September 9, 2008
Tashkent will mark its 2200th anniversary next year
At its 34th Session in November 2007 the UNESCO General Conference adopted a resolution on celebrating the 2200th anniversary of Tashkent and participation in the jubilee celebrations.

Tashkent enjoys an invaluable place and profound role in the history of national statehood, as well as in the social and political life of Uzbekistan. It did contribute much to the development of world civilization and is rightfully named as the «Gates of the Orient».

Tashkent was firstly mentioned in «Avesta» and in ancient Chinese manuscripts. And this place proved to be a happy choice, because the city managed to survive in spite of all trials – wars, sieges and invasions. In the ancient chronicles the city was known under such names as Yuni, Chach, Shash Judging from the accounts, the name «Tashkent» first appeared in the Turkic sources of the IX-XII centuries. Shash in Turkic language means stone. Kand, qand, kent, kad, kath, kud – all meaning a city – are derived from the Sogdian, kanda, meaning a town or a city.

In support of this suggestion by archeologists of Uzbekistan in the south part of modern Tashkent, irrigated by the Jun River, were found remains of the settling of city type – Shashtepa. Ruins of defensive armed wall, round citadel with building from the moisture bricks and pahsa inside it were discovered. Outside defensive wall of citadel included inside vaulted corridor and was designed outside with tower shape ledges, which means it was built taking into consideration fortification motion of its time.

Already in the ancient times advantageous geographical location and favorable climate make Tashkent a link between the countries in the East and the West, in the North and the South, one of the main points at the trade road of the Great Silk Road.

As it is described in the annals there had been beautiful palaces among green gardens, temples, streets of craftsmen. In the capital craftsmen were engaged in metal processing, weaving cotton and woolen clothes, manufacturing of weapons, ceramics, jewelry. The city was a brisk trade center. The testimonies of it are coins of the states, which were found from Bizance in the West and up to China in the East. For the period of its existence the city survived ups and downs. But it always remained the crossroads of international trade, center of culture and art.

In the Middle Ages, Tashkent became the center of an agriculture oasis, a town of handicraft and arts, a mighty fortress on the northern border with nomadic tribes. Such ancient buildings as the Barak-Khana (the residence of the Mufti – the Father of the Central Asian Muslims – is situated there now), the Kukeldash Madrasah, the Djami mosque and the Kaffal-Shashi mausoleum still remain in the city.

X-XII centuries are the era of prospering industry, trade and culture. This period is called the «golden age», «Muslim Renaissance» in the history of economic and cultural development of Movaro-un-Nahr, where Tashkent played one of the key roles.

In the XX century the city experienced two crucial events. The first was the destructive earthquake of 1966. The monument «Courage», constructed in the epicenter of the earthquake, reminds about this nature disaster, which put an end to the old one-storied Tashkent. Only «islands» of the old residential sites remained. The ruinous, but none the less unsubdued city immediately busied itself with frame and panel construction work, which gave the citizens a new level of comfort. Another event, which changed the appearance of both the capital and the country itself, was the declaration of independence of Uzbekistan in 1991. The tall buildings made of glass and metal, many-level highway junctions, new parks, museums, fountains, in a short time made Tashkent a modern developed international megalopolis.

The rich cultural and spiritual heritage is reflected in the expositions of Tashkent museums. Among them we can point out the Museum of History of Uzbekistan with its unique numismatic collection, archeological finds and ethnographical relics. In the museum of the Temurids there has been displayed a rich collection of exhibits testifying to the formation in the Middle ages of a statehood on the territory of Uzbekistan, as well as evidencing the development of science, culture and art relating to the epoch of Amir Temur and his heirs. The richest collection of traditional folk art articles is presented in the Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts.

Today Tashkent with population of more than 3 million people is a large economic, educational, cultural & industrial center with about 300 companies producing almost everything which contemporary person needs: from aircraft and tractors to TV sets and toys for children. Here the images of old times join the modern skyscrapers made of glass and metal, multilevel overbridges, parks, museums, fountains.

Tashkent is rapidly becoming a modern developed international megapolis. Within the last ten years a number of modern sport complexes, tennis courts, and swimming pools have been opened. The townspeople may spend their weekend in the Golf club on the «Rokhat» lake; they can enjoy a fabulous time in the «Aqua Park», or to have a rest in one of the comfortable hotels, situated in the picturesque Chimgan foothills or on the bank of the Charvak reservoir. Tashkent has the only metro system in Central Asia. Tashkent Airport is the largest in the country, connecting the town to Asia, Europe and the American continents.

Under the ISESCO (Islamic Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization) decision in 2007 Tashkent the capital was called as of Center of Islamic Culture. This recognition came not only from the uniqueness of the legacy of Uzbekistan but also from what the Uzbekistan has been doing in order to preserve and safeguard it. Uzbekistan is one of the important centers of the Muslim world which gave the world outstanding theologists and encyclopedic scientists in secular and exact sciences. Uzbekistan is home to over 10 thousand historical architectural monuments. Tashkent established Sister City relations with such world cities as Istanbul, Seattle, Karachi, Berlin, Shanghai and Seoul.

On April 2, 2008 the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov signed the Resolution «On preparing and holding the 2200th anniversary jubilee of the city of Tashkent». The document is aimed at worthily celebrating the 2200th anniversary of Uzbekistan\'s capital in May 2009, envisages the reconstruction of historical monuments and sites of worship, as well as accomplishment of works on improvement and betterment of new facilities with further development of the capital\'s infrastructure. According to the document, the international scientific conference «The role of Tashkent in the world civilization» will be held in Uzbekistan March 2009. The conference is expected to attract the renowned local and foreign scholars and specialists.


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