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Uzbekistan

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Afrasiyab (Afrosiyob) is an ancient site of northern Samarkand which was occupied from c 500 BC to 1220 AD. Today it is a hilly grass mound located near the Bibi Khanaum Mosque. Afrasiyab is the oldest part and the ruined site of the ancient and medieval city of Samarkand.
Bibi-Khanym Mosque is a famous historical mosque in Samarkand, whose name comes from the wife of 14th-century ruler, Amir Timur. After his Indian campaign in 1399 Timur decided to undertake the construction of a gigantic mosque in his new capital, Samarkand.
Gur-e Amir is Persian for "Tomb of the King". This architectural complex with its azure dome contains the tombs of Tamerlane, his sons Shah Rukh and Miran Shah and grandson Ulugh Beg and Muhammad Sultan. Also honoured with a place in the tomb is Timur's teacher Sayyid Baraka.

The Registan was the heart of the ancient Samarkand. The name Registan means "Sandy place" in Persian.The Registan was a place of public executions, where also people gathered to hear royal proclamations, heralded by blasts on enormous copper pipes called dzharchis. The three madrasahs of the Registan are: Ulugh Beg Madrasah (14171420), Tilya-Kori Madrasah (16461660) and the Sher-Dor Madrasah (16191636). Madrasah is an Arabic term meaning school.

Samarkand (from Sogdian: "Stone Fort" or "Rock Town") is the second-largest city in Uzbekistan and the capital of Samarqand Province. The city is most noted for its central position on the Silk Road between China and the West, and for being an Islamic centre for scholarly study.

Shah-i-Zinda (Persian meaning "The Living King") is a necropolis in the north-eastern part of Samarkand. The Shah-i-Zinda Ensemble includes mausoleums and other ritual buildings of 9-14th and 19th centuries. The name Shah-i-Zinda is connected with the legend that Kusam ibn Abbas, the cousin of the prophet Muhammad was buried there.

In 1420, the great astronomer Ulugh Beg built a madrasah in Samarkand, named the Ulugh Beg Madrasah. It became an important centre for astronomical study and only invited scholars to study at the university whom he personally approved of and respected academically and at its peak had between 60 and 70 astronomers working there.
Bukhara from the Soghdian βuxārak ("lucky place"), is the capital of the Bukhara Province  (viloyat) of Uzbekistan. The nation's fifth-largest city, it has a population of 263,400 (2009 census estimate).

At the moment, it is the most cosmopolitan city in Uzbekistan, with large ethnic Russian minority. The city is noted for its tree lined streets, numerous fountains, and pleasant parks. Since 1991, the city has changed economically, culturally, and architecturally.

Khiva is a city of approximately 50,000 people located in Xorazm Province, Uzbekistan. It is the former capital of Khwarezmia and the Khanate of Khiva. Itchan Kala in Khiva was the first site in Uzbekistan to be inscribed in the World Heritage List (1991).


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