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Das Gur-Emir-Mausoleum in der usbekischen Stadt Samarqand Bild: Mathias Berlin / shutterstock

Uzbekistan – foreign culture & spectacular natural wonders

Admittedly, Uzbekistan with its capital Tashkent is not a classic destination that you would find when consulting in a travel agency. The former Soviet republic, which is located in the center of Asia , is likely to be on the very few screens of German vacationers. The country has an impressive history that goes back many thousands of years. In the days of the Silk Road, the country was a center for European traders and pilgrims, today it is an absolute insider tip for vacationers in search of foreign cultures and spectacular wonders of nature. A holiday in Uzbekistan is an adventure – and associated with impressive pictures that probably only very few people will ever see.

Uzbekistan – The Land of 1001 Nights

Lake Chimgan and the Chimgan Mountains
Lake Chimgan and the Chimgan Mountains, Image: Dave Primov / shutterstock

When you think of the Orient, you usually think of countries like Syria, Saudi Arabia or Iran. Where the desert meets the big cities and history is combined with ruins and old desert towns. The Orient stands much more for the countries of Central Asia. This is where the authors and historians have found the actual origin of the stories, and Uzbekistan in particular, with its buildings, is typical of what many people know from films such as Aladdin or Lawrence of Arabia. This is also due to the fact that the country was sealed off for many years and holidaymakers have only recently begun to explore the cities.

Uzbekistan has a long history and has experienced change over the centuries like hardly any other country in the region. The region experienced its heyday when the Silk Road, the trade route from Europe to China, reached its peak. The country was rich and was the center of merchants and cultures from all over the world. With progressive foresight, the rulers worshipped not only Islam, but every other religion in the world. This is still evident today in the oasis cities, the monumental buildings in Tashkent and the many palaces that feed on the country’s former prosperity.

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Experience Uzbek culture up close and immerse yourself in history

Uzbekistan had almost completely disappeared from the maps of the Western world during the Soviet Union. Even today, many buildings in the capital Tashkent, which was also marked by a strong earthquake, bear witness to the brutalist construction of the Soviets, which can be found in many nations of the former empire. But a lot has changed since the end of the Cold War and the Iron Curtain. Today, Uzbekistan stands for the modern influence of Islamic countries and the cultures have mixed again. Uzbekistan is a classic melting pot, which is also evident on the streets of big cities such as Tashkent or Samarkand. Hospitality, traditions and cosmopolitanism mix here in an impressive way.

The culture of Uzbekistan is also marked by the long history of the country. As one of the capitals of the Silk Road and at the same time a major Islamic nation, the country is closely linked to the connection of cultures and traditions. The country is not solely dependent on its large cities. The nature of Uzbekistan is diverse and cities like Samarkand or Tashkent are just the highlights on a journey of discovery through this unique nation.

The most important sights on the trip through Uzbekistan

Tashkent, Uzbekistan
View of the TV tower of Tashkent, Image: Lukas Bischoff Photographer / shutterstock

When it comes to sights, a distinction must be made between the country’s historic cities and the small treasures in the middle of the country. From the largest cities, for example, the oases with their small towns are of particular beauty. In places like Bukhara or Khiva you will find beautiful palaces, mosques and temples that were built hundreds of years ago. It is an example of the testimony that Uzbekistan has left in history. From here you can also set off into the varied nature of the country. The endless desert alternates with interesting valleys and impressive mountains that draw the landscape of the whole of Uzbekistan.

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The highlights of a trip to Uzbekistan are certainly the two cities of Tashkent and Samarkand. Samarkand has as long a history as cities like Rome or Istanbul , and rulers like Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great wanted to rule it. Tombs, mosques and bazaars line the streets today and the Bibi Khanum Mosque is particularly impressive. It is considered the most beautiful mosque in the East and outside the direct Arab world. Registan Square is the highlight of the city and perhaps the country and offers impressive buildings in every direction.

Tashkent may have been scarred by the earthquake in the 1960s and Soviet rule, but life pulsates here. Ruins, monumental buildings and the construction of the Soviets characterize the cityscape, while the city itself appears like a western metropolis and also offers an impressive nightlife. Shopping, recreation, hotels and culture – all this is offered in Tashkent.

Uzbekistan is not the typical destination for Germans, but it is an adventure for anyone who books a hotel in the region. The country has a long history and its own form of beauty, which offers many great motifs.