As may be gathered from the brief introduction to Tashkent above, the city has a long and rich history of well over 2 millennia, becoming truly world famous as one of the main cities and civilization centers in Central Asia during this period.
According to Uzbek historians the city of Tashkent was founded by 191 BC. Historically most noted for its Islamic Architecture and heritage, since its conquest by the Russian Empire and in 1865 AD, the city also has its notable Russian influences and blessings.
The earliest recorded histories which survive today appear to give mention of a military camp at or near the location of current day Tashkent. Apparently existing from some time in the 3rd Century BC to 1st Century BC, this camp may have gone by the name of Shach or a name sounding something alike.
As stated by the National Museum of History in Tashkent, the first mention of Tashkent (earlier known as Shash, Chach, and Binkent) dates back to the 2nd century B.C., when Tashkent had a favorable location on the then emerging Great trans-EurAsian Silk Road. This time also corresponds with the rise of the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD), the Chinese Dynasty which is credited with expansions of Han Chinese Territory and power westward, in combination with diplomatic scouting missions, thus allowing for the "first opening" of what today is dubbed "The Silk Road".
China Report - Colonialism - Growth of Colonies & Japan after 1801 AD
A Map drawing of the Eurasian continent , parts of North-East Africa and the Middle East in the 19Th Century between 1801 AD and 1900 AD. Focal points are the expansion of western colonial posessions of Portugal, Britain and France, as well as Russia moving from West to East. Labeled seperately is the later Rise of the Empire of Japan in the East.
Included in this Map are the main cities across the continent with their brief histories and events during the 19Th Century. Marked in Colors for clarity are the various colonial and imperialist Nations. As relating to China; special attention is payed to so called Treaty Ports. The First Treaty Ports were forced open by Britain in the year 1841 AD, but counted over 80 in total by the end of the 19Th Century. The most important Treaty Ports in China are marked and described with a short history where the map allows.
A Map drawing of the World depicting the Colonial Possessions as they were distributed in 1912 AD. Superimposed and marked in colors are subsequent changes in Influences Spheres, colonies and possessions due to World War I ( 1914 AD - 1918 AD).
Included in this Map are the main cities across the continents with their brief histories and events during the late 19Th Century and early 20Th century, where relevant. Marked in Colors for clarity are the various colonial and imperialist Nations. As relating to China; special attention is payed to so called Treaty Ports. The First Treaty Ports were forced open by Britain in the year 1841 AD, but counted over 80 in total by the end of the 19Th Century.
Google supported Map of Tashkent City and Uzbekistan, by AsiaReportcom.
Colonialism - 1912 World Map of Colonial Possessions & Trade Routes.
1898: The trans-Caspian Railway, construction of which had started in 1879, reaches Tashkent (via Samarkand). This connects the city via Samarkand and Buchara with Krasnovodsk (Today: Turkmenbashi in Turkmenistan) and from there across the Caspian see by train-ferry with the heart of the Russian Empire.
1899: Expecting growing importance of city and connections while the Russian Empire keeps expanding into Central and Eastern Asia, construction of the current Tashkent Central Train Station building. Meanwhile the National Railway network of Uzbekistan is extended to Andijan in the Fergana Valley, at the time the center of the most productive cotton producing region in all of Central Asia.
1902: Birth of Sobir Umar o'g'li Rakhimov (Sobir Rakhimov ; Сабир Умар-Оглы Рахимов)(Life: 25 January 1902 - 26 March 1945 near Gdansk, Poland), in life a working class soldier who followed military career for all of his life, fighting heroically through four years on the German "Eastern Front" (for Russians the Western Front) to become the first Uzbek native General (Officer) of the Soviet Red Army in World War and, posthumously decades later, a recipient of the Title Hero of the Siviet Union and the Lenin Award (1965).
May 10, 1903: Birth of Gʻafur Gʻulom (or Gafur Gulom ; Russified form Gafur Gulyam) (Uzbek: Gʻafur Gʻulom, Ғафур Ғулом) in Tashkent. During his his life he will go on to become a famous Tashkent citizen, best known as poet, writer of stories, and literary translator. His best remembered story is entitled Shum Bola (The Mischievous Boy), which was adapted for film in 1977 and there after frequently shown on Uzbek National Television becoming a classic of Uzbek film culture.
1904: Birth of the Uzbek artist and painter Ural Tansykbaev (Life: 1904 - 1974 ), who during his life became a world renowned painter, one of the most prominent modern artists of the Soviet Union, and is regarded the founding father of modern Uzbek painting (styles). To date, his paintings are displayed at the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Moscow State Museum of East, and the arts museums of Uzbekistan as well. His house in the city of Tashkent has been turned into a museum, entirely dedicated to his career and works.
1906: A New 1000 kilometer railway connecting Tashkent to Orenburg (Orenburg Oblast, Russia) is built, thus interconnecting the trans-Caspian Railway through Tashkent with the system of the Trans-Siberian Railway further to the north.
Soon after, having left Paris on 17 June of 1906 and traveling through Moscow, a three man French Scientific Mission led by Paul Pelliot (Life: 28 May 1878 - 26 October 1945) arrived via the old trans-Caspian railway in Tashkent, to travel onwards via Andijan (Andizhan), last stop of the line, and then further down to neighboring Kyrgyzstan and finally "Chinese Turkestan" (Today: the Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region of the Peoples Republic of China). Before reaching Tashkent however, in Samarkand, the three French Men met up with a fourth person, the Russian Baron and war veteran Gustaf Emil Mannerheim (Life: 4 June, 1867 - 27 January 1951) and received an additional guard of two Cossack Cavalry men arranged for by Russian benefactors. Mannerheim joins on the scientific mission under the cover of being an ethnographic collector, however in fact the man joins the party as a Russian spy sent to explore the Chinese Western regions and travel on to Beijing in order to gain strategic knowledge for the Russian Tzar Nicolas II, who - at the time - is pondering whether or not a full scale invasion of Chinese Turkestan and neighboring Gansu Province could be (greatly) to the Russian advantage.
As it was, the small group of four men was held up in Tashkent for a brief while as they suffered a loss by mismanagement of their luggage. The party then traveled together to Xinjiang, where they eventually split after having a fall out over their secretive arrangements, that being, Paul Pelliot covering for a Russian spy. Both the Baron Mannerheim and the Paul Pelliot team were successful in their missions, thus becoming part of the history of the Silk Road.
Also in 1947, in the aftermath of the destruction of World War 2, a clock mechanism was brought from former German East Prussia to Tashkent. Later suspended in a clocktower which was built to the south of what today is Amir Temur Square, today it remains as (part of) one of the scenic and historic sights of the city, with an interesting Uzbek clocks and chimes museum attached. (A second identical clocktower was erected adjacent in 2009, creating the twin clocktowers or twin chimes of Tashkent).
1951: By then already famous Tashkent resident, the renowned Soviet Era musical composer Mukhtar Ashrafi (Russian: Мухтар Ашрафович Ашрафи, Uzbek: Muxtor Ashrafiy)(Life: 11 June [O.S. 29 May] 1912 in Bukhara - 15 December 1975 in Tashkent) is awarded the grand honorary title People's Artist of the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.).
1957: Renovations and reconstructions at Tashkent Central Train Station.
1908 - 1913: In a violent display of power, Russia initiated a campaign, known at the time as the ‘struggle against pan-Islamist movements among Tatars.’ The campaign led to the massacre of Muslim followers of Jadidism, a reformist and progressive movement initially made popular by theologian Ghabdennasir Qursawi (Ghabdennasir Qursawi)(Life: 1776 - 1812)(who had studied in Bukhara in early life) that encouraged critical thinking, education for Muslims and gender equality.
1958: Famous Uzbek dancer and Tashkent citizen Tamara Khanum is awarded the highly honorable title of People’s Artist of the USSR.
