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Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, is the largest city in Central Asia. It is located in the northeast part of the republic, in the valley of the river Chirchik, at the height of 440 - 480 m above the sea level. To the northeast 80 km from Tashkent snow caps of the Big and Small Chimgan, spurs of Tjan-Shan are visible. Tashkent in Uzbek means “the Stone Settlement” and also known as a city of striking contrasts.
The history of Tashkent dates back to the II th century BC. In 2009 the city celebrates its 2200 year jubilee. During its centuries-old history it has repeatedly changed its name: Shash, Chach, Chachkent, Binkent. The archeological excavations have revealed that present - day Tashkent was the site of an ancient town which has continued to exist as a commercial and cultural centre of the East. For the first time the name Tashkent was mentioned in the XIth century in works of Al-Beruni. At the beginning of the twentieth century there lived about 200 thousand inhabitants in Tashkent (Uzbeks, Tatars, Russians, Jews and other nationalities). In the city there were the following educational institutions: men's grammar school, real school, military school, female grammar school, the private female gymnasium, two city 4 class man's schools, craft and technical railway school and a parish school. Historically there was a conditional division of the city into two parts - the old and the new city. The old city was the centre of craft and trading life, and the new city of industry, formed on the place of gardens, fields and summer residences of locals. From 1930 till 1991 Tashkent (in Uzbek Toshkent) was the capital of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic in the structure of the former USSR and the regional centre of the Tashkent area, the fourth Soviet Union city in population with the population to 2 million people and the second by the occupied area. In 1966, a destructive earthquake shook Tashkent and razed half of the city into ruins. All the republics of the former Soviet Union held out their helping hand to the Uzbek capital and in a year Tashkent actually revived and became even more beautiful.
Since September 1991 Tashkent is the capital of independent Uzbekistan and the centre of Tashkent province. Now the area of the city is 256 sq.km. This figure constantly grows at the expense of city expansion. The population of Tashkent is more than 2,5 million people. Administratively the city of Tashkent is divided into 11 districts: Uchtepa, Bektemir, Mirzo Ulugbek, Mirabad, Sergeli, Sabir Rahimov, Chilanzar, Shayhantaur, Yunusabad, Yakkasaray, Hamza.
Tashkent is the political and economical centre of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The residence of the president Republic Uzbekistan, Legislative chamber Oliy Majlis ( the Supreme Council), The Senate Oliy Majlis, the Cabinet of ministers, embassies of the foreign states, public organizations, and also the central administrative boards of all ministries and departments of Republic Uzbekistan are located here. Today Tashkent is a large industrial centre. 20 % of the total output of the republic is produced in Tashkent. Many large and average enterprises of the republic are located in Tashkent. Planes, cotton-picking and cotton cleaning machines, tractors, compressors, dredges, TVs, etc. are produced in Tashkent. Tashkent is a large railway junction, the centre of the dense network of highways and air ways. All kinds of a municipal transportation are well developed. Stations of the Tashkent underground are distinguished with their fine decorating.
Tashkent is famous as one of the world centers of science and culture. The academy of sciences and more than 40 scientific research institutes, The Academy of the state and public building at the President of Republic Uzbekistan, the Academy of arts of Uzbekistan, and more than 40 higher educational institutions are located in it. The Alisher Navoi Public Library with more than four million books is a subject of pride. The academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, built in1947, is truly unique in its architecture and interior design.
Sights of Tashkent.
Tashkent TV tower.
Tashkent television tower - the largest broadcasting center in Central Asia Tashkent TV Tower is the highest structure in Central Asia. Its height is 375 meters. The TV Tower was built over 6 years, beginning in 1978. It was officially put into operation on 15 January 1985.
15 January 1985 State commission signed an act regarding the most unique building in Central Asia - The Tashkent TV Tower. Into the silhouette of the city was inserted a TV tower, which became a symbol of the high technical and cultural level of Uzbekistan.
