The Romance of the Silk Road
Samarkand – the name conjures romantic images of the ancient Silk Road that stretched from China all the way to Europe. It was the subject of a famous poem by English poet James Elroy Flecker. It was at the heart of one of the mightiest kingdoms of Asia in the Middle Ages, a crossroads between East and West. But where in the world is Samarkand?
If you have not heard about Samarkand, it is not a lost mythical city, it does exist and is still called by the same name today. In case you’re wondering, Samarkand is a city in Uzbekistan, a nation that was part of the former Soviet Union and is now an independent Central Asian nation. Uzbekistan is a landlocked nation that is bordered by the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.
Not many tourists consider Uzbekistan as a destination, unless they are familiar with the Silk Road, the kingdom of Tamerlane (Amir Timur) or fascinated with Soviet architecture. But to those who do, they will be rewarded with amazing edifices built with intricate mosaic patterns and in a grand way.
What is there to see in Samarkand?