Republic of Uzbekistan - General Information
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Uzbekistan local time  

Uzbekistan General Information

Flag Uzbekistan flag mini
Emblem Uzbekistan emblem mini
Capital Tashkent
Official language Uzbek
Area 447,400 km2
Time zone UTC+5
Drives on the right
Internet domain code .uz
Calling code 998


Welcome to Uzbekistan Tashkent, Independent Square

Today Uzbekistan with its numerous ancient monuments, rich nature, and the present-day rapid progress attracts the whole world's attention. For centuries the country was at the intersection of the Great Silk Road routes along which merchants, geographers, missionaries, and later tourists traveled. It is striking how the history, traditions and cultures of the nationalities populating the present-day Uzbekistan have been entangled with the history of Great Silk Road.


Uzbekistan History in BriefUzbekistan History in brief

Uzbekistan has a rich history, which goes as far back as the remote ages. According to archeologists, this land is one of the most ancient man's habitats. Within the last 50 years alone there have been found here several sites of a primitive man of Stone Age. The most famous ones are Teshiktash and Amankutan.


Zoroastrianism in UzbekistanZoroastrianism in Uzbekistan

The doctrines of Zoroastrianism are little known to general public. But as you familiarize yourself with this religion, you find, to your surprise, that it has much in common with other religions, including the Bible. Zoroastrianism, too, indoctrinates with such notions as Creation of the world, Paradise and Hell, the Messiah's Advent, Doomsday and Last Judgement. Actually these notions were to a large extent borrowed by Christianity, Islam and Judaism from Zoroastrianism.


Avesta

A thought unwritten is a thought lost' as the saying goes. It is especially right for the words meant to last years, for instance doctrines of a faith. That is why the clergy and monks in particular were justly the first to know written languages.


Alexander the Great in Central AsiaAlexander the Great in Central Asia

Twenty-five centuries separate us from the time when Alexander the Great lived and performed his deeds. There have been published more than 30000 scientific researches and literary works dedicated to this outstanding man; we know great number of legends and myths connected with his name; his image has been depicted on the works of art. Still today the name of the great commander and statesman keeps drawing attention of historians, philosophers, archeologists, military specialists and all those who are interested in the history of human development.


Roxana of Amu Darya – the Beloved Wife of Alexander

Thirty thousand books are said to be written about Alexander the Great. This figure could be even higher as new publications continue to appear. We know nearly in detail his great eastern campaign from Hellespont to Hind; and almost by episodes we picture to ourselves his battles. We are familiar with the conqueror's words and deeds which gained popularity owing to his victories. When Macedonian troops reached the Asian shore it was him who first threw the spear towards the land and said that Gods confided the defeated Asia to him.


Bactria – the Country of GoldBactria - the Country of Gold

Ancient Bactria, glorified by Hellenic historians as a great powerful state, is a vast historic area located on the both banks of the Amu Darya river, from the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan to the Hissar Mountain Range in Uzbekistan. In order to study ancient Bactria, in 1969 there was formed a joint Soviet-Afghan archeological team headed by Professor Victor Sarianidi.


Sogdiana, the Wonderland

SogdianaSogdiana is the name of a historical area on the territory of present-day Uzbekistan located in the basin of the Zerafshan and Kashkadarya rivers. According to one version the very word 'Sogd' means 'country of fertile valleys'. Poetic lines of 'Avesta' composed in the 9th - 12th centuries B.C. glorify legendary origination of this land: "Then I, Ahura Mazda, created inimitable Sogdiana, the land rich in flocks of sheep".


The Country of TamerlaneShakhrisabz - The Country of Tamerlane

It is said that once young Temur was sitting and watching an ant crawling up the grass stem. An insect was sliding, falling down, but still it kept crawling up. At last, it reached the top. The young man thought: "If the ant managed to achieve its goal, why can't I?" And since then he succeeded in all his deeds.


The History of Osman's KoranOsman's Koran

Osman's Koran is recognized as a remarkable and unique monument. It is an essential part of Muslim historical and cultural heritage. Kept in a special chamber in Barak-Khan Madrassah in Tashkent, Osman's Koran continues to be an unflagging attraction for researchers, pilgrims and tourists from many countries of the world.


