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They form a fantastic spectacle of majolica revetment and tile mosaics. The mausoleum of Shadi-Mulk-aka and her mother Tour-kan-aka, Timur's sister, are better preserved than others. The facing of the portals is done with blocks of superbly carved glazed terracotta in combination with majolica. The passage between the mausoleums gives way to a charming shady courtyard enclosed by the mausoleum of Tournan-aka early 15 th century , and the mausoleums built before the time of Timur - those of Khoja Akhmad, and of an unknown person.

A door with the date , which is decorated with carvings and originally had an ivory inlay, leads from a courtyard to a fifteenth century mosque and the earliest and principal mausoleum, that of Kusam ibn-Abbas. The colored enameled revetment of Shakhi-Zindah is unique. The stone masons who followed one another over a century were able to unite individual buildings into a single architectural ensemble with great artistic gracefulness. Towards the end of the fourteenth century, Samarkand became the capital of the huge Empire of Timur.

The Bibi-khanum mosque was built in great haste in the years The walls of the mosque are faced with polished brick, which serve as a backdrop for the blue enameled bricks used for a large geometrical decorative pattern. Such monumental ornamentation is characteristic of the buildings constructed for Timur. One of the last of Timur's structures in Samarkand was the mausoleum of Gur-Emir , which served as the tomb for his sons, his grandson Ulug Beg, and for himself.

The mausoleum was added to the existing complex of two buildings, that of the madrasah and khana-gah, forming as it did the third side of a courtyard. The fourth side was formed by entrance portals decorated with glazed tile mosaics. In the fifteenth century, during the time of Ulug Beg, structures were less grandiose but were distinguished by nobility of form and a great harmony of colored enameled revetment: the entry portals, the mausoleums of Kazy-zade-Rumi, the octagonal Shakhi-Zindah, and the madrasah in Reghistan, the large square in the busiest part of the city Ulug Beg's observatory outside Samarkand was a unique structure.

Samarkand travel | Central Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan - Lonely Planet

After Ulug Beg was murdered it was abandoned and by the sixteenth century it was in ruins. Alongside the monumental fifteenth century buildings, smaller architectural ensembles were erected. Such is the ensemble Khoja Abdi-Darun. When Bukhara once again became the capital in the sixteenth century, there was less construction in Samarkand, and many structures suffered neglect. In the seventeenth century the Madrasah Shir-Dor was built, where once stood now the now nonexistent khana-gah of Ulug Beg.

The building stands on the same axis as the Ulug Beg Madrasah and repeats its facade not only in size but also in its overall composition. The third side of Reghistan Square was occupied with Tillah-kari Madrasah As Timur's Bibi-khanum mosque was in ruins by that time, a Friday mosque was added to the complex of structures comprising the Tillah-kari Madrasah.

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Free parking. Hotel Bibikhanum. Breakfast included. Hotel Grand Samarkand Superior. Ideal Hotel. Hotel Emir Han.

Hotel Malika Prime. Orient Star Hotel. Stayed in the new wing, rooms are very modern and clean. Complimentary wifi available. Wish the swimming pool had been ready to use.

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Superb location in the heart of Samarqand. The best place I've stayed in years.

I've highly recommended it to colleagues who've also enjoyed their stays. Room service. Hotel Malika Samarkand. There are two courtyards and the rooms are rather spacious if not very Small Hotel. Meros Boutique Hotel.

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Before its reconstruction after an earthquake in , Bibi Khanum had around marble columns that were established with the help of 95 elephants that Timur had brought back from Hindustan. Also from India, artisans and stonemasons designed the mosque's dome, giving it its distinctiveness amongst the other buildings. The best-known structure in Samarkand is the mausoleum known as Gur-i Amir. It exhibits many cultures and influences from past civilizations, neighboring peoples, and especially those of Islam. Despite how much devastation the Mongols caused in the past to all of the Islamic architecture that had existed in the city prior to Timur's succession, much of the destroyed Islamic influences were revived, recreated, and restored under Timur.

The blueprint and layout of the mosque itself follows the Islamic passion of geometry and other elements of the structure had been precisely measured. The entrance to the Gur-i Amir is decorated with Arabic calligraphy and inscriptions, the latter being a common feature in Islamic architecture. The attention to detail and meticulous nature of Timur is especially obvious when looking inside the building. Inside, the walls have been covered in tiles through a technique, originally developed in Iran, called "mosaic faience," a process where each tile is cut, colored, and fit into place individually.