1961: Destalinification becomes the theme of politics in the Soviet Union under the leadership of Nikita Chroestchev. In 1961, 22nd Congress of the Communist Party was held, and the governing body attacked Stalin’s cult of personality and called for the erasure of his figurative sculptures and all things associated with Stalins personality cult. Tashkent’s statue of Stalin was destroyed and the remaining pedestal was inscribed with the new party platform in both Russian and Uzbek languages.
1965: Sobir Umar o'g'li Rakhimov (Sobir Rakhimov)(Life: 25 January 1902 Tashkent - 26 March 1945 near Gdansk, Poland), in life a working class soldier who followed military career for all of his life, fighting heroically through four years on the German "Eastern Front" (for Russians the Western Front) to become the first Uzbek native General (Officer) of the Soviet Red Army in World War is posthumously awarded the Title Hero of the Soviet Union and the Lenin Award.
1966: Tashkent Earthquake levels up to 80% of the new city and 50% of the old city of Tashkent. The disaster requires a complete reconstruction of the city. Workers from many Soviet States are sent down in order to help with this reconstruction effort. This brings new ethnic groups to the city.
Following the massive earthquake in Tashkent in 1967 and onwards, the areas around Revolution Square in new Tashkent were dramatically refashioned, with much of the earlier primitive adobe housing and European styled buildings in ruins, Tashkent’s traditional architecture replaced by drab, massive and identical looking Soviet-style housing blocs and commercial buildings. In order to increase its importance, automobile and pedestrian traffic were focused at and around the square, adding to the symbolic potential of the site and public exposure to its monuments and meaning. Within a year after the earthquake, city planners replaced the stele in Revolution Square with a monument to Karl Marx, which , due to its venerable political neutrality, stood until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
1968: First planning of Tashkent Metro (subway) transportation system.
1970: Construction and opening of the Saint Vladimir Church at the Dombrabad Cemetery. It is a Church in the Neo-Classical style which initially only functions as a funeral parlor for the religiously inclined deceased. (Only after Independence of Uzbekistan in 1991, allowing for great freedom of worship and religion, it becomes functional Church).
1972: Start of construction of the first Metro (Subway) Line in Tashkent.
1973: Creating and opening of the "Tashkent Park of Military Glory" at the Defense Museum on Mirzo Ulugbeg Avenue. Erected statues include a statue of a brave Soviet Soldier entitled the "Defender of the Motherland" - a Statue devoted to Soviet soldiers. The park also includes plenty of Soviet War material such as Soviet planes, rockets, tanks, and cannons.
1974: the People's House which was the home of the State Museum of Art (at the National University) was demolished, and replaced by a new building designed by three Soviet architects, namely; I.Abdulov, A. Nikiforov and S. Rosenblum. The new State Museum of Art building, where the museum is still housed today, was unusual for its time building in the sense that it took the modernist and industrialist form of a huge cube, among things with its facades divided into squares by metal structures and lined with aluminum sheets on the outside and the lower part of the building and the entrance decorated with polished gray marble as was fashionable for a while in that time.
1976: Ten years after the 1966 earthquake that destroyed over half the city, the Monument of Courage (1966 Tashkent Earthquake Memorial) is unveiled along the north side of Mustaqillik Maydoni.
September 1976: Ilkhom (Contemporary) Theatre is founded and opened in Tashkent by Mark Yakovleviv Weil (Russian: Марк Яковлевич Вайль)(Life: 25 January, 1952 - September 7, 2007), who will remain the spiritual force and leader of the Ilhom Theatre until his death in 2007.
1977: First opening of the Tashkent Metro system.
1978: Construction started on the 375 meter high (1230 Ft.) Tashkent TV Tower. Later after starting operations on 15 January of 1985, it was the first ever TV station in the Nation, reaching all of Tashkent City and Province as well as more southern parts of Uzbekistan. Today, the TV Tower is a scenic landmark of Tashkent City, which has a meteorological station and an observation deck at 97 meters above the city.
1980: Extension of the first line of the Tashkent Metro.
1982: The House Museum of Mukhtar Ashrafi (Russian: Мухтар Ашрафович Ашрафи, Uzbek: Muxtor Ashrafiy)(11 June [O.S. 29 May] 1912 in Bukhara – 15 December 1975 in Tashkent), famous former resident of Tashkent opens to the public at his Soviet Era apartment in the Mirzo-Ulugbek District.
1983: As part of an ongoing (and Government supported) revival of Uzbek National identity (within the Soviet Union), Tashkent sees the opening of the house museum of Tashkent native Gafur Gulyam (Life: 1903 - 1966), the Nationally famous poet, story writer and translator, at his former residence where he lived between 1944 and his death in 1966. Revered as a founder of modern literature in Uzbekistan, overcoming the previous rigidly arranged and religiously inspired canons, his house is a memorial and shrine to the creative works of Gafur Gulyam and includes and exhibition dedicated to memorial ceremonies held in Tashkent since the death of the author in 1966.
1984: Opening to the "Tashkent" Metro station at the Tashkent Central Train Station in Tashkent and addition of the second Line of the Tashkent Metro.
1984: Erection of the Monument to the Astronauts in Tashkent. The monument honors all those who have contributed to science and space exploration for humanity, with an additional statue of National Hero Vladimir Dzhanibekov, Uzbekistan's first cosmonaut.
1985: Founding of the house-Museum of Uzbek grand National writer and poet "Aibek (Oybek)" Musa Tashmukhamedova (Life: January 10, 1905 - July 1, 1968) at the former residence of the writer in Tashkent.
1988: First opening of the Tashkent Geology Museum. By April 2011 the museum will move to its current location at Shevchenko Street.
1989: The open air Tashkent Museum of Railway Technics was opened in 1989 to celebrate 100 year anniversary of the Uzbek railway system.
September, 1991: Independence of Uzbekistan from the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.) which thereby ceases to exist. In 1991, the newly independent Uzbek government dismantled the Marx bust at Revolution Square, renamed this space the Amir Temur Square. A monument to historic Uzbek hero Amir Temur thus replaced the socialist era with images of a Nationalist Uzbek future.
After the proclamation of Uzbekistan's independence in September 1991, in 1992 the famous "Lenin Square" of Tashkent was renamed as "Mustaqillik Maydoni", which translates to "Independence Square" in English. The monument to Lenin, the largest such statue in the world entire, was dismantled, and in its place the Monument of Independence of Uzbekistan, in the form of the globe, was erected.
Later, in front of the pedestal was set a figure of a woman, symbolizing the Motherland.
Since 1992, the Independence Square of Tashkent is the central square of Tashkent as well as the larger Uzbek Nation; it hosts celebrations and military parades in the days of special events and public holidays.
In 1994, the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan made the decision to construct a new Zoo to meet all modern requirements and Standards. In 1997, on the Day of Independence, the new Zoo more modern and enlarged zoo, located west adjacent the famous Tashkent Botanical Garden, began operations. The new Zoo is 22,7 hectares in size and near continuous with 66 hectare Botanical Gardens.
1994: Opening of the "Memorial house museum of Tamara Khanum" in Tashkent. The house museum is entirely devoted to Uzbek dancer of Armenian origin Tamara Khanum (Life: 1906 - 1991) with its first exhibitions based on material taken from a 1986 exhibition of costumes of the actress. The museum is situated in the center of Tashkent, near the metro station Hamid Alimdzhana on the street named after Tamara Khanum. In this house Tamara Khanum lived the last years of her life.
1 September 1996: Opening of the Museum of Olympic Glory in Tashkent, featuring President Islam Karimov as well as the previously (until 1975) openly Fascist, corrupt 7th President of the Olympic Committee and alleged KGB asset Juan Antonio Samaranch (Life: 1920 - 2010).
January 1997: By Decree of the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, the Academy of Arts (of Uzbekistan) was established and tasked with "maintaining, studying and enriching the unique traditions of different schools of the national art, which have evolved on the territory of Uzbekistan; popularizing masterpieces of fine and applied arts and miniature painting; establishing the system of art education in line with the requirements of the time; training highly skilled specialists; and further improving academic research work". Since, a large number of new art museums has been established and developed, while education and research into the arts has received great stimulus.
