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Silk Road Tours offer tailor made holidays through Central Asia, The Caucasus, Middle East and North Africa
The capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, is the largest metropolis in Central Asia with a population of some 2.3 million people. Its location in an oasis on the Chirchik river meant that it played an important role on the Silk Road and while redevelopment has covered much of its 2000 year history there are still gems that allude to its illustrious past. The old town of traditional mud brick houses contains many of Tashkent’s surviving mausoleums, madrassahs and mosques – of particular note are the 16th century Barak Khan madrassah and Tellya Sheikh mosque. Nearby is the Kaffal Shashi mausoleum dedicated to a local doctor, philosopher and poet who lived between 904 and 979 AD. A visit to the bustling Chorsu bazaar evokes images of Tashkent’s role on the Silk Road with stalls stacked high with dried fruits, spices, vegetables, carpets and of course sizzling shashliks. In modern Tashkent the fine 1940’s Navoi Theatre is well worth visiting as is Amir Timur square with its statue of the Uzbek hero Tamarlane. The 1970’s era metro with ornate stations reminiscent of the Moscow metro offers an interesting insight into Soviet Tashkent as does the monumental Earthquake Memorial, dedicated to the 1966 disaster and depicting the peoples of the Soviet Republics coming to the aid of their Soviet brothers and sisters. The city also houses many fine museums of particular note is the Fine Arts Museum with its displays of Uzbek and Soviet art from the 15th to 20th centuries.
In all Tashkent offers many attractions to the visitor, from its role on the Silk Road and as an Islamic centre to its more modern Soviet heritage.