As a unique architectural building, the Tashkent TV Tower is a favorite stop of tourists and guests of the capital. Guides provide professional tours, including information about the construction of the TV tower and some of the other sights of Tashkent in the Uzbek, Russian, and English languages.
To take visitors to the top of the TV tower, three high - speed lifts made by the "Shindler" company have been installed. They rocket people to a height of 100 meters in just a few seconds. Visitors proceed from the observation deck to the "Koinot" restaurant (The Space), where the two comfortable rooms of Uzbek restaurant "Blue" and European "Red" can accommodate 120 visitors simultaneously. Rotating once every hour, visitors can admire the panorama of Tashkent again and again.
In 1991 the Tashkent TV Tower became a member of the World Federation of Great Towers and now it is the 9th highest tower among more then 200 towers in the world. At the same time, it the only tower of its kind in Central Asia, and the 2nd highest tower, after the Ostankino Tower (Moscow, Russia), among the CIS countries.
Famous landmarks close to Tashkent Tv Tower are the InterContinental Hotel, the building of National Bank of Uzbekistan, the prestigious Business Center complete with cafe and catering service and Tashkent Plaza, the exclusive shopping mall. Just beneath the tower near the Bozsu canal is the square of victims of repressions, devoted to the victims of Stalin and other repressions, with a museum by the canal.
This park located just behind the InterContinental hotel and the Japanese Garden is favorite among recreational areas both for young and old.
This prestigious landmark is among other sights of Tashkent: InterContinental Hotel, NBU (National Bank of Uzbekistan) and Tashkent Plaza.
"Bunyodkor" Square .
"Bunyodkor" Square consists of a big concert hall called the "Istiqlol" Palace, the building of the Oliy Majlis (the lower chamber of the parliament), Madrassah Abdulqosim and the national park of Uzbekistan after Alisher Navoi. The blue domed building of the Oliy Majlis was built in 1997. The parliament building is a sample of new Central Asian architecture with the use of glass material in its construction. Oliy Majlis is the lower chamber of the Parliament of Uzbekistan the upper being the Senate. 120 deputies sit in it. The building in its vicinity is the Abdulqosim Madrassah, which today accommodates the masters of Hunarmand Art association. Miniatures, woodcarving, metal works and other crafts are produced and sold on premises and folk dance ensembles entertain the visitors upon advance request. A few meters from the parliament building is an open space where theatrical shows devoted to main holidays like Navruz and Independence day are held. The national park named after Alisher Navoi, the famous Uzbek poet and writer, the founder of Uzbek literary language, is also nearby with the monument to Alisher Navai on hilltop inside the park, and a huge pool.
Alisher Navoi Opera and Ballet Theatre.
Designed by the same architect who designed Lenin's Tomb in Moscow, Aleksey Shchusev, and built by Japanese prisoners of war of World War II, this theatre hosts Russian ballet and opera. A night in the opera can be easily arranged. Tashkent has its own ballet company and the repertoire of the musical ensemble comprises famous European, Russian as well as Uzbek operas and operettas. The audience does still dress up and the ticket price allows everybody to enjoy a performance.
The Tashkent metro.
The Tashkent Metro (underground) faced with marble, granite and ceramic tiles, is deservingly considered one of the most beautiful and spacious Metro networks in the world. It is the only underground in Central Asia today. The construction of the Tashkent underground began in 1968-1970, and the first line (received later the name Chilonzor) the length of which is 12,2 km and 9 stations was constructed in 1976, but started operating in 1977. The second turn of this line started operating in 1980. The first part of the second line of the Tashkent underground (named Uzbekistan) started operating in 1984, and started fully functioning in 1992. During the years of independence the first part of the third line (the Yunusobod line) was designed and in September 2001 it was put into operation. Now the Tashkent underground totals 3 lines (Chilonzor, Uzbekiston and Yunusobod), 29 stations with the general extent of 37,5 km.
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