The ornaments and decorations of the walls include floral and vegetal symbols which are used to signify gardens. Gardens are commonly interpreted as paradise in the Islamic religion and they were both inscribed in tomb walls and grown in the city itself. Every household had a garden, and all the gardens were well designed, with canals and water fountains that supplied water to round or square-shaped ponds. The landscape included rows of willows and cypress trees, and peach and plum orchards were shoulder to shoulder. In addition, Persian carpets with floral printings have been found in some of the Timurid buildings.

Turko-Mongol influence is also apparent in the architecture of the buildings in Samarkand. For instance, nomads previously used yurts , traditional Mongol tents, to display the bodies of the dead before they were to engage in proper burial procedures. Similarly, it is believed that the melon-shaped domes of the tomb chambers are imitations of those yurts. Timur naturally used stronger materials, like bricks and wood, to establish these tents, but their purposes remain largely unchanged. The elements of traditional Islamic architecture can be seen in traditional Uzbek houses that are built around central courtyards with gardens.

Houses in the west of the city are indicative of European style homes built in 19th and 20th centuries. The color of the buildings in Samarkand also has significant meaning behind it. For instance, blue is the most common and dominant color that will be found on the buildings, which was used by Timur in order to symbolize a large range of ideas. For one, the blue shades seen in the Gur-i Amir are colors of mourning. Blue was the color of mourning in Central Asia at the time, as it is in many cultures even today, so its dominance in the city's mausoleum appears only logical.

In addition, blue was also seen as the color that would ward off "the evil eye " in Central Asia and the notion is evident in the number of doors in and around the city that were colored blue during this time. Furthermore, blue was representative of water, which was a particularly rare resource around the Middle East and Central Asia; coloring the walls blue symbolized the wealth of the city.

Gold also has a strong presence in the city. Timur's fascination with vaulting explains the excessive use of gold in the Gur-i Amir as well as the use of embroidered gold fabric in both the city and his buildings. The Mongols had great interests in Chinese- and Persian-style golden silk textiles as well as nasij woven in Iran and Transoxiana. Past Mongol leaders, like Ogodei, built textile workshops in their cities in order to be able to produce gold fabrics themselves.

There is evidence that Timur tried to preserve his Mongol roots. In the chamber in which his body was laid, " tuqs " were found — those are poles with horses' tails hanging at the top, which was symbolic of an ancient Turkic tradition where horses, which were valuable commodities, were sacrificed in order to honor the dead, [23] and a cavalry standard type shared by many nomads, up to the Ottoman Turks. Public transport is developed in Samarkand. Municipal bus mostly SamAuto and Isuzu buses is the most common and popular transport in the city.

Also in the city since there are several Samarkandian tram lines tram existed in Samarkand also in , mostly Vario LF. S Czech trams. Also, the city very much a city taxi mostly Chevrolet and Daewoo sedans , which is usually yellow in color. Also in the city a lot of taxis , which are usually yellow. In Soviet times , up until , in Samarkand plied also to the trolleybus. Tram existed in Samarkand also in , and in there was a steam tram in Samarkand.

Until , the main transport in Samarkand were the carriages and " arabas " with horses and donkeys. Today Samarkand is an important railway center of Uzbekistan. All trains running from East to West of Uzbekistan and back pass through Samarkand. The most important and longest national railway route is Tashkent - Kungrad , which passes through Samarkand.

Railway transport reached Samarkand in as a result of the construction of the Trans-Caspian railway in by the railway troops of the Russian Empire on the territory of modern Turkmenistan and the Central part of modern Uzbekistan. This railway started from Krasnovodsk now Turkmenbashi on the Caspian Sea coast and ended at the station of Samarkand. It was Samarkand station that was the final station of the Trans-Caspian railway.

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The first station of Samarkand station was opened in May Later, due to the construction of the railway in other parts of Central Asia , the station was connected to the Eastern part of the railway of Central Asia and later this railway was called Central Asian Railways.

In the Soviet years in Samarkand was annexed, no new line but at the same time, it was one of the largest and most important stations of the Uzbekistan SSR and Soviet Central Asia. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Markanda disambiguation. City in Samarkand Vilayat, Uzbekistan.