Thousands of captured artisans from Persia, Iraq and Azerbaijan were put to work by Timur to create his imperial capital, Samarkand. Encircled by snow-lit mountains, the exquisitely symmetrical domes and minarets at its heart became the marvel of the ancient Silk Road. And although it’s these days hemmed in by bleak Soviet-style conurbation, the city still has about it an aura of near mythic remoteness.
Foremost among the surviving monuments here is the Registan, a grand square flanked by madrasas whose domes and walls are encrusted with azure, turquoise and wax-yellow tiles. Nearby, the resplendent Bibi-Khanym mosque has a brilliance compared by poets over the centuries with that of the Milky Way.
Narrow alleyways lined with mud-walled courtyard houses make up most of Samarkand’s Old Town, where you can soak up the traditional sights and sounds of the street markets and bakeries.
Tours that include Samarkand
TransIndus Brochures 2017/18
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