More than 500,000 inhabitants.
Administrative, economic and cultural center of Samarkand region since 1938. The capital of the Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan from 1924-30.
Nowadays, according to the population number and the importance of the area and industry, Samarkand is the largest city after Tashkent.
Samarkand is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, a major tourist center. According to the American journal, The Huffington Post, Samarkand is a city that everyone should visit at least once in a lifetime.
Samarkand is located in the south-western part of the country, at an altitude of 700 meters above sea level, almost in the center of the picturesque valley of the Zarafshan River, between Siyob channel from the north and Dargom channel from the south, in the range of 30° 40′ north latitude and 66 ° 59′ in eastern length.
Samarkand with Zarafshan Valley around the city is surrounded by the Nurota mountains from the north, with the Turkestan ridge from the East and with the Zarafshan mountain from the south.
300 km from Tashkent.
The city has a continental climate – hot summer, cold winter, the annual average temperature is +13-14°. The normal temperature in July is +25-29°C, the highest temperature is 41°. The normal January temperature is -2°C, the lowest temperature is -25°.
The population is mostly Uzbek, Tajik, Iranian, Russian, Jewish, Tatar and Korean.
“I heard about the pure beauty of Samarkand and the truth is, it was even better than I had imagined,” said Alexandre the Great in 329 B.C.
Samarkand is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities of ancient history. It is a golden cradle of world civilization, it was a crossroads of the major religious denominations, it was a trade bridge between East and West of the Great Silk Road, it was the center of commercial trading, science, old traditions and different cultures. It was the beautiful capital of one of the world’s largest and most powerful empires.
Samarkand still continues to impress the people of the world with its unique beauty and its long 2750 years of history.
Samarkand is one of the very rare historical cities. Scientists and poets and thinkers called it, “the adornment of the Earth”, “Paradise Samarkand”, “Soul Garden”,” the center of the universe”, “the paradise of the ancient East”, “the Pearl of the Muslim world”, ” the Rome of the East “,” the pearl of the East”.
Like other important cities in the history of world civilization such as Babylon, Memphis, Athens, Rome or Alexandria, Samarkand has also seen many wars and much destruction. The city encountered great warriors such as: Darius (7th century B.C.), Alexandre the Great (4th century B.C.), Khutayba Arabian general (8th century AD), Genghis Khan (13th century AD) and the Amir Temur Empire (14th to 15th centuries AD).
Before the city was called Afrasiyab (on shore of Siyab), then, 329-328 years after Alexandre`s invasion, the city was called Marakanda.
Under the Kushan Empire, when the city became a major trading center on the Silk Road, the city became the capital of Soghdiana during the rule of Turkish Hakan. Samarkand was a passageway for trade caravans coming from India, Byzantium, China, Tibet, Iran, Siberia. In the 8th century, Samarkand converted to Islam following the Arab caliphate invasion. In the 9th to 10th centuries the city was a major economic and commercial center in the state of Samanids. In the 11th to 12th centuries, during the rule of Karakhanites and Khorezm shakhs, the city served as the state’s largest military base.
In the 13th century, Samarkand was occupied by Mongol invaders. Its golden age was during the reign of Amir Temur and Ulugbek. This period of history is called “the Renaissance of the East,”.
The unique Registan Square, a huge Bibikhnum mosque, a large luxurious Amir Temur Mausoleum (Gur Emir), the famous Shahi Zinda complex and other architectural monuments built during this period amaze everyone with high towers, a harmony and variety of colors, and memorable architectural culture.
Samarkand, which brought to the world great thinkers, geniuses, state founders like Amir Temur, Mirzo Ulugbek, Alisher Navoi, Abu Abdullo Rudaki, Khoja Ahrar Vali, Imam Motrudi Abdur Rahman Jami and Ali Qushchi, is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Central Asia.
In 1982, the “Historical-architectural museum library of Samarkand ” was opened on the basis of the ancient Afrasiab medieval monuments and the buildings of “new city”. In 2001, 15 historical and architectural monuments of Samarkand were included in the World Heritage list on the occasion of the 25th session of UNESCO held in Finland. There are 73 well-preserved major historical and architectural monuments in Samarkand which are visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year from all over the world.
Today Samarkand is a symbol of the greatness and power of the Uzbek people.
At the same time, it is a large scientific and cultural center. There is a University, 5 institutes, more than 40 schools and colleges, 4 public libraries, the Samarkand Art Museum Library, 3 theaters, 2 large stadiums and tennis areas.
On August 28, 1991, the city was awarded the Order of Amir Temur.
Since 1996, October 18 has been celebrated as the Day of the City of Samarkand.