Customs and Traditions of the Uzbek peopleCustoms and Traditions in Uzbekistan

Most likely, everybody is familiar with the following collocation: "in accordance with the rites of hospitality". In a sense it reflects one of the most ancient and highly valued customs that has survived to our time. In the older days, however, among the peoples of the Orient, including the Uzbeks, hospitality was a must in terms of life standards and morality.


Uzbek National MusicUzbek National Music

From afar, over the roofs of the houses, the inviting blaring tones of karnais are resounding - today there is a wedding in the makhalla: a respectable neighbor is marrying off his daughter. Singing the song with the refrain "Yor-Yor!" the women are seeing the bride to the groom's house. Since time immemorial the most important events in the lives of the Uzbeks, from cradle to grave, have always been accompanied by ritual music and songs. On the seventh day of his life a baby is for the first time swaddled and put to beshik -cradle to the accompaniment of the lullaby "Alla". If a child is ill, he is comforted with the chant "Badik". The ancient laments "Yigi" and "Yuklov" can still be heard at funerals and commemorative ceremonies. Many Uzbek families cherish and hand down their traditional ritual songs. Full of special meaning, these songs often date back to the age of the pre-Muslim culture.


Uzbek National CuisineUzbek National Cuisine

It is said that in order to get to know a person better, 36 pounds of salt should be eaten with him. So, in order to know better the customs and culture of a nation, its national dishes should be tasted. The Uzbek national cuisine has a centuries-old history and reflects the diversity of the customs and traditions of the people. The development of the cuisine benefited much from the new crops which had come from the countries of the Great Silk Road. Moreover, the local rulers used to bring the best culinary experts from the conquered lands.


Uzbek PlovUzbek Plov

Plov is the king of Uzbek cuisine. Plov is served during a wedding feast and to celebrate the arrival of honorable guest, at the crowded jubilee celebrations and in the family circle. Neither a friendly dinner nor funeral repast can do without plov. Dishes made of rice are known almost in every country of the East, but the Uzbek plov, recipe of which was created in the ancient times, can be called the masterpiece of culinary art. There are a lot of folk parables and legends about healing and nourishing qualities of plov.


Museums of UzbekistanMuseums of Uzbekistan

Museums are said to be the mirror of history. And the history of Uzbekistan is tightly connected with the history of the Great Silk Road, which for millenniums crossed the territory of the country.


Theatres of Uzbekistan

Theatres of Uzbekistan"All the world's a stage", claimed William Shakespeare and even placed these words as slogan at the entrance of his Globe Theatre. Since ancient times artistic and musical nature typical for Uzbek people showed up in their ritual activities. In ancient times on the market squares the theatrical performances given by buskers -maskaraboz gathered hundreds of spectators, and at the time of national holidays rope walkers accompanied their performances with pantomime. Nowadays galaxies of talented actors work in musical and drama theatre companies of Uzbekistan.


Holidays and Festivals of UzbekistanUzbekistan Holidays and Festivals

As a rule, every country has its major national holiday. More often than not this is Independence Day. In the past most of today's independent states - including the USA - were colonies, dominions, protectorates, or mandated territories. In other words, they were dependencies. So, many peoples in Asia, Africa and America were engaged in achieving their ultimate goal of liberty and independence.


Bazaars of Uzbekistan

Bazaars of UzbekistanThe traditional idea of an oriental bazaar as a place of abundant merchandise, brightness of colours and lively bustle finds its embodiment in Uzbekistan. A perfect bazaar is crammed with produce, it has a motley appearance and allows loud voices and exclamations; it is a place to which bargaining is intrinsic. There are over 15 big bazaars in Tashkent. Eski Juva bazaar is the biggest and the oldest one not only in Uzbekistan but also in the whole Central Asia. This bazaar is located in the very heart of so called Old Town of the capital, next to Chorsu square. Eski Juva has been operating at almost one and the same place for over two thousand years.