December 23,1997: The cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan adopted a special resolution “On celebrations of the 545th anniversary of eminent artist Kamoliddin Bekhzad” the resolution resulted in the establishment of Kamoliddin Bekhzad museum park, with as mission to explore and promote the works and art styles established by Kamoliddin Bekhzad in the 15th century and thereafter propagated and evolved by his followers’ including the (Sufic) art of miniature painting as well as calligraphy, It was subsequently opened on March 6, 2002. Ever since it has enjoyed status as among the highly interesting art museums and galleries in the city of Tashkent.
16 February, 1999: 6 car bombs explode in Tashkent city within a span of about one and a half hour, targeting important Government buildings in the city. In the attacks, which will become known as the 1999 Tashkent bombings, 16 were killed and 120 wounded. The last car bomb hit the building of the Cabinet of Ministers in an apparent assassination attempt of President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov.
To date, no convincing evidence has been found linking any group or Government with the attacks. In the aftermath, the Uzbek Government launched a large scale crackdown on suspected Islamic Militants, but also groups associated with neighboring Tajikistan. Initially, Tajikistan was accused of involvement with the attacks leading to a closure of the international border between both Nations.
1999: Unveiling of the World War 2 memorial in Tashkent, a monument honouring the 400,000 dead Uzbek soldiers during the World War II. The niches along its two corridors house their names are written.
1999: Jaslyk Prison in Tashkent was opened in order to hold the convicts of the emerging mass crackdown on suspected civil unrest and religious organizations.
2001: Opening of the first section of third line of the Tashkent Metro, the Yunusobod Line.
October, 2001: Two lions and one tiger whelp were born at Tashkent Zoo. This event was marked as historical one in Central Asia. Tashkent Zoo, first in its history of Central Asia.
6 March, 2002: Opening of the Memorial Park and Museum of Kamoliddin Behzad (Life: 1455 AD - 1535 AD), popularly known among tourists as the miniature arts museum of Tashkent.
7 November, 2003: Opening of the Tashkent Planetarium, a museum dedicated to the Uzbek tradition of astronomy and the exploration of space throughout time. With two halls and a 3D cinema it becomes a location popular with locals and tourists alike, Tashkent Planetarium also plays a role as scientific institute, stimulating the rebuilding of a National Branch of Space Science.
March 28, 2004: Tashkent Police allegedly beat to death a 74-year-old man in Tashkent's famous landmark Chorsu Bazaar.
March 30, 2004: A string of suicide bombings, a hostage taking at a police station, and (at least) two subsequent shoot outs in the northern suburbs of Tashkent leave 20 attackers and 3 policemen dead, putting the city of Tashkent on high security alert. In defense, armored cars and security troops surround Government buildings in the center of Tashkent.
In the aftermath, although a group named Islamic Jihad Union claimed responsibility, the Uzbek Government puts blame on the Hizbut Tahrir, Uzbek Islamic fundamentalist party and alleged terror group, while in a larger frame cause is sought in the (material) participation of Uzbekistan in the "International Coalition against Terrorism".
July 30, 2004: Twin suicide bombings hit the entrances to the Embassy of the United States of America amid the Embassy of Israel, respectively, killing two Uzbek security guards. In the aftermath, responsibility is claimed by the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU).
2007: Celebrating Uzbek Islamic Culture a new building is erected at the religious complex of Hast Imam Square (also Khazrati Imam Architectural Center). The new building is mosque named Hazrat Imam and is which keeps in line with the architectural traditions of the square set in the 16th century and consists of the mosque itself, and two minarets. At the same time the muftiate building (the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan or Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Uzbekistan) is built and opened at Hazrat Imam Square and complex.
September 6, 2007: Mark Yakovleviv Weil (Russian: Марк Яковлевич Вайль)(Life: 25 January, 1952 - September 7, 2007), Tashkent born and native, internationally known Uzbek (and previously Soviet) Theatre director, founder and leader of Tashkent’s renowned Ilkhom Theater hailed as one of the last refuges of free speech in Uzbekistan was murdered in front of his apartment building in Tashkent by two unknown men after the final rehearsal of his latest production, Aeschylus’s The Orestia. This play was to open the 2007-08 season, marking Ilkhom’s 31 years of existence. He died on the operating table. According to the University of Miami, His last words were reported to have been, “We open a new season tomorrow and every thing must happen.” According to these dying wishes, the Theatre company went ahead with the plans to open The Orestia as planned the next evening.
In 2010 3 men were convicted of the murder after allegedly confessing to have committed the act in response to his portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad in his play "Imitating the Koran".
2008: In 2008, a large-scale reconstruction of the House Museum of Tamarah Khanum, which originally opened in 1994, was carried out at the expenses of the US Ambassador's Fund for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage. During the reconstruction 75 stage costumes were restored, a collection of historical photo materials was updated. There were recorded several audio-excursions, telling about the life and work of Tamara Khanum
2009: Celebrating the (supposed) 2200 year of the founding of the city of Tashkent, the International Congress Hall of Tashkent (International Forums Palace) was constructed on Amir Temur Square (Formerly Lenin Square) in Tashkent. Today it is considered as perhaps the most representative building for Uzbekistan in all of the Nation.
In the ongoing process of modernization and prospering of the City of Tashkent as the International Capital of Uzbekistan, the second clock tower is built adjacent the famous 1947 "Tashkent Chime" which stands due south of what today is Amir Temur Square. This creates the renovated monument of the twin Clocktowers (Chimes) of Tashkent, a facility which not only houses the antique Tashkent Chime brought in after World War 2, but also houses a contemporary museum of Uzbek made watches and clocks.
November 2009: In November, officials removed all the monuments in Tashkent's Park of Military Glory (in front of and surrounding the Defense Museum at Mirzo Ulugbeg Avenue. All statues and Soviet parafernelia, including the Defender of the Motherland Statue which stood in front of the entrance of the Defense Museum, all of which were devoted to Soviet soldiers, as well as Soviet planes, rockets, tanks, and cannons were removed and moved into a City Government depository for proper preservation. At a later time they may appear in a Museum in Tashkent.
January 12, 2010: Unveiling of the new Oath to the Motherland Memorial (Statue) in front of the National Defense Museum on Mirzo Ulugbeg Avenue. The statue replaces an earlier Statue of a Soviet Soldier, which - obsolete due to fresh political currents since 1991 - had been removed in November of the previous year. In a speech at the unveiling President Islam Karimov boast of a strong Uzbek Military machine in the forging.
2011: Tashkent International Airport receives massive upgrades. While Terminal 2 is expanded and renovated turning it into the international air passenger hub of Tashkent, a new Terminal 3, dedicated to National and Regional flights, arises at the opposite southern end of the airfield.
2013: After two decades of fresh modernizations and a decade of persecution and repression of former Soviet Heroes and their expressions, the public in Tashkent is stirred when yet another 240 street and place names in the Uzbek capital renamed were ordered renamed by the Cities Authorities (Source: olam.uz website). Names formerly carrying the names of Soviet but also many Uzbek Soviet Heroes were erased to be replaced by more neutral names referring to such things as flowers and natural beauty.
2014: Following a sister-city agreement with the City of Seoul, Capital of South Korea (R.O.K.) in the year 2010, in 2014 a genuine Korean styled garden is opened in Tashkent as a new part of the popular Dustlik Entertainment Park (also known as Bobur for its location along Bobur Street). The park receives the name Seoul National Park, and thus becomes the 3rd National Park of Uzbekistan situated in the Capital of Tashkent (the others are Uzbekistan National Park and adjoing Alisher Navoi National Park).
September 4, 2015: A bomb left at a Bus stop in the vicinity of Chorsu Bazaar and Tokhtaboy Mosque exploded injuring no one. The explosion was not immediately reported in State Media. The bomb attack, which occurred at a highly relevant symbolic location, came one week after the United States of America had asked Uzbekistan to join the U.S.-led international coalition against I.S. (Islamic State ; later ISIL) and about a month after the home grown Uzbek Terrorist group IJU had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
10 November, 2015: Opening of the Tashkent Polytechnic Museum (Ташкентский Политехнический Музей) better understood as the the General Motors supported car or autombile museum of the city. The Museum opens in a prominent location in a large building situated just south of the all important Amir Temur Square and along Amir Temur Street.
