and Europe including natural zones of Crimea, Caucasus and the Far East.
In the late spring you can see pink lotuses blooming in a small pond. Paths lead you about the gardens. A good starting point is the Hill of Wishes.
There are greenhouses, hothouses and a special nursery for medicinal herbs. The greenhouses have various exotic plants from tropical and subtropical countries. You can even picnic here and enjoy the surrounding nature.
The Tashkent Zoo was founded in 1924. The zoo started out small and soon grew with a collection of 200 kinds of animals. In 1994 a new zoo was built by international requirements and standards. Since 1998 the zoo is a member of Euro-Asian Regional Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Today there are 349 kinds of animals – mammals, reptiles, birds and fishes living in open-air cages.
The zoo is particularly proud of their Aquarium with sea creatures like sharks, moral eels, turtles and more.
In 2009 their collection included exotic animals from Malaysia among them Malaysian bears.
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