Samarkand is a city in Uzbekistan, with 353 347 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2008) and capital of the Samarqand Province . Samarkand is one of the most westerly on the foothills of the Alai mountain range accompanying plateau 720 meters above sea level. The area around the city is part of the river oasis of Serafschan , which flows around the town to the north. In the south-east to begin in just over 20 km away, the foothills of the Alai Mountains, the natural border with Tajikistan and Dushanbe is.
Samarkand, one of the oldest cities in the world and belongs to the Greeks as Maracanda ( Greek : Μαράκανδα) was known, before 2750 years ago in the fertile plain of Serafschan (Greek: Polytimetus) as the oasis town founded. Samarkand was long regarded as one of the most important provinces of the Persian Achaemenid empire. Prosperity, the Persian city came through trade with the northern and eastern regions, the ancient Silk Road passed through Samarkand and held on this trade route, technology and cultural exchange has contributed significantly to prosperity of the city contributed to the ancient world. Alexander the Great conquered the capital of Sogdiana 329 BC.
Under Islamic rule, the city prospered, especially during the reign of the Persian Samanids , until by the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan was destroyed in 1220th The Mongol ruler Timur made Samarkand the capital of his empire. 1868 the town was officially under Russian rule. It was the capital of a province within the General Government Turkestan , from 1918 the Turkestan ASSR was. In 1925 she became the first capital of the newly created Uzbek SSR , this function is lost, however, 1930 at Tashkent . Since 1991, the city belongs to the independent Republic of Uzbekistan, the fourth largest city it is. She is also the administrative center of the same region.
The city was founded in 2001 to the list of UNESCO World Heritage site added, representing among other things, as architecture and urban landscape masterpieces of Islamic cultural creativity and the arts, architecture and urban structure the most important eras of Central Asian cultural and political history illustrates.