June 2016: For two days the city of Tashkent is the host location of the regionally important Shanghai Cooperation Organization (S.C.O.), with India, China (P.R.C.) and many other Nations attending.
2016: Death of Islam Karimov, long time autocratic ruler of Uzbekistan, ushers in a new era for Uzbekistan and the city of Tashkent. On September 3, he is buried in the city of Samarkand.
In September 2016, after the passing of President Islam Karimov, at 300 years age one of the oldest surviving Mosques in the city, which had been undergoing renovations after a fire in 2015, was to be named after Islam Karimov, as Islam Ota Mosque (Father Islam Mosque). The Mosque was thus added to the listing of current day (tourist) landmarks of the city.
In February of 2017, by decree of the new President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, it was decided that instead of having new expansions of the existing Tashkent (Islam Karimov) International Airport, Tashkent would develop the second airfield of the city, the Vostochny Airport and Airbase, into Tashkent's second International Airport. Although many upgrades and renovations will be necessary achieve this, the plan is to be completed by 2029.
This Schematic Map shows the entire "Journey to the West" as made by the Chinese Monk Xuanzang in the years 629 AD to 645 AD.
The Path of the Journey to India led though China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The Return Journey led through Pakistan and Afghanistan to reach Kashgar in current day Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. Because the (Han) Chinese Cultural Zone during the Tang Dynasty Era only reached as far as Dunhuang, where the Great Wall began, Xuanzang had to travel south-east from Kashgar via Yarkant and Hotien (Khotan) along the South Route around the Taklamakan Desert to finally return to his native China in 645 AD.
Map - Travel Route of Xuanzang 629 - 645 AD - Journey to the West
China Report - Schematic Map of the earliest or Ancient Silk Road during the Han Dynasty & Roman Age 2
A Schematic Map depicting the Full Length and main pathways of the Ancient Silk Road during the Han Dynasty Period (206 BC - 221 AD) and Roman Age (30 BC - 630 AD).
In 30 BC the Roman Empire started trading with India, which was already well known from the Conquest of Alexander the Great (+/- 330 BC). In the following 6 centuries the West would Trade with India and indirectly also with China through the Silk Road. The Silk Road only lost its Value after the European Age of Discovery and the Establishment of Maritime Trade Routes with India (16Th Century) and later China. The Yellow River is crossed at Lanzhou, after which Dunhuang is the Last Station in China.
Reportedly, the first ever Chinese Emmissary of the Han Court to reach this far west is Zhang Qian, a man today still hailed as the first and among the greatest early silk road explorers. As Zhang Qian reported, the regions west of the Ferghana Valley were inhabited by the Kangju people. Translated into modern day names the Kingdom of Kangju (康居)(Factually Realm of Kang) included territories today recognized as the Talas basin, Tashkent and "Sogdiana".
As the Tashkent National Museum if History states; in the 1st c B.C. the original citadel of the city of Tashkent was destroyed when in the 1st century BC Kangiuy (also known as Khoresm) invaded and ruled the land.
During the period of the Kushan Empire (Ancient Greek: Βασιλεία Κοσσανῶν; Bactrian: Κυϸανο, Kushano; Sanskrit: कुषाण राजवंश Kuṣāṇ Rājavaṃśa; BHS: Kashana Guṣāṇa-vaṃśa; Chinese: 贵霜帝国; Parthian: Kušan Kashana -xšaθr)(30 AD - 375 AD) the city of Tashkent flourished. It did so especially throughout the 3rd and 4th centuries, after the larger Kushan Empire split into separate independently minded
Kingdoms and over time faced its ultimate downfall at the hands of surrounding enemies.
Although Sogdiana was in fact not part of the core of the Kushan Empire and Kushan Rule is not certain, nevertheless it thrived as a civilization thriving on the fringes of the Empire and ongoing trade in Central Asia. Also, the neighboring territories of Kwarezmia (Khorezm) south of the Aral Lake and to the west of Tashkent and Sogdiana are usually counted as having probably fallen under the rule of the Kushans during the maximum expansion of their powers.
According to the history of Uzbekistan as given by the National Museum of History of Uzbekistan (in Tashkent), in the 7th c. Shash was the place where the Sogdian and Turkic cultures met, though this territory of Shash was later incorporated into the Arabic Caliphate and the Shash Capital was razed.
It was also around this time, that the notable moments in the history of Tashkent and regions record the passing by of the Tang Dynasty Era Monk Xuánzàng (玄奘) (602/603? – 664 AD), who travelled from China to India through Central Asia, and then mentioned the name of the city as Zhěshí (赭時) in his writings and memoirs of his travels.
In the 8th c. Chach joined Ilaque, known for its huge gold and silver mines. Its epic name is "The turquoise mine".
In the 9th c. the largest mint in the region was located on the territory of Ilaque.
In the 10th c. there was a settlement named Nazartepa in the northern part of the territory today taken up by Tashkent.
In the 10-11th cc. Tashkent became the leading producer of Turkestan fabrics.
Binkent, the second name of Tashkent, (Shashkent) appeared in the 11th century.
Nearing the turn into the 12th century, at the highpoint of the Liao Dynasty (Khitan: Mos Jælud; simplified Chinese: 辽朝; traditional Chinese: 遼朝; pinyin: Liáo cháo), also known as the Liao Empire (officially the Great Liao (Chinese: 大遼; pinyin: Dà Liáo)), or the Khitan Empire (Khitan: Mos diau-d kitai huldʒi gur; Chinese: 契丹国; pinyin: Qìdān guó) , a non-Chinese nomadic based Empire which ruled large parts of Mongolia and current day north China (P.R.C.) in the period following the fall of the Chinese Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD) between the years 907 AD and 1125 AD, Tashkent was included in its territory as its westernmost point of civilization.
1809: The annexation of Tashkent City by the Kokand Khanate (Uzbek: Qo‘qon Xonligi, Қўқон Хонлиги, قۇقان خانلىگى; Kyrgyz: Кокон хандыгы, Qoqon xandığı/Kokon handygy, قوقون حاندىعى; Persian: خانات خوقند, Xānigari-i Xuqand / Xānāt-i Xuqand). In the 19th c. Kokand ruler Alimkhan captured a mercenary army of Tajik highlanders, and conquered the western half of the Fergana Valley, including Khujand and Tashkent. After the capture of Tashkent he was assassinated by his brother Omar in 1809 Tashkent.
1856 - 57: Tilla Sheikh Mosque (‘golden sheikh mosque’), standing opposite Barak-Khan Madrasah at what today is Hast Imam Square (Khazrati Imam Architectural Complex) was built. Today it still is a functioning mosque, featuring minarets, a
Not much later, although this was only later officially recorded by the Great Chinese Historian Sima Qian (子长)(Life: 145 or 135 BC - 86 BC) in his epic book "Records of the Grand Historian", a first contact is made between the peoples then living in the regions of Sogdiana (Soghdiania) and Chinese Civilization.
YouTube Video: (Impression) History of Tashkent and Uzbekistan, from the ancient ages to today.
praying hall, a library and household facilities and also one of the main historic buildings to visit and see in the city of Tashkent. In addition, Tilla Sheikh Mosque also holds an iwan (a gallery-like structure with one side or two sides entirely open) which was added on to the mosque for people to be able to pray outdoors during large religious ceremonies and gatherings.
In what so far has been the last major conquest the Russian Empire became the major power in Central Asia with its conquest of the Islamic Khanates of Central Asia, with the fall of Tashkent and Uzbekistan in 1865.
