History of Uzbekistan dates back to the 2 millennium BC and is more than 3.5 thousand years old. Some of the cities of Uzbekistan, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Shakhrisabz, the contemporaries of Rome and Babylon, and are centers of civilizations of the Great Silk Road.
The Great Silk Road is one of the most significant cultural and socio-economic phenomena of the world history. These cities which were the most important hubs of the Silk Road and the ancient culture, developed science, education, crafts and art, trade, palaces, temples and mosques were being built as early as in the Middle Ages. All of these ancient civilizations and cultures that emerged and developed in the area, turned Uzbekistan into one of the centers of world tourism.
Today, the country has more than 7,000 ancient archaeological sites from different eras and civilizations. The country ranks 9th in the number of historical monuments and attractions. Tourists visit Uzbekistan to see with their own eyes ancient cities of the country and its historical monuments. Especially having seen Samarkand, tourists are amazed by the historical significance and beauty of the country. The city with nearly two thousand years history attracts the attention of travelers, tourists and visitors for its magnificent architectural monuments, its blue domes, unique oriental appearance and zest. Samarkand entered the top 50 cities in the world by the US rating agency Huffington Post, which must be visited.
More than 20 of the most beautiful monuments of Samarkand are recognized as the greatest achievements of the world culture: the Registan, "Gur-Emir” Mausoleum, "Bibi Khanum" Palace, Ensemble "Shakhi Zinda", and the historical center of the city were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List (2001). Samarkand is the home of the largest observatory of the Middle Ages - "Ulugbek" (1428), which houses the grand marble sextant to measure the coordinates of the sun, moon and other planets.
Bukhara has for centuries fascinated the entire world. Many unique ancient monuments are being preserved in the Holy Bukhara. Architectural structures of the city are well maintained and considered treasures of universal significance. Bukhara is the home of the world-famous architectural monuments such as the Mausoleum of Ismail Samani, Ark Fortress, Kalyan Minaret and mosque, Ulugbek Madrassa, Ensemble "Labi-Hauz", and "Chor Minor" Mosque.
Khiva is one of the few cities in the world, where historical buildings have maintained their original appearance. In fact, the city is an open-air museum, which is at least 2,500 years old. The inner part of the city - "Ichan-Kala", is a historical monument of the world significance, which hosts well arranged palaces, mosques, mausoleums, and minarets. Most of the architectural monuments of Khiva’s "Ichan-Kala" date late XVIII - early XIX centuries. But excavations on its territory showed that there are even more ancient layers beneath belonging to the 3rd and even earlier centuries BC.
A significant role in the cultural and spiritual life of Uzbekistan is played by the cities, pearls of Islamic culture, such as Shakhrisabz and Kokand.
Shakhrisabz is the birthplace of the great commander Amir Temur and the state dynasty, and the second capital of his vast empire. The attention of tourists and architectural monuments of the city: Palace Tamerlane Ak-Saray, the Tomb of Dorus Siadat, Kok-Gumbaz, the complex of mausoleums Gumbez-Seyidan. In 2000, the historic center of Shakhrisabz was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Kokand, the oldest city in the Fergana Valley and its religious and cultural center, was the capital of the Kokand Khanate in XVIII - XIX centuries. Among the main attractions are the majestic palace of Kokand Khudoyar Khan (1871), Emir Madrassah (XVIII century), the architectural ensemble Dahman-Shohon (1825) and numerous craft shops.
The capital of modern Uzbekistan - Tashkent, having more than 2200 years of history, is one of the largest cities in Central Asia. Tashkent boasts numerous archaeological sites, which now amount to more than 240. On the outskirts of the capital an ancient settlement Shashtepa was found, which emerged in the IV - V century BC and which preceded the formation of the city.
Speaking about the great touristic potential of Uzbekistan, the alternative forms of tourism should be mentioned, particularly eco-tourism. Today it attracts a growing attention and determines ever more the value of the tourism in general. Indeed, the country has astonishing natural and weather conditions, vast deserts, mountain ranges, rivers, national parks. Among them Ugam-Chatkal National Nature Park with eco tourism potential, the Amudarya and the Syrdarya rivers, Karakum and Kyzylkum deserts, Nurata mountains, lake Aydarkul. Each region has a number of unique picturesque cantons that can impress tourists.
Fascinating Uzbek national cuisine can amaze any tourist. Once tried, one would never forget the great taste of its dishes. Ancient culinary heritage of the Uzbek people today is a unique phenomenon which represents tremendous history and tradition of the people. Uzbek cuisine is one of the most flamboyant and diverse in its taste and appearance in the whole East. Especially “plov”, which was considered among the peoples of the East, as not just food but a remedy that can cure various diseases. After a bloody battle, prolonged starvation or hard work a person was served plov, which was not only to saturate him, but also to raise the spirits and restore health. Today, the necessary procedures are underway to include Uzbek plov in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Richness of culture and special harmony of Uzbek delicacies attract a growing number of tourists.
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