The Ledendary Silk Road



Tuesday 23rd & Wednesday 24th October:
Samarkand is an old city, one of the oldest in central Asia and only 50 years younger than Rome. The city was taken by Alexander the Great in 329 BC then ruled by a succession of Persians, Turks, Mongols and others. In the 14th century it became the capital of the empire of Amir Temur who conquered large parts of Central Asia and the Middle East becoming the most powerful ruler in the Muslim world. Samarkand, World Heritage Crossroads of Cultures, was a major city on the Silk Road leading from China to India and Persia.

Traditional Karnay trumpets (brought to Samarkand by Alexander the Great) met the train

Mausoleum of the Asian conqueror Temur built at the end of the 14th century

Dome of Amir Temur Mausoleum

Registan Square, the highlight of Samarkand, has 3 stunning Medressas (Islamic schools)

Sher Dor – the lion Medressa, 1636

The oldest, Ulubek Medressa completed in 1420

Tills-Kari Medressa, the Gold Covered Medressa, 1660

Mosque inside the Tills-Kari Medressa

Observatory of Ulugbek constructed in 1428
With a huge underground sextant he was able to determine the length of a year with amazing accuracy, less than a minute in error

Shah-i-Zinda, avenue of mausoleums, mainly 14th century

Some of the mausoleums in Shah-i-Zinda

Exquisite tile work in the necropolis

Bibi-Khanym Mosque, finished 1405 was the world’s largest mosque …

… is slowly being restored

Part of Bibi-Khanym Mosque complex

Siyob Bazaar, the oldest and largest in Samarkand has everything

People of Samarkand

The Russians introduced wine making to Uzbekistan in 1870 and we had to try it