13 May 1942: Birth of Vladimir Aleksandrovich Dzhanibekov (Russian: Владимир Александрович Джанибеков)(also: Vladimir Aleksandrovich Krysin (Russian: Владимир Александрович Крысин) in the Bostanliq District of Tashkent (Region)(at the time part of the South Kazakhstan Region, of the Kazakhstan Soviet Republic). In life he would live his youth in Tashkent, study physics in Leningrad and go on to make five flights into space, becoming the first native Uzbek Soviet Cosmonaut and thus a National Celebrity. Before his retirement, in 1985, he was one of the Soviet scientists instumental in the saving of the Soviet Space Station through the Salyut 7 mission, a ground braking mission in the history of space exploration. For his achievements Dzhanibekov was awarded twice the title "Hero of the Soviet Union" (The highest award in the former Soviet Union) as well as receiving many other awards.
Later in life, after 1986 he went into politics and government becoming the Deputy to the Supreme Soviet of Uzbek SSR from 1985 until 1990. His achievements for humanity and the Uzbek people are commemorated through the Monument of the Astronauts, one of the landmarks of Tashkent erected in 1984.
YouTube Video: Saving of the Salyut 7 Space Station in 1985, starring Vladimir Dzhanibekov the Uzbek cosmonaut. A ground breaking space mission which saved the Soviet Space Program.
1941-44: In World War 2, particularly after Operation Barbarossa, the German Invasion of Russia, is launched, Tashkent Airport serves an important role as cargo airport in the Central Asian Military sector.
At some time between 1941 and 1945; during the ongoing actions of the Eastern Front in World War II (In Russia better known as the Great Patriotic War), when people from all over the Soviet Union( USSR) were forced to flee before the German War machine and massacres of civilians and tens of thousand evacuated to or through Tashkent and neighboring cities, the Tashkent Botanical garden was opened in the capital of Uzbekistan at the initiative of Academician Fedor Rusanov. Later, in the post war period, the garden started to have its modern shape, growing into a large 66 acre estate situated in the Yunusabad District, a north-eastern suburb of the city. For over fifty-year history thousands of plants from all over the world have been collected here and the current collection counts near 5000 exotic species of various ecosystems and continents.
19 March, 1943: Tashkent born Sobir Umar o'g'li Rakhimov (Sobir Rakhimov ; Сабир Умар-Оглы Рахимов)(Life: 25 January 1902 - 26 March 1945 near Gdansk, Poland) becomes the first Uzbek National to become a (Major) General in the Soviet Red Army.
Between 1944 and 1947, at the very beginning of his carreer, the young Uzbek Painter Chingiz Akhmarov (Uzbek: Чингиз Ахмаров)(Life: 1912-1995) painted murals in the Alisher Navoi Theater in Tashkent. The work was found thus good, that afterwards he was awarded the Uzbekistan State Prize for his art. Later on he worked on decoration projects of the Moscow Subway and subsequently on art work in the famous Tashkent Metro (subway) system.
1947: In the post war period, in 1947, a Statue of Stalin is placed inside the space of Revolution Square in Tashkent.
Meanwhile, not two years after the ending of World War 2, the Soviet Union is still holding large numbers of captive Japanese Troops (POW's ). Some of these troops have been transported via rail inland to reach the city of Tashkent, where on the fringes of the city a large encampment functions as their home annex prison. At some time in the year 1947, as more peaceful thoughts return, the Japanese POW's are allowed to work a plot on unused land, where they create their own garden park. As is the Japanese tradition, the garden must contain elements of water, wood en rock. For this reason, the captive Japanese soldiers dig out a large pond, which still exists today. It is the first creation and basis of a Park which today lies north and behind of the International Business Center and the adjacent Intercontinental Hotel along Amir Temur prospect. In the new millenium this original park is reshaped to contain a genuine Japanese designed and styled park which today is one of the most popular photography spots in all of Tashkent City.
MapHistory - Schematic Asia - Russia China Britain Great Game 1900 AD
A Schematic Map of Historical East Asia at around the year 1900 AD and the turn into the 20Th Century.
Although the Manchu ruled Qing Dynasty Empire had previously conquered large parts of East Asia, including much of Korea, parts of current day Siberia, most of Mongolia, East Turkestan, Kyrgyz, Kazakhs and other tribal lands while subjecting Tibet to a subjugary role nominally ruled for its taxes but yet remote and inaccessible behind its mountainous walls, at the turn of the 20th Century the outer regions of the Qing Empire have been eroded away, much of the north and west increasingly under Russian control while in the south and along the coast Britons and others had fought their way into the Chinese Realm. Notably, Korea has been annexed by Japan and Tibet is shown as a de facto independent territory. Tibet will be invaded by Britain in 1901 AD and will declare Independence not long there after at the fall of the Manchu Dynasty and the end of Manchu rule over China but also Mongolia and Manchuria in 1911 AD. Other groups such as Mongolians, Kazakhe and Kyrgyz will likewise attempt to reestablish their National independence after the fall of the Manchu Empire.
1912: The Tashkent horse-trolley system of public transportation was converted into a modern electric tramway, there after becoming one of the iconic sights of the city. As of its closing in 2016, the network consisted of six lines of 87.8 kilometers (54.6 mi) of route, a decline from the tram system's maximum of 24 lines.
1913: Tsarist forces brought one of the first figurative sculptures to the newly constructed area in Tashkent; a statue of Konstantin Petrovich von Kaufmann, the first Russian Governor-General of Turkestan who had gained reputation by conquering the silk road cities of Samarqand and Khiva, was placed in the second largest square.
The von Kaufmann statue could be understood as an occupation of public space, supplanting native signs of sovereignty with Russian ones. Once the Communist Party consolidated power in the city in 1917, they renamed the space Revolution Square, tore down the von Kaufmann statue, and in its place raised a large flag of the Soviet Union on the granite pedestal.
1914 - 1915; A Minaret is built at the religious conglomerate of the Zangiata Mausoleum, an Islamic Holy Site at Zangiata Village some 15 kilometers from downtown Tashkent.
14 March 1915: Birth of Uzbek Poet and Tashkent native Zulfiya Isroilova, known by her pen name Zulfiya (in Cyrillic Зулфия)(Life: 14 March 1915 in Tashkent then part of the Russian Empire - died 23 August 1996 in Tashkent, Independent Uzbekistan).
7 November, 1917: Birth of Victor Malyasov (Виктор Малясов)(Life: 7 November 1917 Tashkent - September 1944 Poland) in Tashkent. During world war 2 (the Great Patriotic War) he rose to Infantry Captain of the Soviet Army, becoming commander of the 76th Rifle Brigade and being awarded the highest honorary title of Hero if the Soviet Union (in January 1944).
in 1918, not too long after the October Revolution had brought revolution and Civil War to the Russian Empire, Tashkent became the scene of one of the most notorious and seemingly amazing adventures of an already historically important and well known, traveler, one M.F. Bailey, agent of the British Empire. Bailey, who had among things accompanied the Sir Francis Younghusband mission and invasion of Tibet in
1904 and had been the British Trade agent in the Tibetan Town of Gyantse, was sent to Tashkent through Kasghar in Chinese Turkestan in 1918, in order to report on the situation in these regions following the fall of the Tzarist Russian Empire and also acquire information on the attitudes of the Bolshevik Government regarding contacts with India, specifically the destabilizing of India by stimulating Nationalist (Anti-Colonial Sentiments, possibly followed by a Russian Invasion of North India via Afghanistan and/or Tibet (Kalmyk Project). Reportedly, Bailey tried to establish good relations with the Tashkent authorities but because of the hostility of the Bolshevik government of the larger Russian Turkestan Territories, who had become aware of his clandestine activities (such as shadowing an Indian Nationalist visiting Tashkent), had to go underground. He had to change identities a number of times and at one point was himself recruited by the Russian counter-espionage service who mistook him an Australian Prisoner of War, and sent him off to Buchara in to track down a foreign agent named ‘Bailey’. He was able to escape via Bukhara and later published his accounts of these adventures in the book: "Mission to Tashkent" (First published in 1946).
1918: First establishment of what today is the State Museum of Fine Art of Uzbekistan in Tashkent. Originally established as the Museum of the National University, Its initial fund comprised of 100 works of sculpture, paintings, drawings, porcelain by Russian and Western European masters from the collections of the Prince Romanov and other private collections of that time, nationalized by the Soviet government after the revolution. Today it features of full multipart exhibition on 1500 years of Uzbek art.
