Tashkent, the capital • Uzbekistan

Uncover the fascinating history of Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, through an immersive video under 11 minutes long. Explore beautifully restored mosques and madrasas, admire the anti-seismic architecture of the metro, and immerse yourself in culinary culture with the famous Plov Center. The video comes with a detailed text that will enhance your experience. Don't miss this unique opportunity to virtually travel through the history and beauty of Tashkent.

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan

vimeo chapterA click on this icon above displays the list of chapters of this film about Uzbekistan. A click on a dot goes directly to a chapter.

Reading the text below will help you better understand the historical context of the sites shown in this video.

01:12 • Hazrati Imam architectural ensemble

01:46 • the Barakhan madrassa

02:23 • Khazrati Imam Mosque

02:58 • the metro

04:04 • the plov center

08:11 • the Chorsu market



The capital of Uzbekistan, a country in Central Asia, is called Tashkent and this city was created around 2200 years ago. Before the arrival of Muslims, both the city and the principality were called Chach. In the 6th century, Chach was part of the Turkish Khaganate (a khaganate is a kingdom headed by a Khan).

Chach was conquered by the Arabs at the beginning of the 8th century. The Mongols succeeded the Arabs, and the legendary cruelty of their Emperor Genghis Khan destroyed the city and slaughtered much of the population in 1219.

Under Tamerlane (Amir Timur), the city was partially restored, because he regarded Tashkent as a strategic city.

In the 16th century, the Uzbek Shaybanid dynasty gave Tashkent significant cultural influence because the sovereign Suyunchkhoja Khan had invited famous scientists, poets and writers to his court. Later, many wars pitted Tashkent against Bukhara among others.

At the end of the 18th century, Tashkent became an independent but ephemeral state ... As early as 1809, Tashkent, which in the meantime had become the richest city in Central Asia, was attached to the khanate of Kokan, causing the discontent of a large part of the clergy who sought to rally to Bukhara, but in the meantime Russia had sent its army.

Tashkent had become Russian ... But the Russian Empire was not long in disappearing in favor of the Soviet Union.

The Soviets were quick to industrialize Tashkent and in the 1930s, the city had developed a significant industrial fabric. This industrialization was to develop even more rapidly with the 1940-45 war, as the Soviets moved part of their industry from Russia to Central Asia, to avoid destruction by the Nazi armies. At that time there was a very strong increase in the population, in large part because of the Russian refugees and German Communists who were fleeing the 3rd Reich in their country. Many of them settled permanently in Tashkent which has become a cosmopolitan city.

A major earthquake in 1966 destroyed much of the old monuments and the reconstruction further accentuated its Soviet architectural character.

Among the few monuments that survived the earthquake, there is the Hazrat Imam complex.

Hazrat Imam Complex

This complex comprising a mosque and madrassas was in ruins at the beginning of the 20th century, partly following the earthquake but also because of the chronic lack of maintenance. Tashkent having declared itself "cultural capital of the Islamic world", the authorities were forced to rehabilitate the premises. And as in Uzbekistan we are not always in the lace when it comes to the rehabilitation of old monuments, the ruins of the old group have been razed and the buildings rebuilt.

Among the main buildings of this set, there is the mausoleum of Khazrati Imam and the Barakhan madrassa.

Tashkent metro

After the 1966 earthquake, authorities began construction of the first metro in Central Asia. The builders have taken particular care of the stations by decorating them with the most beautiful marbles and by ensuring that no station looks like another. The metro is built in strict compliance with anti-seismic standards and should withstand a magnitude 10 earthquake. Built during the Cold War, the Tashkent metro can also serve as an atomic bomb shelter. Until 2018, it was strictly forbidden to make films and take photos there, because of its strategic nature. We luckily went there in 2019 ...

the plov center

The national dish in Uzbekistan is plov, a dish made from rice, mutton or beef, and vegetables. Tashkent has its "plov center" where this traditional dish is made in gigantic pots. It has become a tourist attraction ...

the Chorsu market

Tashkent also has a huge covered market where you can get all the products needed to make a good plov, but many other things as well. Especially dried fruits which are excellent.

What's the weather like in Tashkent?

about the place, Tashkent:

Tashkent is the capital and the most populous city of Uzbekistan, with its 2.5 million inhabitants. Like many towns in the region, Tashkent was destroyed by Genghis Khan at the beginning of the 13th century. And as always, cities are rising from their ashes and Tashkent became an important point on the Silk Road.

If the city shows such a resolutely Soviet character (bars of obsolete buildings, large and imposing monuments, wide avenues) it is because it was largely rebuilt following the 1966 earthquake which devastated the city. Tashkent then became the fourth largest city in the USSR, after Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev.


Spoken comments in the film: 

Tashkent is a city of almost 3 million inhabitants and was the fourth most important city of the former USSR. Soviet architecture is extremely present in the city, but this film is content to show historical monuments from before that time.

The city whose name means "Citadel of Stone" is at least 2000 years old and is the capital of Uzbekistan.



 (Ouzbekistan)  - Echoes of Vanished Courts - Holimni So'ramaysan (You don't ask how I am)

 - Alihan Samedov (Ouzbekistan)  - Duduk - Track 1

 - Toki Zargaron (Ouzbekistan)  - National Uzbek Melodies - Track 11

 - Toki Zargaron (Ouzbekistan)  - National Uzbek Melodies - Track 12

madrassa Barakhan, Tashkent • Uzbekistan
Hazrati Iman complex, Tashkent • Uzbekistan

Hazrati Iman complex

in the metro corridors, Tashkent • Uzbekistan

in the metro corridors

the kitchens of the plov center, Tashkent • Uzbekistan

the kitchens of the plov center

at the covered market, Tashkent • Uzbekistan

at the covered market

Tashkent, Uzbekistan

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