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Uzbekistan Attractions

Samarkand is the second largest city in Uzbekistan and the capital of Samarqand province. The historical town was built in 7th century as its entral position on the Silk Road between China and the West. In 14th century, Samarkand became the capital of the empire of Timur and had its most significant development in 14th and 15th century. The notable landmarks left are the Registan Mosque and madrasahs, Bibi-Khanum Mosque, the Shakhi-Zinda compound and the Gur-Emir ensemble, as well as Ulugh-Beg's Observatory.

Registan was the heart of ancient city of Samarkand of the Timurid dynasty, where people gathered to hear royal proclamations, heralded by blasts and a place of public executions. There are three distinct madrasahs (Islamic schools) of distinctive Islamic architecture, namely Ulugh Beg Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah and Tilya-Kori Madrasah.

Biki Khanum was built in 14th century by Timur and reconstructed after an earthquake in 1987; it had around 450 marble columns; it has distinctive Indian style that looks different from other buildings.

The Guri Amir is the the precursor and model for later great Mughal architecture tombs, including Humayun's Tombin Delhi and the Taj Mahal in Agra, built by Timur's Persianised descendants, the ruling Mughal dynasty of North India.

Other major sites in Samarkand are The Ulugh Beg Observatory, Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, Historical site of Afrasiyab and Siyob Bazaar.