1919: Opening of the National (musical) Conservatory of Uzbekistan (O'zbekiston Davlat Konservatoriyasi) in Tashkent. Among its first students was one Yunus Rajabi (Life: 1897-1976), who would become a legendary folk artists, a man instrumental in the survival of the Uzbek (and Tajik) musical genre of Shashmaqam (6 modes). Today, the Tashkent Conservatory is still one of the main institutions to be found in central Tashkent City and is listed by world famous travel guide Lonely Planet as a prime address for listening to chamber concerts and Uzbek and Western vocal and instrumental recitals in an impressive setting.
1920: An Obelisk to Commemorate the 1917 Russian Revolution is erected in what by then is known as Revolution Square in Tashkent.
1921: Russian lyrical poet Sergei Yesenin (Russian: Серге́й Алекса́ндрович Есе́нин)(Life: 1895 AD - 1925 AD) visited Tashkent and stayed here for a month in May 1921. The location where he stayed still exists in Tashkent today and has been turned into a house museum dedicated to the shortlived and rather dramatical Russian poet.
1924: Irrespective of the Bolshevik (Communist) take over and the still ongoing civil war between White Russians and Bolsheviks in far flung parts of that vast Empire, Tashkent saw the opening of the Tashkent Zoo, intended as a cultural and educational facility and a research Institute and branch of the local University.
At the time, the zoo was based on the small menagerie which existed at that time at an art museum on the territory of a former country summer estate of the governor general of the Tzarist Era. As also happened in Beijing (where the abdicated Emperor Pu Yi was finally ejected from his Forbidden City Palace and Estates that same year), with the feudalist Monarchy and its system dead and buried, former estates of the nobles and their treasures became left over public goods for which a new use had to be devised. Thus local biologists of the University proposed to found a zoo based on the small collection of animals already existing at the Governors summer estate.
With his the city became the first city in Central Asia to have such a zoo and research institute. Today, the Tashkent Zoo remains the oldest such Zoo in all of Central Asia.
1924: Death of Lenin inspires a nationwide propaganda personality push. In Moscow, the Committee for the Immortalization of Lenin’s Memory was formed, which was responsible for the “correct manufacture of busts, bas-reliefs and pictures” featuring the late and now rapidly deitified leader’s likeness. With all of these works of art, made by a few dozen sculptors in Moscow, nearly identical busts and statues were shipped to every major city across the Soviet Union for public educational purposes. Four years after the obelisk to commemorate the Russian Revolution was erected in the central square of (new) Tashkent, a bust of Lenin, accompanied by the famous propagandistic phrase: “Five-year plan in four years!” replaced the Obelisk.
1924: In 1924 the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (Uzbek SSR) was formed after the dissolution of the Turkestan Autonomous SSR. A year late in 1925r, the Uzbek SSR joined the Soviet Union.
1924: the Uthman Koran (also known as Samarkand Kufic Koran, Samarkand Codex, Samarkand Manuscript and Tashkent Koran; also spelled Osman Koran) an Islamic codex, in Kufic script, dated back to the 8th century which is believed (by some) to be the world’s oldest Koran copy is returned to Uzbekistan, where it has been kept in Tashkent ever since.
In 1937, 1938 and 1939, - in history recorded as the bloodiest years in Russian history - a Young British Diplomat named Fitzroy MacLean travels eastward from Moscow into the unknown and forbidden Russian heartlands. He first travels to the Kaukasus and then into Central Asia. In the course of his journey he reaches Azerbaijan and Georgia, and later, traveling by train along the trans-Siberian railway, Semipilatinsk (Semey) and Alma Ata (Almaty) in Kazakhstan.
With the Russian security service NKVD on his trail MacLean then makes an illegal trip by cutting southward and traveling to the ancient Silk Road cities of Tashkent and Samarkand in Uzbekistan. At the end of his professional leave period and not willing to risk antagonizing his NKVD followers, MacLean does not initially reach his desired ultimate destination, the legendary silk road city of Buchara (Today: Buxuro), but turns back and travels by train back through Kazakhstan on the shortest train route to his diplomatic Station at the Embassy in Moscow. He is left dreaming of a visit to Buchara, the "end of the line" in Russian central Asia, and the renowned market City of Kashgar across the Tian Shan mountains in Chinese controlled Turkestan as it is then known to westerners.
The next year, in 1938 MacLean once more traveled by means of the Trans-Siberian railroad from Moscow down to Alma Ata (Almaty) from where, this time around, he set out to reach the Chinese controlled city of Kashgar in "Chinese Turkestan". According to McLean in his book "Eastern Approaches" traveled the rather odd route via Ajaguz (today: Ayagoz) 165 kilometers due north from Almaty in East Kazakhstan in order to take what he says was the main road to Urumqi. In truth however, Urumqi lies due east of Almaty, so another more direct route seems to have been logical. However perhaps MacLean made this extra effort in order to avoid being turned back by authorities, who were of course more active along the main border road and crossing.
Regardless of his obvious western appearance MacLean writes how he managed to make it to the border town of Bakhti, which is a place that today is hard to identify or find on maps. Subsequently, MacLean did cross the border into Chinese Territory aboard a bus, however in the next main town, identified as Chuchuqak, he was intercepted by local authorities. Although he falsely claimed to be on an official Mission from the British Empire to the Nationalist Government of China, he was turned back and had to return to Almaty. Soon after, aroused Soviet authorities made sure that MacLean was "evicted" from the city and put back on a train to Moscow.
Having returned to his native country just in time for the breaking out of World War 2, MacLean then went on to become a founding member of the British Special Air Service (S.A.S.) having various notorious adventures among them in Egypt, Syria and The Balkans.
1938: Year of great Soviet Stalinist Purge with tens if not hundreds of thousands executed across the Soviet Union.
1941: (World) famous Uzbek dancer Tamara Khanum established a ballet school in Tashkent and was awarded the State Prize of the USSR.
YouTube Video: April 7, 2009 Interview with Langston Hughes in which, among things he explains his experiences during and as a result of his journey in Central Asia. (Published on YouTube by the Kansas City (USA) Public Library).
local minorities. Hughes was most impressed with the cause of the Liberation of women, which according to his accounts had made possible great social progress in the southern states of the Soviet Union where he traveled. As we can read from his work, he clearly had no love for the Islamic Religion as well, and so hailed the uprising and liberation of women directly relating this progress with the downfall of the following of the beliefs of Islam. In his rich works describing life in the city of Tashkent he includes several accounts of women who became literate and then liberated as a result of the Government Policies.
Today, historians hold that the year 1932 probably marked the highpoint of the communist beliefs held by Langston Hughes, and thus his Tashkent visit and resulting work have gone down in Uzbek- as well as American History as invaluable legacies of their time.
Generally speaking, Langstong Hughes is considered to have been the greatest Poet and Literary Star among the many writers and artists of the American Harlem Renaissance movement of the 1920s and is regarded the greatest and most influential of all (Black) American Poets of this Era.
Interestingly, although Langston Hughes was in the Soviet Union
through mediation and invitation of the Soviet authorities, much ifnot all of his travels were financed through revenues taken from the sucess of his books and poetry. He is therefor noted in the history of Uzbekistan as the first American writer to have a work (fully) translated into the Uzbek language (or any other Central Asian language for that matter). Around the same time, works of Langston Hughes were also granted printing and sales rights in Moscow and the rest of the Soviet Union, allowing him a financial space he used to travel widely in the period there after. After visiting the above mentioned Central Asian Republics, Hughes traveled back to Moscow and via the trans-Siberian railway traveled to Vladivostok, and subsequently to Korea and China (R.O.C.).
