Samarkand is the second largest city of Uzbekistan and is of the same age as Rome, Athens and Babylon- more than 25 centuries old. Ancient Arab manuscripts refer to it as the “Gem of the East”, Europeans called it the “The Land of Scientists”. A majestic and beautiful city, Samarkand is the city of legends. When Alexander the Great first time saw Samarkand, he exclaimed “ I heard that the city was beautiful but never thought that it could be so beautiful and majestic”.
Yes, by any standards the city has an astonishing collection of ancient monuments. The turquoise domes of Samarkand is among the world’s most evocative architectural symbols. The most magnificent landmark in this old city is Registan Square- a traditional center of the city.
The square is lined on the three sides by sparkling and turquoise tiled buildings- Ulugbek Madrasah, Sherdor and Tilla Qori. Madrasah in Arabic means The medieval universities. Interior and exterior facades of the madrassah are decorated with ornament of glazed brick, mosaic and carved marble. The Square is considered an architectural gem representing the finest in Islamic Art.
The Other Historical site is Mausoleum of Tamerlane, one of the imposing conquerors in history, who made Samarkand beloved by poets and travelers. The majesty of architectural forms and lines and colorful mosaic designs make this mausoleum a unique monument of medieval architecture. the famous blue ribbed cantaloupe dome of mausoleum rises over the tin roof-tops in central Samarkand. A massive slab of green jade, under which Tamerlane was laid is said to be the largest such stone in the world.
Samarkand’s importance to the history and culture mankind is now being recognized by UN, UNESCO and WTO, which are helping to promote tourism to the region. As the government, who has made tourism a priority sector for development is continuing to invest hotels, airports, transportation and leisure facilities, service is becoming yet another of the country’s attractions.
As one the ancient poets said:
"You can travel through the whole world, have a look at the pyramids and admire the smile of the Sphinx; You can listen to the soft singing of the wind at the Adriatic Sea and kneel down reverently at the ruins of the Acropolis, be dazzled by Rome with its Forum and Coliseum, be charmed by Notre Dame in Paris or by old domes of Milan; But if you have seen buildings of Samarkanda, you will be enchanted by its magic forever."