Uzbekistan Journals

Silk Road trip

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A July 2000 trip to Uzbekistan by fluppe

Hotel Zarafshan Photo, Bukhara, Uzbekistan More Photos
Quote: I believe that Uzbekistan is the most historically and fascinating of the Central Asian Republics.

Silk Road trip

Overview

The Silk Road Photo, Uzbekistan, Asia
Quote:
The cities of Buchara, Samarkand and Khiva (which I did not visit) were some of the main cities on the Ancient Silk Road. And they also show most of the region’s architectural splendours. Many Madrasas, Mosques and Mausolea witness of the rich history of the Uzbek cities along the ancient Silk Road.

Quick Tips:

Best Way To Get Around:

By bus

Hotel Zarafshan

Hotel | "Hotel Zerafshan"

Hotel Zarafshan Photo, Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Quote:
Well, this was a typical Sovjet-look Hotel. But it was good to spend the night. We had a big room with twin beds, toilet and shower. Everything was very clean. There was no fan or air conditioning in the room, so it was pretty hot in the beginning of the night. The breakfast they served was ok, the fist morning we got scrambled eggs, the second morning pancakes with honey.



There were no rating lists available, and even the name cards of the Hotel were gone. I think that is still a bit the Sovjet-way of running a Hotel. And as we visited Samarkand on a group tour base, I do not know the price for a night in this hotel.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 10, 2001

Hotel Zarafshan
Sorok let Uzbekistana 7
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
3-41-73

Chorsu Bazaar

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Attraction

Chorsu Bazaar Photo, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Quote:
In Tashkent, the Capital of Uzbekistan, you must visit the Chorsu Bazaar. There is a great atmosphere and the market is very colourful.

Inside the Dome, the friendly people are selling all kinds of stuff. Very colourful are the bags with herbs and spices.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 10, 2001

Chorsu Bazaar
48 Navoi St.
Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Gur Emir

Attraction | "Gur Emir Mausoleum"

Gur Emir Photo, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Quote:
In Samarkand you must see the Gur Emir Mausoleum. (Gur Emir means the grave of the Emir) This building dates from 1404. Timur built this mausoleum for his sons and grandsons. Timur built a simple mausoleum for himself in his native city Shahrisabz. However Timur died in the winter of 1405 during an expedition, and as it was not possible to transport him over the snowy mountain passes, they decided to transport him back to Samarkand, so that’s why Timur is also buried here.


The interior of the mausoleum is beautifully decorated. Entrance fee was 300 Sum. (1 US$=700 Sum)

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 10, 2001

Gur Emir
15m walk from city center
Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Ulugbek Madrasah

Attraction | "Ulug Bek Madrasa"

Ulugbek Madrasah Photo, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Quote:
When you stand at the Registan Square, you'll see the Ulug Bek Madrasa on the left hand side. Ulug Bek was Timur's grandson. He was a very famous astronomer. He also had an observatory just outside the city, where he studied the stars and planets. The entrance gate (the pishtak) is 35 metres high.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2001

Ulugbek Madrasah
Registan square
Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Tilla Kari Madrasa

Attraction

Tilla Kari Madrasa Photo, Uzbekistan, Asia
Quote:
When you stand at the Registan Square, you'll see the Tilla Kari Madrasa just in front of you. It is the biggest madrasa of the three.

This madrasa was built in 1646 – 1659. It’s 120 metres long façade is unusual in incorporating the outward-facing arched balconies of students’ cells.

From the inner courtyard you can visit the Golden Mosque.

The Golden Mosque; it’s magnificent; it is decorated with 1000 square metres of gold leaf.

When visiting you must not forget to admire the decorations of the interior of the Dome. It's really magnificent. (see pictures)

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2001

Tilla Kari Madrasa
Registan Square
Samarkand

The Registan

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Attraction | "Registan"

The Registan Photo, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Quote:
In the Middle Ages this square was the central market place. Later on, Timur built here his big bazaar. It was also here that the public executions were held. In fact Registan means "place of sand" because of the sand that was strewn on the ground to soak up the blood from the executions. On this square you see three giant Madrasas: on the left side you see the Ulug Bek Madrasa, in the back the Tilla Kari Madrasa and on the right the Sher Dor Madrasa. A madrasa is a kind of school or university where people learn everything about the Islamic religion.



It`s quite impressive when you see this square surrounded by three magnificent buildings.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 10, 2001

The Registan
Registan Square
Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Sher Dor Madrasa

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Attraction

Sher Dor Madrasa Photo, Uzbekistan, Asia
Quote:
The Sher Dor or "lion-bearing" Madrasa seems to be higher then the Ulug Bek Madrasa which it faces and of which it is a near copy (it could not be a perfect copy because as the Koran says nothing is perfect except Allah). The gate of the Sher Dor Madrasa is decorated with two "striped" lions (I think they look more like tigers) chasing a baby deer. This is very rare for the decoration of an Islamic building. Normally there is an Islamic rule that says not to depict any living thing. But even the two twin sun risings over their back have human faces. At the courtyard you see the student cells. Some are now used ad hard currency gift shops. Every evening (when it is not rai...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 13, 2001

Dance spectacle Photo, Uzbekistan, Asia
Quote:
Every evening (when it is not raining, of course) you can see a spectacle of dance, music and beautiful dresses at the courtyard of this Madrasa.

Some good tips: Go to the Sher Dor Madrasa at the Registan square and admire the beautiful uzbek music and the dancing of the colourfully dressed ladies.

At the end of the show they will invite you to dance with them. And of course it is very impolite to refuse to these beautiful young ladies . . . .

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 14, 2001

Shah-I-Zinda

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Attraction

Shah-I-Zinda  Photo, Uzbekistan, Asia
Quote:
Shah-I-Zinda Ensemble : This is really one of the highlights of my Samarkand visit. In fact it is a street of tombs, mostly belonging to Timur’s family and relatives. Around the Mausoleum of Kussam ibn-Abbas was created a necropolis in the period of Timur. Most of the Mausolea are very plain decorated at the inside, but the outside is really magnificent. Once you entered the complex, you’ll see a big stairway; it’s called "the stairway to heaven". Pilgrims count the steps on the stairway very carefully, because if they count wrong, they have to climb them again, once for each step in the staircase, or risk not going to heaven. And there are 36 steps!! As it was very hot that afternoon, I felt very hap...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 14, 2001

Bibi Khanym Mosque

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Attraction

Bibi Khanym Mosque  Photo, Uzbekistan, Asia
Quote:
Bibi Khanym Mosque : The legend says that Bibi Khanym, Timur’s wife, built this mosque. Who thought she could surprise her husband with a colossal monument on his return from his Indian Campaign. Instead he was surprised by a love-bite in her neck, left there by the mosques Persian architect. Timur sent a platoon to capture the architect dead or alive, but he fled up the minaret he had just built, leapt over the top and flew home to Persia . . . . . But the truth is that it was Timur’s own idea to build this mosque and he wanted it to be bigger then anything he had seen on his travels. The Bibi Khanym complex had been completed in an almighty rush and started crumbling even before Timur’s dead ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 14, 2001