Samarkand sights, Uzbekistan

Samarkand is a cultural treasury of the peoples of the East, with medieval architectural monuments unique in beauty and architectural forms, extant up to date. Modern Samarkand differs much from its medieval image: the city has changed but the domes, towers, and magnificent building arches decorated with mosaic patterns are still sparkling in the sun and drawing the eyes. The Samarkand sights and monuments, rightly included into the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List, like pages of an old book, narrate the history of establishment and development of Samarkand – the city-crossroad of cultures.

Burial complex Shakhi-Zinda
Hazrat Hyzr Mosque
Registan Square

The Samarkand symbol, the image of which can be met more often in post cards and booklets, is Registan Square with three madrasahs of Ulugbek, Sherdor and Tillya-Kori situated on it. This historical place embodies the highest achievement of the architects of the ХV-XVII centuries, which is inseparably connected with the names of outstanding figures of the East. Several centuries before the time, when Shah Jahan built famous Tadj Mahal in Agra in honor of his beloved, Samarkand had already the Bibi-Khanum mosque built – monumental building, devoted by Amir Timur to his beloved wife. The Bibi-Khanym mosque was built on a large scale, its sizes and specific architecture cannot but catch the imagination. Its dome was compared with the vault of heaven, while the portal arch - with the Milky Way. Not far from Bibi-Khanym mosque there is Shahi-Zinda complex, sprang up next to a densely populated residential quarter, in course of time it snowballed, squeezing up the adjoining community. Another important Samarkand sight  is Gur-Emir Mausoleum, the luxurious Timurid shrine, where Amir Timur, the dynasty founder himself, rests too. Visit also the mysterious Prophet Daniel Mausoleum, the place being the subject of numerous hypotheses and legends over many years.

Popular Monuments and Landmarks of Samarkand

Registan Square ranks among the world’s most beautiful squares, it is called the pearl of Central Asia. The square won this fame owing to unique monuments of medieval architecture, surrounding it from three sides, as a part of beautiful architectural ensemble: the Ulugbek madrasah (1417-1420), Sherdor Madrasah (1619-1636) and Tillya-Kari Madrasah (1646-1647). More

The Gur-Emir Mausoleum, the family vault of Amir Timur and his heirs, was built in 1404 in the south-western part of the city. This mausoleum was a prototype for two well-known monuments of world architecture: the Humayun Mausoleum in Delhi and the Tadj Mahal in Agra. More

Rukhabad Mausoleum, built over the tomb of Muslim mystic sheikh Burkhaneddin Sagaradji, who died in the XIV century and was deeply esteemed by Timur’s contemporaries, is found to the north from the Gur-Emir shrine. More

Bibi-Khanym Mosque is a cathedral mosque which according to a legend was named after Amir Timur’s beloved wife. Majestic blue domes of the Bibi-Khanym Mosque are a striking sight. More

The Shakhi-Zinda Complex, one of Samarkand most mysterious and inimitable architectural monuments, is located not far from the Bibi-Khanym Mosque. The complex is a unique ensemble consisting of eleven shrines. More

Ancient site of Afrasiab (VII-II centuries BC) is located on high hills at the entrance to Samarkand from the north. Interestingly enough, but Afrasiab town, as such, did not exist at that place at all. The locals named this place according to a legend that once there existed a huge city founded by mythical Turan tsar - Afrasiab. In fact, this ancient site belongs to Samarkand of the pre-Mongolian period. More

The Prophet Daniel Mausoleum is located in Afrasiab suburbs. The mausoleum long 5-domed building stretches along a high steep hill, with the Siab River flowing at its foot. More

The Ulugbek Observatory was built on Kukhak hill in Samarkand suburb in 1424—1428, it went down in history as one of the most important observatories of the Middle Ages. More

“Hudjum” is a silk carpet factory where it is possible to watch Samarkand carpet weaving process on site, to enjoy unique examples of carpet products and order one of the. More