As steppe magazine reported in an issue of the year 2007 written by David Chioni Moore; "Once back in the US, Hughes continued to write. From 1934 to 1938 he placed seven Central Asian items in American periodicals, ranging from a radical extract in the socialist magazine New Masses to two surprisingly challenging essays in the glossy monthly Travel, as well as a titillating true-life story called ‘In an Emir’s Harem’ in the popular (and very white) Woman’s Home Companion. In the late 1930s Hughes began work on a Central Asian memoir titled From Harlem to Samarkand, but never completed it. After more Central Asia writing in the 1940s, in 1954 Hughes began his memoir I Wonder as I Wander, a 405-page compendium of his global travels from 1931 to 1938, which included ninety pages on Central Asia."
Although not often mentioned, while in Uzbekistan, Hughes also befriended the Uzbek-Armenian dancer Tamar Khanum (Life: 1906 - 1999), notably the first Uzbek woman to succesfully perform publically without wearing a veil. In 1934 he dedicated a lenghty article to her which he entitled "Tamarah Khanum Soviet Asia's Greatest Dancer".
1935: The Art Museum of the National University of Tashkent established in 1918 became the State Museum of Art, a name which it has retained since then.
1932: The American born "communist", radical political thinker, Black American Renaissance Poet and photographer Langston Hughes (Life: 1 February, 1902 AD - May 22, 1967 AD), who apart from his stint of several months in Soviet Central Asia, travels in Africa, Europe and a Journey to Cuba and the Caribbean, lived all his life in the (then predominantly) black neighborhood of Harlem in New York City, travels in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in what was then Soviet Central Asia among things making a lengthy visit to the city of Tashkent, Capital of the Uzbek Socialist Soviet Republic (S.S.R.). He leaves an account of his visits in the shape of letters and photography series (known as a "short tract"), which together are published under the title "A Negro looks at Central Asia" (Langston Hughes was a black man).
Today the legendary account including magical black and white photos and shocking alternative thought and narrative, leaves a unique window into the situation and political mindsets of peoples of the globe in the early years of the states of the Soviet Union.
Apparently, Hughes had been invited to tour the Soviet Union as a member of what seen in among Marxists as the "oppressed black ethnic minority" of the United States of America, of which at the time the Soviets had the opinion that they were an ethnic minority group entitled to their full autonomous rights and a separate State (in areas of the "black belt" "where they formed the majority" within or outside of the Federation of the U.S.A. (That was the way in which, only officially but not in reality, was dealt with the rights of so called Minorities in the U.S.S.R. and also later in the Peoples Republic of China. Minorities is a word invented by Marxists in order to replace the word Ethnicity or Nationality which had become more and more attached to claims of Ethnic National Autonomy in the world). That said, the opportunity to view into a society which according to rumor, made so much progress in ethnic affairs and other worldy woes, part of daily life in the United States of America, comprised a unique and attractive package for Hughes. In relation, it should be noted that Hughes himself described the southern States of the Soviet Union as comparable to the dusty cotton bowl of the southern United States, hence he ultimately choose especially these regions to travel and see for himself.
If not already enchanted by the various promisses of a modern socialist utopia, while traveling in the Soviet States of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Hughes obviously fell under the spell of optimism and (secular) modernism which pervaded the states in and adjoining the Soviet Union in that era, thus producing complimentary accounts of the social progress made in the Soviet Union. Notably, Hughes - who had a declared suspicion against the use of Christian religion in order to suppress his own Peoples back home in the U.S.A. - related a very positive impression of the secularization of public life and education in these states, and also the eradication of illiteracy among its peoples including the
1920s: Max Penson (Life: 1893 - 1959), a noted Jewish Russian photojournalist and photographer of the Soviet Union, moved to Tashkent. Subsequently, from 1926 through to 1949 he worked for the largest newspaper in Central Asia, the Pravda Vostoka (Truth of the East). Most prolific in this period, his remarkable images cover the modernization effort of the Uzbek Soviet Republic: formation of collective farms, irrigation of arid lands for cotton growing, the development of the paper industry and silk production, liberation of women, and the education of children. Penson recorded these historical changes and contributed regularly to TASS (Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union) leaving a wealth of unique film and photographic materials.
While a citizen of Tashkent, in 1937 Penson participated in the World Exhibition in Paris where his photograph entitled Uzbek Madonna, a portrait of a young Uzbek woman, publicly nursing her child won the Grand Prize (Grand Prix) in the photography section. Far less published on globally, in 1939 he (along with others) photographed and filmed the construction of the Grand Fergana Canal.
In 1940 Penson met the renowned Russian cinematographer Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein (Russian: Сергей Михайлович Эйзенштейн)(life: 1898 - 1948) who said of him:
"There cannot be many masters left who choose a specific terrain for their work, dedicate themselves completely to and make it an integrated part of their personal destiny. It is, for instance, virtually impossible to speak about the city of Ferghana without mentioning the omnipresent Penson who travelled all over Uzbekistan with his camera. His unparalleled photo archives contain material that enables us to trace a period in the republic's history, year by year and page by page".
Max Penson died a lonely man in Tashkent in 1959. In the 1966 earthquake, the bulk of his materials stored in his personal archive, was nearly destroyed in the Tashkent earthquake.
Today, much of his surviving work is hailed at the Tashkent Museum of Cinematography.
1924: Highly noted American Dancer Angela Isadora Duncan (Life: May 26, 1877 or May 27, 1878 - September 14, 1927), an American dancer who had previously performed to acclaim in London, Paris and throughout Europe performed in the city of Tashkent (and in Samarkand).
At some time in the 1920s, most probably around the time of the visit and performances of the American dancer Angela Isadora Duncan, the native Uzbek dancer Tamara Khanum achieved the milestone of being the first woman in Central Asia to dance onstage without the paranja (Traditional Veil associated with traditional and Islamic Culture In Uzbekistan)(Between 1924 and 1927). The act made her as much admired as hated. Progressive elements and the Marxist-Soviet minded public absolutely adored her, whereas conservative religious zealots threatened her with death. In 1929, childhood friend and fellow female dancer of Tamara Khanum, Nurkhon Yuldacheva (or Yulacheva ; Uzbek: Nurxon Yoʻldoshxoʻjayeva)(Life: 1913 - 1929), was stabbed to death by her own brother for shaming the family by dancing in public without a veil. In retaliation, the Uzbek Government had both culprits, the husband and the brother, haned for their crime.
1927: Having gained firm control of Uzbekistan and neighboring States, the Soviet Central Government (in Moscow) initiated The European-style women’s rights movement. Part of a larger modernization drive, the movement sought to eliminate longstanding religious and cultural practices deemed contrary to gender equality such as polygyny, forced marriage, child marriage and the obligatory wearing of the paranja (Traditional Uzbek Veil). According to various historic sources, in the fundamentally orthodox societies, especially in the undereducated countryside but likewise in the city of Tashkent, resistance was fierce from Uzbek men resentful of what they saw as an interfering foreign occupier. During the first three years of the campaign to liberate women and give them equal rights to men an estimated 2,500 women were murdered, many by male relatives incensed that their sister or wife had obeyed the new decree.
1927: Start of the history of the Tashkent Museum of Uzbek Traditional Arts and Handicrafts opens as a Museum with a first exhibition of artworks by artists of Uzbekistan. Later in history this museum will spawn the current day State Museum of Apllied Arts (of Uzbekistan) in Tashkent.
1936: Together with Uzbek dance choreography master Isakhar Akilov (Life: ), her husband, and legendary dancer Mukaram Turgunbayeva, Tamara Khanum opened the Uzbek National Philharmonic Theater in Tashkent.
Conquered by Tsarist forces under the command of General Cherniaev in 1865, the city of Tashkent became a testing ground for Russian experiments in formal colonial administration, with urban development along French Haussmannian lines became a major expression of governance and grand imperial status. Although, much of the city built in the Tzarist Russian days of the 19th and 20th century have now gone, many lost in the 1966 earthquake disaster, the new Imperial style would set a trend that would be followed by subsequent aspiring masters with Internationally oriented designs.
Most notably, the formerly ancient city of Tashkent developed new European styled suburbs, which over time would grow to dominate the city landscape, even before a new era was ushered in by the 1966 earthquake of Tashkent.