Nature of UzbekistanUzbekistan Nature

Nature in Uzbekistan is unique and incredibly diverse. Uzbekistan occupies a vast area in the very heart of Central Asia, with the largest part of the country lying between the rivers Amudarya and Syrdarya. The territory of Uzbekistan spreads from Ustyurt Plateau in the west to as far as Ferghana Valley in the east, and is 447,4 thousand square kilometers in area. Uzbekistan borders Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.


The Revival of Ancient Uzbek Crafts

Ancient Uzbek CraftsThe history of Uzbek arts and crafts can be compared to the flow of the Central Asian rivers Syr Darya and Amu Darya. The upper reaches of these rivers lie high in the mountains, in the land of glaciers and fogs. At the mountain foot the streams meet to form rapid rivers, which rush to the plains where they finally slow down irrigating fields and feeding reservoirs. Similarly, the history of Uzbek arts and crafts began centuries ago, undergoing both rapid and slow periods of development. But the chain of those development stages has never broken - the artistic tradition has always been maintained.


The blue ceramics of Uzbekistan

blue ceramics of UzbekistanFrom ancient times the people of Uzbekistan have treated water and earth as sacred objects. Under hot Asian sun there is no life without water. Earth is the life-giving source, the origin of everything; and even the first man, Adam, as Koran says, was also made of clay. At all times the people inhabiting this land were making from clay their own world. Adobe and baked bricks were used to construct fortresses, temples and dwellings. In round clay stoves called tandir they baked lepioshka - round flat bread. In pre-Islamic epoch clay idols protected the family from any kind of troubles; toy-whistles were made from clay for children; clay was irreplaceable material for making plates and dishes.


Uzbek musical instrumentsUzbek musical instruments

Overriding the street noise, the blaring inviting karnay sounds are being heard above the city. People are in a hurry having heard this invitation for celebrations: for wedding ceremony in mahalla, or may be for the opening of a new exebition. Everybody knows that karnay is one of the most ancient Uzbek musical instruments, but just a few are aware that in the Middle Ages it was a military signal instrument.


Uzbek Carpets that warm the heart ...

Uzbek Carpets"Сarpets warm your heart and please your eyes". This saying expresses in the best way possible the significance of carpet weaving art for the Uzbek people. There would be no house in Uzbekistan without carpets. By tradition that developed in antiquity, carpets have always been an important part of dwelling decoration, often replacing furniture. Carpets have been used to cover the floor and to decorate the walls, and their artistic values have always been appreciated no less than their functional properties.


Uzbek Suzane: home adornment and protection

Uzbek SuzaneFinding himself in a traditional Uzbek house for the first time, a westerner will be involuntarily amazed. First of all, he will wonder at almost total lack of furniture. A patterned oriental tapis or a tufted carpet on the floor, blankets – kurpacha and pillows laid together in wall niches, a trunk decorated with engraving and a low little table khan-takhta make almost all the furniture of the room. Another important part of family life decoration is large big embroidered wall panels - suzane hanging out on the walls.


Tubeteika suits everybodyTubeteika - skull-cap

Tubeteika (skull-cap) can become suitable attire for both gray hair of a sage and the braids of a bride. It has always enjoyed people's favour. Popular maxims say, "Tubeteika does not weigh heavy upon a dzhigit (young man)", "When there is no one to talk to, tubeteika becomes a good company". Tubeteika, a round slightly pointed skull-cap beautifully decorated with embroidered or applique patterns, is the national head-dress throughout Central Asia.


Uzbek National Dress

Uzbek National Dress"Clothes make the man", as the saying goes. While meeting people, it is indeed their clothes we pay attention to in the first place. If a person is dressed tastefully, it certainly makes a good impression on anyone around. And it is well-known that first impressions are the strongest. So everyone wants to dress beautifully, and it was like this at all times. Even oriental women, who used to be secluded from public view, tried to decorate their yashmaks - though the purpose of yashmak was to conceal woman's appearance.


