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Samarkand, UzbekistanSogdiana is an ancient country where doughty warriors had been dwelling, the country with boundless grazing lands and rivers abounding in water. In 5 BS it was a part of Akhemenid empire. ''Avesta'' - the sacred book of Zoroastrians proves this fact. And Samarkand was the capital of it. Back in antic period the city located on Afrasiab hills. Greeks that visited this place in 4 BS used to call it Marakanda.

The archaeologists have discovered in Afrasiab the unique wall painting on procession of ambassadors with gifts to the Samarkand Ruler figured.

Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Christians and adherents of other religions once coexisted here peasefully. Arabs, which came here in 13 century, brought in the new religion - Islam. Sogdians, though, for a long time remained faithful to their gods and worshipped a fire like before.
In 10 century the city center moved to the south Afrasiab - to the place where presently the main mosque and Registan Square are located.

In 13 century Samarkand was besieged by Сhingis-Khan troops. The city recovered only a century later, when on the political arena the figure of Amir Temur appeared. During his reign the city walls have been erected, madrasahs and palaces built. Again, under Temur's reign Samarkand has become both the capital of Maverannakhr and the trade-and-craft center. With the caravan routes intersecting, the goods from Russia and Siria, China and India, Iran and other countries flowed in here. Within this period of time the character of the city with it's monumental portals, harmonic minarets and turquoise domes had been shaped.

Temurid dynasty was replaced by Sheibanid one in ensuing years. In their turn, Ashtarkhanid dynasty had replaced the latter. Thus the city was growing and developing in a very difficult time. Samarkand today is one of the centers for Uzbekistan science, culture and art altogether, where splendid architectural complexes have been preserved.

Additional Travel Resources Related to Samarkand

Samarkand - Photos, map, and city guide.
Malika Samarkand - Review and make online reservation of budget hotel in Samarkand.