""Stone Fortress": Uzbekistan's modern capital" Tashkent by toonsarah

Tashkent Travel Guide: 265 reviews and 578 photos

Suzanne, Applied Arts Museum, Tashkent

There has been a city here for over 2,000 years, its position on a junction of the Silk Road, advantageous geographical location and favourable climate making it a centre for trade from ancient times.

Tashkent (the name means "stone fortress") became a Muslim city in the 8th century AD, was part of Ghenghis Khan's empire in the 13th century, an important commercial centre during the Middle Ages and from the mid 19th century part of the Russian empire.

Today it is a largely modern city, thanks mainly to the devastation caused by a huge earthquake in 1966. It is often overlooked for this reason, and certainly doesn't have the wealth of attractions of the Silk Road cities, but there are some monuments and other sights worth visiting. As you're almost bound to arrive in the country through Tashkent's airport, why not hang around for a day or two to see what the city has to offer.

Sights ancient and modern

Highlights for me included the Osman Koran, claimed to be oldest in world and now on display in a newly restored library; the beautiful suzanni (traditional embroideries) on display at the Applied Arts Museum, and the building which houses that museum also; the starkly moving memorial to the earthquake; and what proved to be one of the tastiest meals we had in Uzbekistan at the Caravan Arts Cafe.

I have to say thought that we didn't really get the best out of our visit to Tashkent. We only had one day here, and the previous day had had a long journey from home, only arriving at 3.30 AM, and only getting to bed (thanks to the long processes involved in clearing customs etc) at 5.45 AM. Not the best preparation for a day's sightseeing! Add to that our first taste of the hot Uzbek summer sun, and you can see why I managed not to take so many pictures as usual nor visit as many sights as I would have liked.

A few words about my Uzbekistan pages

1. On the whole, I've written tips about the local customs and way of life on my Uzbekistan page. I've also included there some general information on things like packing, planning your visit etc. and some warnings. You may find some of this info duplicated here, but only where I feel it's of particular relevance to do so.

2. Uzbek place names have several spellings. For instance, Tashkent may also be spelt as Toshkent. I've used the version taken from the excellent guidebook, "Uzbekistan: the Golden Road to Samarkand" (written by Calum MacLeod & Bradley Mayhew, published by Odyssey) which uses the most common form for well-known place-names but adopts the newer Uzbek Latin spelling for street names, buildings etc.

3. Finally, and very importantly: in planning for and dreaming of my visit to Uzbekistan I owe so much to Ingrid (Trekki) who was always ready with advice and inspiration. Her Tashkent page inspired me and I'm sure it will do the same for you. Thank you so much, Ingrid :)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Good introduction to the culture & history of Uzbekistan
  • Cons:So much lost to the earthquake
  • Last visit to Tashkent: Jul 2007
  • Intro Updated Dec 24, 2011
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Reviews (8)

Comments (17)

  • DAO's Profile Photo
    Jul 13, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    I see you like to take forbidden photos as well. I am hoping to here here next month.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Mar 25, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    Good that you managed to see a few things in Tashkent after that inauspicious start at the airport. Did you ever meet that imam’s daughter in London?

  • Nov 17, 2009 at 1:42 AM

    Great information !

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Aug 24, 2009 at 7:16 AM

    Arriving in Tashkent on Sept 30 - revisiting Uzbekistan with a group of friends. I love going back to places I've enjoyed and am really loking forward to this one. Your page has put me even more in the mood! leyle

  • kyoub's Profile Photo
    May 18, 2008 at 8:58 AM

    Another devastating earthquake. A delightful page on the history of Tashkent. The food sounds delicious.

  • nepalgoods's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2008 at 1:03 AM

    Lovely page with interesting informations. Thanks!

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Apr 2, 2008 at 8:49 AM

    Certainly a 5-star presentation. I especially enjoyed reading about the craftsmen at work, the earthquake memorial, and the applied arts museum. Vibrant photographs to accompany your outstanding narratives.

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Mar 20, 2008 at 4:26 AM

    Oddly got here from Ingrid's UZ pages. Sounds a right hassle getting to and into the country, but you both did a great job of seeing things in your tired and rushed state. Architecture and food look great.

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2008 at 12:45 AM

    An excellent page on this dream destination! I will have to come back for your other Uzbekistan pages!

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo
    Jan 4, 2008 at 1:34 PM

    The colours of the Applied Arts Museum are amazing!

toonsarah

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