Gold Embroidery in UzbekistanGold Embroidery in Uzbekistan

For centuries Bukhara has boasted fine jewelers, engravers, ceramists and tailors. Yet it is the art of gold embroidery that has made Bukhara famous worldwide. Gold embroidery was quite a common craft in the world. It was known in the countries of Hellinistic Asia and Western Europe, in Caucasus, in Turkey and Afghanistan.


The poetics of carved woodwood carving

While traveling round Uzbekistan it is unlikely that one can meet a traditional Uzbek house without wooden decorations. Since ancient times wood has been highly valued and respected by the local craftsmen who have demonstrated genuine mastery of wood carving.




A silver song of metal

uzbek embossEmbossing is a noble craft. To compare an embosser with an ordinary tinsmith is the same as to compare the cabinet-maker with the carpenter. To produce a jug – oftoba the embosser should master the art of founding, blacksmithing, chasing, engraving, carving and tinning. In addition to household applicability, the embossed copper and brass ware was always appreciated in Uzbekistan, first of all, for its artistic features. It decorated the shelves of open fitted cupboards and indicated prosperity and affluence of the owner.


Souvenirs from UzbekistanSouvenirs from Uzbekistan

On returning home every traveler tries to obtain something as a keepsake reminiscent of the countries and people visited. A souvenir made by the hands of a master of traditional arts and crafts can stir up vivid memories of culture and history of the visited country. It is a common fact that the base of many private art collections is made up of souvenirs brought from abroad. During a tour around Uzbekistan, "the golden section" of the Great Silk Road, tourists are usually deeply impressed by the majestic architectural monuments of Samarkand, Shakhrisabz, Bukhara and Khiva, which are inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage List. So what to choose as a memory token in an art-shop or artisan shop?


Jeweler's magic - like art

Jeweler's art is one of the most ancient on the earth. Initially jewelry was used not merely as adornment; it also served a magical purpose as was believed to have magic properties able to protect the wearer from evil spirits. The earliest adornments found in Uzbekistan date back to the 12th century B. C. In a burial ground located in the upper reaches of the Chirchik river there were excavated bronze bracelets with triangular inlaid patterns and ornaments in the form of cosmological spirals. Of great historical and cultural value are gold and silver religious objects, bracelets, finger-rings and necklaces from so-called Amu Darya treasure discovered in 1877 upstream the Amu Darya river. They vividly evidence the fact that as early as the 5th century B. C. the skill of Bactrian handicraftsmen achieved the perfection of a true art.


Why Uzbekistan?Uzbekistan, Bukhara - Chor Minor

Egypt and Greece, Mexico and Australia, India and Japan and many other exotic destinations lure travelers from all over the world. Among such destinations Uzbekistan holds a special place and has all the rights to claim the title of "tourist Mecca". What makes Uzbekistan an object of desire of modern travelers?


And still, why Uzbekistan?

Uzbekistan, Samarkand- Sher DorOn board the plane flying from Tashkent to New York two elderly women were talking. One of them said, "Who would ever have thought that this country could have such a great appeal". Her words sounded a bit bizarre, but sincere. The country she meant was Uzbekistan. One cannot help agreeing with her. There are at least 10 aspects of the appeal which account for the reason why a person with an inquiring mind and plenty of spare time, but still hesitant as to how to spend it, should visit Uzbekistan.


Useful Tips

While preparing for a trip to Uzbekistan or to any of the Central Asian countries medical insurance, including emergency evacuation, should be taken care of.The question of vaccinations is completely at one's own discretion since Uzbekistan and other Republics of Central Asia require no vaccinations.


Tourist Gems of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan Travel GuidebooksUzbekistan Travel Guidebooks

"Golden section" of the Great Silk Road - this is how the lands of Uzbekistan are called, the lands where since the ancient times there were concentrated great cultural and spiritual values, where scientific centers were established, where architecture, crafts and applied arts developed. In Uzbekistan a lot of historical and cultural monuments of past gone centuries have preserved to the present day. Moreover, architectural complex Ichan-Kala in Khiva, historical centers of Bukhara, Shakhrisabz, Samarkand are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.