The shining city of Samarkand

This legendary city which arose on crossing of ancient trade ways of Central Asia attracted more 2000 poets, pilgrims and robbers. When the sunlight plays on elegantly decorated mosques and minarets of the city, it sparkles as a huge gold beacon. Influence of Uzbeks. The building of madrasah of Ulugbek dominated over a city market square till the 17th century. Then Uzbeks built two more madrasahs on both sides of the area. The madrasah Shirdar was one of buildings. In the ancient time and in the Middle Ages Samarkand stood on crossing of the Silk way connecting China to the Mediterranean and the trade way conducting from India on the West. This city still causes in memory of dream of far-away countries, infinite riches and exotic goods. It inspired Marlo, Milton, Keats and Goethe’s poetry. Samarkand – one of the oldest cities of Central Asia. It is the oasis irrigated through system of channels by river waters Zeravshan. In 329 BC. on the way to India Alexander of Macedon occupied the city which was then the capital of Sogdiana, parts of the drevnepersidsky empire Akhemenidov, and was called Marakanda. Later it passed under the power of Turks, Arabs and Persians. But the biggest role in destiny of Samarkand was played continually rolled on it in the Middle Ages of a wave of armies of nomads. The first such invasion was headed by Genghis Khan (whose name is translated as “the master of the Universe”). He was the small Mongolian leader who subordinated to himself wild nomad tribes. Once it turned a look on the states of the settled people lying outside kocheviya of its tribes. So the extortionate, aggressive campaign which came to the end with creation of the great Mongolian empire which stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Pacific Ocean began. Having ruined Beijing in 1215, Genghis Khan took under the control the Silk way of willows 1221 besieged Samarkand. Hundred years later the city still lay in ruins. Other nomadic leader who played an important role in the history of the city – Timur, or Iron Lame (this nickname indicated the leg injury got as a result of hit of an arrow), it was known also under the name of Tamerlan. Tamerlan was born in 1336 near Samarkand and took the place of the Supreme khan of a dynasty of Chagataya. The second son of Genghis Khan was an ancestor of this dynasty. By 1367 the Mongolian empire fell into decay, and Timur resolved to revive its former glory. It began with the fact that carried out a number of military campaigns – from the Black Sea to the valley of Indus, – plundering the cities and villages, exterminating the population – he ordered to build pyramids of skulls of the killed. Timur did not feel pity to the captives, he kept life only to handicraftsmen from Isfahan, Shiraz, Delhi, Damascus and other cities. They were sent to the capital of the Supreme khan. These masters turned Samarkand into the city of the graceful, sparkling domes and majestic minarets, into the capital, worthy the great governor. In breaks between wars Timur set up camp behind city walls, there he lived in magnificent silk tents, from there directed construction works. Surfaces of its constructions were laid out by multi-colored glazed tiles which developed in fancy mosaic drawings. Effective tiles reflected light because of what Samarkand sparkled on the sun as precious ornament. Having returned the victor from India, Timur decided to immortalize the greatness construction of the biggest mosque of the Muslim world. The mosque called by Bibi-Hany began to be built in 1399. Its huge dome still dominates over the city. The two-meter Koran was once stored in it. Timur died in 1405, in Gur-Emire his grandson and successor Ulugbek assigned the biggest to its grave in the world a jade stone. At Ulugbeke Samarkand became large cultural and scientific center. The governor constructed fine two-storeyed madrasah – religious school which facade taking all West side of a central square was decorated with a thin, refined carving. Ulugbek tried to attract to himself on service of the cleverest people of the time. They worked in its observatory where supervision over stars was carried out by means of the most advanced equipment. In 1449 Ulugbek was killed by order of the son. He is buried near the grandfather in Gur-Emire. Value of the Silk way fell, and borders of China were closed during board of a dynasty of Min, and Samarkand fell into decay. The city became more and more vulnerable before the danger proceeding from the Golden Horde (association of the tyurko-Mongolian tribes) headed by the khan Uzbek. In 1500 the city fell. The dynasty Timuridov, despite all the cruelty, promoted art and intellectual blossoming of Samarkand in the 14th and 15th centuries. This Renaissance made the significant contribution to Islamic architecture and astronomy. But by the 18th century the city so became impoverished that since 1720 it was uninhabited the whole 50 years. In the 19th century this territory departed to Russia. Provincial Samarkand where in 1896 the railroad came, began to develop economically again and turned into the important center exporting agricultural production. And today it part of independent Uzbekistan.

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