Uzbekistan, a country with exuberant history and culture, is home to some of the most stunning ancient cities and enchanting landscapes, like the majestic deserts of Kyzulkum and the peaceful, lush valleys of Zarafshan. Not only is Uzbekistan known for its culture, traditions and undying history, but it is also known for its rich history, which beautifully portrays Uzbekistan&rsquos Islamic heritage, its colourful, bustling bazaars and its delicious cuisine, which is an exceptional blend of Middle-eastern, Central Asian as well as Russian flavours. Uzbekistan has something to offer to everyone. Whether you&rsquore looking for adventure or a relaxing holiday, Uzbekistan is where you should be this holiday season.
The enthralling historic sites of Uzbekistan make everyone keep coming back for more. From Soviet Union-influenced architectural buildings to skyline mosques, Uzbekistan is a dream come true for all history buffs. Here are some of the historical sites you should visit.
Gur-i Amir is a must-visit tourist attraction in Uzbekistan and is considered one of the many masterpieces of Islamic architecture. In the former silk road city of Samarkand, Gur-i Amir was the mausoleum of the Mongol leader, Tamerlane. Tamerlane (also known as Timur) built the Gur-i Amir as a resting place for his grandson, Muhammad Sultan, who died in a battle. The mausoleum is popularly known for its sublime architecture, a phenomenal blend of Persian and Islamic elements. It has a large turquoise dome intricately designed with calligraphy and geometric patterns. The turquoise dome of the Gur-i Amir has become quite a remarkable symbol of the city of Samarkand and can be spotted very easily from different parts of the city. The dome is tiled into two hues of blue, with the bands of the tiles containing a Kufic inscription that says &ldquoGod is Eternal&rdquo. The mausoleum has been constructed towards the southern side of a walled squared courtyard that was defined by a Madrasa and a Khanaqah on two corners of the courtyard. The interiors of Gur-i Amir consist of a square chamber, a stairway located in the southeastern corner of the chamber that leads towards the &ldquoCruciform Crypt&rdquo. In 1424, Ulugh Beg added a corridor to the Gur-i Amir, also known as Beg&rsquos gallery. Gur-i Amir provides visitors with an amazing opportunity to explore the rich history of the Timurid era and appreciate the breathtaking Islamic architecture.
The Bibi-Khanym Mosque
This majestic congregational mosque, located northeast of Registan, is a one-of-its-kind monument in the entire Central Asian region. The Bibi-Khanym Mosque has been made entirely out of spoils extracted from Timur&rsquos invasion of India. It is said that Timur ordered that the Bibi-Khanym Mosque be constructed as a surprise for his wife, Bibi Khanym. However, the architect fell in love with Bibi Khanym and refused to finish the construction of the mosque until he received a kiss. After this incident, the architect was executed by Timur, and it was ordered that all women wear veils at all times. When the construction of the Bibi-Khanym Mosque began, it began with the intention of it being the largest mosque the Islamic world had ever seen, with a breathtaking entrance, majestic domes, designed very intricately, beautiful tilework, etc. However, over the centuries, the mosque had to face the ravages of natural disasters, destruction, neglect, etc. In an attempt to restore the mosque, several renovation and restoration projects took place in the 20th century, and the mosque was restored, showcasing certain elements of the original project. The Bibi-Khanym Mosque is a must-visit site and stands as a testament to Uzbekistan&rsquos rich culture and history.
Located in the heart of Khiva, the city of Itchan Kala is home to 50 historical monuments and around 250 traditional dwellings dating back to the 19th century. Recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site, the Itchan Kala is known for its well-preserved architecture. A mud-brick wall with numerous historical buildings, such as Madrasahs, Mosques, Mausoleums, etc, surrounds the city. A few of the remarkable buildings located within the premises of Itchan Kala include the Mohammad Amin Khan Madrasah, Tash Hauli Palace, Islam Khodja Minaret, etc. The buildings are adorned with beautiful mosaics and intricate carvings, and walking through the picturesque streets of Itchan Kala can be a great way to explore the town in a better manner. Being one of the most secluded areas along the Silk Road, Khiva acted as a resting spot for people travelling. Itchan Kala offers visitors a truly captivating historical and cultural experience and is the perfect destination that combines Uzbekistan&rsquos cultural authenticity, history and tradition.
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