chapter  7
24 Pages

SAMARKAND: QUEEN OF ALL CITIES

ByMualla Uydu Yücel

Introduction ........................................................................................... 150 Historical Background .......................................................................... 150 Historical Monuments ........................................................................... 160 Conclusion ............................................................................................ 165 Keywords .............................................................................................. 169 References ............................................................................................. 170

INTRODUCTION

A glance at the map of Asia, one could not have a thorough idea about how gigantic this continent is. In order to have a real impression about the size of Asia, you must go back hundreds of years and travel between China and Anatolia on a trade caravan. To walk with camels along this long route would be in a sense to stroll through the pages of human experience and its civilizations. Starting at Anatolia on the west, covering the area of the Fırat and Dicle passing south of the Caspian sea and the caucuses, looking ahead to the east, thinking thousands of kilometers you’ve already left behind is only the beginning of the journey, may give you an awful feeling of tiredness.’ But you would walk on and arrive in Samarkand. No matter who you are or where you come from she would embrace you with a maternal love. There you would witness the east and the west, the north and the south all in one city. Despite wanting to stay you would continue. The Silk Road would finally take you to Beijing hence you would then know that the size of Asia is as vast as the human history itself. Dating back as far as 1500 B.C. to Early Iron Age, Samarkand and its faithful sister Bukhara have been called “The Gateway to the East” because of their unique location in the middle of ancient Silk Road, which stretches between Europe and China passing through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and India. Especially Samarkand has always been a sanctuary in the middle of the steppes with stunning vineyards and fabulous gardens. The best way to describe these cities is to portray them as two sisters. Standing hand-inhand, here in the heart of Asia. Standing tall and proud all throughout the ages, yet still standing today welcoming every stranger that passes by with the same graceful beauty.