15th century Termez was a city on the brink of transition. The Timirud epoch was in full swing, decedents of Amir Timur fighting amongst themselves to maintain the vestiges of his once great empire, and putting their own personal stamp on things with monumental construction projects all over Central Asia. The Sayyids were still hanging … Continue reading Day 2: Kokildor-Ota Khanaka
In 12th and 13th century Tashkent there lived a well respected Sufi mystic, Sheikh Ay-hoja Zangi-Ata, literally "Dark Father" owing to his dark complexion, who was revered by the local people, and subsequently by 14th century Uzbek national hero, Amir Timur. Having hailed from abroad, likely from a noble family in Saudi Arabia, Zangiata spent … Continue reading Day 9: Zangiata Complex
Termez may be best known for its many Buddhist archeological sites, but the 2,500 year old city also boasts several important architectural landmarks from the Islamic era. For those travelers already familiar with the Sah-i-Zinda Necropolis in Samarkand, the Sultan Saodat Ensemble may seem underwhelming, however those who make the effort to explore this ancient mausoleum … Continue reading Day 13: Sultan Saodat Ensemble
If Chevrolet has a near monopoly on new car sales in Uzbekistan, Lada takes the top prize for pride in ownership, and raw Soviet aesthetic. Few cars have maintained the same basic body style as long as the iconic Lada 2100 series, production lasting from 1970 to 2012, an amazing 42 years. Not the only … Continue reading Day 29: Lada Power!
Tashkent residents are very proud of their metro system. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in being one of the most beautiful in the world. When it opened in 1977, the Tashkent Metro was the 7th in the USSR, and the first in Central Asia. The latter held true until the opening … Continue reading Day 30: Tashkent Metro
The Alisher Navoi National Park is home to several Tashkent landmarks, including the Supreme Assembly Chamber, Wedding Palace, Navoi Monument, Istiqlol Palace, and the 16th century Abdulkasim Madrassa. The madrassa is the last remaining remnant of the Yangi Mahalla, and was once part of a larger architectural ensemble which included an ancient domed shrine supposed to … Continue reading Day 31: Abdulkasim Madrassa
Just an hour and a half outside Tashkent, a fascinating Soviet relic sits perched on a hillside near the village of Changikhisarak. One of the Soviet Wonders of the World, the физика-солнце, literally "Physics Sun" Institute of Uzbekistan, is the second biggest solar furnace in the world surpassed only by the Odeillo solar furnace in the Pyrenees … Continue reading Day 34: Parkent Solar Furnace