“The city guarded by Allah”, “Shining point of the globe”, “Eden of the East”, “Mirror of the World”, “Garden of the Caliphs” - and all this is about Samarkand, one of the most ancient cities in the world, contemporary of Rome, Babylon, Athens.
The excavations of the Uzbek-French archaeological expedition and the analysis of the found ceramic objects proved that Samarkand, as a city, was founded in the VIII-VII centuries BC. In the VI-IV centuries BC Samarkand is included in one of the satrapies of the Achaemenid village, and in 329 BC. e. the city was taken by Alexander the Great and later became part of the Seleucid (IV-III centuries BC) and Greco-Bactrian states. In the era of the Kushans (1st-4th centuries A.D.) Samarkand became one of the most important Sogdian cities of the Great Silk Road and conducts intensive cooperation with China, India, and countries inhabited by Turkic peoples.
In 712, Samarkand was taken by the Arabs, "cleared" of the local population and re-populated by the people of the Arabian Peninsula, who came with the conquerors.
The revival of the city comes during the reign of the Samanids: a powerful defensive system, cobbled streets, city water supply, palaces, city squares, bazaars and baths.
In the XI-XIII centuries. Samarkand is alternately part of the states of Karakhanids, Seljukids and Khorezmshahs.
The Mongol invasion dealt a fatal blow to Samarkand: in March 1220 the city was taken by the conquerors and completely destroyed, three quarters of the population was exterminated. Samarkand died to be reborn again in the southern suburbs of the present city.
The revival of Samarkand falls on the reign of Amir Timur and his descendants (1370-1499) and soon the city turns into "the most beautiful face of the Earth ever facing the Sun".
Under the rule of the subsequent Uzbek dynasties, Samarkand ceded its leading role to Bukhara, retaining the status of a "secular city" and the second ecological and cultural center of the country. The construction of new large construction projects is eloquent testimony to this.
The capture of Samarkand in 1868 by the tsarist troops and the transformation of the city into a regional administrative center led to the appearance of objects of Russian architecture.
In 1925-1930, Samarkand was the capital of the Uz SSR.
Today's Samarkand (540,000 inhabitants) is a large economic, cultural (4 theaters, 6 museums), educational (8 higher educational institutions) and scientific (6 research institutes and 2 branches of the Academy of Sciences of the republic) center of Uzbekistan.
In 2001 Samarkand was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.