Tashkent - the economic, religious and political center of Uzbekistan. Most travel involves entering and leaving Uzbekistan through Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan.
Tashkent was the fourth largest city in the Soviet Union but you wouldn't know it with the sheep that wander the streets under the watchful eye of their turbaned shepherds. But as Tico after Tico races by, followed by hundreds of Daewoo Nexias, and the metro rumbles underneath, you begin to understand the complexity that is Tashkent.
Architecture. Old City
Much of the city is relatively new and is a showpiece of Soviet and post-Soviet architecture. In 1966 an earthquake levelled most old structures and in the following years workers streamed in from around the Soviet Union to rebuild this paradise of communism in the middle of Asia. The "Old City," centered around Chorsu, still contains some of the old Tashkent.

For the traveller much remains to be seen though Tashkent is often overlooked in the search for the Silk Road oasis towns of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. Today one can visit such striking sights as Mausoleum of Sheikh Zaynudin Bobo, Sheihantaur or Mausoleum of Zangiata. It is only Tashkent that melds Sufism, Marxism and Capitalism, the East, West and Russia, as well as tradition and modernism. Other Central Asian capitals lack the complexity and overall cultural mix of Tashkent.
Other Attractions
With its population of 2.4 million, Tashkent is a large city. Being Soviet, there is no clear downtown area. The closest to the feeling of a downtown area is Saligokh (another reading Sail'goh) Street - "Broadway," a walking street stretching between Mustakillik Mayodony (Independence Square) and Amir Timur Hiyebony (Amir Timur Square) (map).

Nearby are other sights of interest: Alisher Navoi Theater (map), Amir Timur Museum (map), Museum of applied Arts (map), Fine Arts museum (map), Historical museum (map), Christian Temples, Anchor Canal, Earthquake Memorial, Independence Square (also, incidentally, the largest square in the Soviet Union), Halklar Dustligi (Friendship of the Peoples Palace), Tashkent TV Tower, Alisher Navoii Park, and the Tashkent Metro stations.

There are many restaurants and cafes throughout the city. For the best traditional food the streets beyond Chorsu, the "Chagatai" region, contain numerous home restaurants where delectable shashlik, salads and soups may be had. Be sure to try Kuksi, a cold Korean soup available at Korean cafes. This is a tasty and very refreshing dish during the heat of summer.

Learn more about Tashkent:
Tashkent History  |  Kukeldash Madrasah. History  |  Impact of Khoja Ahrar
Sheikhantaur. History  |  Earthquake in 1966. History  |  Pushkin Street
Square in new city  |  Sail'goh street. History  |  Theatre square. History
Christian Temples in Tashkent. History
Gates of Tashkent

The Gates of Tashkent were built around the town at the close of the 10th century but did not survive to the present. The last gate was destroyed in 1890 as a result of the growth of the city, but some of the districts in Tashkent still bear the names of these gates.

History and architecture
The gates formed a part of the city fortifications, which had been constructed around the new settlement on the banks of the Bozsuv canal (the canal starts from the right shore of Chirchik river) at the intersection of caravan roads from Tien Shan Mountains. The number of gates varied over time. Fifteenth-century sources mention that the gates were named after local tribes, as each tribe was put in charge to guard a specific gate.

In the mid-19th century the city wall was rebuilt by the Kokand governor (bekliyarbeck). There were twelve gates: Labzak, Takhtapul, Karasaray, Sagban, Chagatay, Kukcha, Samarkand, Kamalan, Beshagach, Koymas, Kokand and Kashgar. Some of the gates were named after the cities they led to (e.g. Samarkand darvaza means ''Samarkand gate'', as it was located at the beginning of the road to Samarkand). Other gates were given the names of the main streets inside the city (e.g., Chagatay darvaza). The gates were made of spruce wood and framed with artistically wrought iron. Each gate had a gatehouse for a tax-collector (''zakatchi'') and security guard (''darvazabon''). The gates were open from daybreak till sunset. At nighttime the gates were locked and guarded by darvazabons.

In June 1865 Russian troops successfully stormed Tashkent. General Mikhail Grigorevich Cherniaev had only 3,000 men under his command against a city with a 25-kilometer-long wall, 12 gates and 30,000 defenders. The Russians captured the city after two days of fighting and the loss of only 25 dead. The local nobility and inhabitants of Tashkent felt little loyalty towards the authority of the Kokand khanate, therefore they preferred to surrender the town to Russians.

The Story of the Twelve Keys
On June 30, 1865 the representatives of the Tashkent nobility brought 12 gold keys from the gates of Tashkent to the Russian camp near Chimgan, a military village in the hills about 56 miles to the northeast from Tashkent. It was a sign of recognition of the victory of the Russian army.

After 1867 the army camp at Chimgan became an acclimatization station for military newcomers from Russia. During the Soviet period it was rebuilt to adapt its premises for use as a summer camp for children (now a recreation camp where campers still live at former military casernes). The surrounding area is still referred to as the "Twelve-Keys".

The keys were delivered to St. Petersburg, where they were kept at the Suvorov Military Museum. In 1933 they were returned to Tashkent. One can see one of the keys at the History museum. Others are stored at the National bank. Each of the keys has an inscription engraved with the name of a particular gate and the date when a key was made.

This article is associated with conformable article of Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia, initially contributed by the author of this site.

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Sheikh Zaynudin Mausoleum
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Sheikh Hovendi at-Tahur (Sheihantaur)
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Zangiata Mausoleum



Hotel BEK in Tashkent


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