1870: An additional Mosque was built to become part of the Zangiata Mausoleum Islamic religious holy site at Zangiata Village, at some 15 kilometers from Tashkent. It was established by Russian scientists with the intentions of showing the natural beauties and wonders of Uzbekistan and the wider regions of Central Asia along the silk road.
July 12, 1876: First establishment of the Tashkent State Museum of Nature as the Tashkent Museum. Best perceived of as the local museum of natural history, this museum (albeit having closed and or changed names several times in its history) and institute survives as the oldest museum in Uzbekistan.
1876 is also the year of the first opening of the Tashkent Museum of History, during the Soviet Era redubbed Lenin Museum and today known as State Museum of the History of Uzbekistan, in Tashkent.
1897 AD: Birth of Yunus Rajabiy (Life: 1897-1976) in Tashkent. In life he would join the new National Musical Conservatory of Uzbekistan which was created in 1919 and in 1927 create his own Uzbek traditional band
to feature on National Radio from Tashkent. The work of Yunus Rajabiy, still popular and highly noted in Uzbekistan today, includes many musical compositions as well as musical dramas. He is most noted as being the first to note down traditional Uzbek music in musical script (bars and notes), as well as being a main proponent of the traditional Uzbek music genre of Shashmaqam, an originally court musical style dated back to the 15th century, which today is counted among the intangible cultural heritage of Uzbekistan, a defining style of Uzbek origin.
Today the former residence of Yunus Rajabiy, where he lived until his death in 1976, is a museum of Uzbek Music and Musical Tradition curated by his talented son. On 26 October of 2001 a station of the Tashkent Metro on Yunusobod Line named Yunus Rajabiy was opened in honor of his great contribution to the survival of Uzbek cultural traditions during the Soviet Era.
1897: Is the year that for the first time ever a film was shown in Tashkent. It was the very first beginning of cinema in the city and became the foundation for all cinematographic work in Uzbek history there after including much of the collection of the current day State Museum of Cinematography.
1888: The fifth and final Central Asian journey of the Great Russian explorer, geographer, naturalist and adventurer extraordinaire (by that time Major General) Nicolai Mikhaylovich Przhevalsky (Russian: Никола́й Миха́йлович Пржева́льский)(Life: April 12, 1839 - November 1, 1888) took him to Tashkent (for the first time) and from there to Bishkek (Pishpek at the time) en route, he hoped, for Lhasa the coveted forbidden city in Tibet. Traveling via Tashkent he found his way to Bishkek (then Pishpek) in Kyrgyzstan outfitting for his next, grandest, but also as it would turn out last major expedition.
In Kyrgyzstan, near the Chui river, where the marshes were full of reeds and wildlife in those days, while hunting tiger he unwisely drank the water, came down with typhus and was bundled off to Lake Issyk-Kul for rest and treatment. By the time the expedition had made its way along the southern shore of Lake Issyk Kul to Karakol, the disease had taken hold and Przhevalsky died in a military hospital on 20 October 1888. Several days before from here he wrote to the Tzar asking to be buried beside the lake, buried wearing expedition clothes in a simple coffin. For someone who had survived the perils of exploration, it seemed a careless end to his life.
1898: Birth of Akmal Ikramovich Ikramov (Life: 1898 - 1938) who during his lifetime was an Uzbek politician active in Uzbek SSR politics who later served as the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan from 1929 to 1937. He is especially remembered as the first designer of State propagated anti-Islamic Policies, which to this day remain an essential element of overall State Policy. As Ikramov stated, the policies are not designed to discourage religion by means of (violent) repression (and arrests) but rather by ensnaring religious institutions and the clergy in a larger web of state (then: Communist Party) organizational and cultural inspiration work.
At what should have been the highpoint of his career he fell victim to Stalin's Great Purge, and after torture and the obligatory confessions of guilt in anti-state activities, he was executed on March 13, 1938. He was posthumously rehabilitated during the Kruschev Thaw Era (Khrushchev's Thaw; Russian: хрущёвская о́ттепель, tr. khrushchovskaya ottepel; IPA: [xrʊˈɕːɵfskəjə ˈotʲ:ɪpʲɪlʲ] or simply ottepe) in the 1950s.
Schematic overview of the main pathways of the Silk Road(s) in Asia, throughout the millennia between Rome and Byzantium in the west and Chang An, Luoyang, Datong or Beijing in the far east of Asia. Main road is depicted in red, by ways in blue. The Eurasian steppe route is often seen as separate but factually and historically should not be discounted as such. + Click Map locations to link through to information by location!
About a century later, the city of Tashkent falls at the hands of the armies of Genghis Khan's in 1219 A.D. and subsequent the city dies out for decades before it once more recreated itself of a crucial center of trade, commerce, culture and science, became the next most historic upsweep of Tashkent as a city and civilization.
As the National Museum of the History of Uzbekistan in Tashkent simply states; In 1220 AD Chach was conquered by the armies of Ghengis Khan.
1370 AD - 1405 AD: Reign of Amir Temur, National Hero of current day Uzbekistan, in the west better known as the Central Asian Ruler Tamerlane (Life:1336 AD - 1405 AD). During his rule the so called Mausoleum of Zangiata, at Zangiata Village near Tashkent, was first constructed. In the same era under the Rule of Tamerlane (Temur) the city of Tashkent was renamed Shakhruhia in honor of Temur's son.
(Temporarily) Removing the Timurid Dynasty of successors to Tamerlane, in the beginning of the 16th century, became part of the Shaibanid Khanate (Persian: سلسله شیبانیان) or Shaybanid State which at the time included all of Afghanistan and large parts of Central Asia. The Shaybanid led grey horde, also known as the
Uzbegs (Uzbeks), which had been converted to Islam in 1282 AD, then ruled the city and large parts of current day Uzbekistan, ultimately lending their name to the current day country of Uzbekistan.
Around the year 1500 at the threshold of the 15th c. the city was annexed by Ulughbek's empire. Although the great Tamerlane (Amir Temur) was long dead, the Timurid Era continued and in the 15-16th century buildings today noted as typical of the Temurid era appeared in the city's architecture. Many of these survive in some form to this day.
As a monument to the restauration of the city to its proper status as vital stop over along the silk road, in 1579 AD a new mausoleum of Sheikh Babahodzhi was built in Tashkent, laying further foundations for the area today identified as Hast Imam Square (or lately even more modern and fashionable as Khazrati Imam Architectural Complex). Sheikh Bbabhodzi, more commonly identified as the historic personality of Kaffal Shashi became an Islamic saint after his death in 976 AD. Subsequently, his grave in Tashkent situated nearby the Ash-Shash city wall in Bogi- Keykaus Garden became a pilgrimage place, establishing a religious tradition which would come to dominate life at the site.
In the 16th century, during another thriving period of Tashkent as a civilization center of the central silk road, a mausoleum was built over the grave, and the area around it, with a cemetery stretching to the south, was named Khazrati Imam (‘saint imam’) thus creating the first religious site of Hazrat Imam Square.
As duly noted by the Uzbek National Museum of History, in the beginning of the 16th century Tashkent became a part of the Shaybanid State. However, not long afterwards, in the second half of the 16th century Tashkent was integrated into the Khanate of Bukhara (or Khanate of Bukhoro) (Persian: خانات بخارا; Uzbek: Buxoro Xonligi) - originating from the city of Buchara (today also in Uzbekistan), which then would go on to be a major power of the region until well into the 17Th Century.
Thus, during a renowed flourishing period of the city in the 16th century the building of madrahssas and mausoleums completed Tashkent's architecture, while meanwhile as a whole the Buchara Khanate was involved in a dynastic war. This may not be surprising since traditionally trade caravans were never attacked, not even during war, as this would hurt everyones means of living.
In the second half of the 18th century, a Madrasah, a Mosque and a Patio were built at the Zangiata Mausoleum islamic religious holy site of Zangiata Village near Tashkent. Today, these still stand as part of the Zangiata Mausoleum complex which is considered one of the most important religious sites of Tashkent and Regions.