The capital is Central Asia's hub with shimmering roots as a Silk Road
city. The 2,000-year-old city is a major exporter to Eastern Europe of
silk, cotton and textiles, as well as oil, coal, copper, sulphur, rice
and manufactured products. Tashkent was an important commercial center
during the Middle Ages.
Samarkand (AH5) Most of
Samarkand's high-profile attractions are the work of Timur and the Uzbek
Shaybanids, who made the city Central Asia's economic, cultural and intellectual
epicentre in the 14th and 15th centuries. One of Central Asia's most awe-inspiring
sights is the Registan, an ensemble of majestic, tilting medressas.
Bukhara (AH63) There are
over 140 protected buildings in Bukhara, including the Labi-hauz, a 17th-century
plaza built around a pool; three-domed bazaars; the 47 m high Kalan minaret,
once the tallest building in Asia; and the mausoleum of Ismail Samani,
the town's oldest structure and one of the most elegant in Central Asia.