Samarkand – the second greatest city of Uzbekistan, the center of Samarkand region. In ancient times city was called as Marakand – capital of Sogdiana. The origin of the name of the city is still unknown. It is supposed that the word “Samar” is a name of one conqueror, and prefix “kand” means “the city”, “settlement”. Abu-Raykhan Beruni and Makhmud Kashgari, great scholars of XI century, held opinion that etymology of the word “Samarkand” came from “semizkent” – “rich population”. In 2001, Samarkand was enlisted into the World Heritage List of UNESCO. In 2008, Uzbek astronomers discovered small planet with the period of circulation around the Sun about four years and in 2010 it was officially included into the International Catalogue of small planets under the number 210271, – this planet was called as “Samarkand”.
Population is 366 thousand people – Tajiks, Uzbeks, Russian, Jewish and Iranians. History of Samarkand

Official age of the city is 2700 years beginning from the first mentioning in the historical chronicles in 329 BC. But by that time, in the period when Alexander Makedonskiy conquered Samarkand, the city was well strengthened and had rich population, that’s why; it is supposed that the city is older enough. Excavations in the territory of Samarkand certify that from time immemorial people lived in this place thanks to its extremely beneficial geographical location, fresh climate and water source – it was an ideal place for living. Many parts of Avesto, ancient book of Zaroastrians were written in the territory of Samarkand.

Hundreds of books about its rich and tragic history of Samarkand were written, many poems and legends were composed among the population of the city. Truly, Samarkand is the treasury of culture of the people of East. Samarkand experienced the period of Makedonskiy and Genghizhan, who razed the city, and endured destructive forays of barbarians and Arabs. The city many times turned into ruins and again got on to feet and became the center of Oriental world. Under the reign of Amir Timur Samarkand was the capital of world civilization, in Ulugbek’s time – it was one of the greatest centers of science and culture. Alloy of the faiths made Samarkand immensely tolerant, namely the proverb “Lots of stairs lead to the Sky” came from Samarkand, and despite the period of obscurantism the city preserved monuments of architecture of various religions. Modern Samarkand treats the representatives of various confessions with care. Besides traditional mosques there are 4 Orthodox churches, 1 Catholic Cathedral, 2 synagogues, 1 Buddhist temple, and prayers-houses of various religion currents. Samarkand, one of the most important geographic key points of Great Silk Road, imbibed many cultures, traditions and art, gathered the most leading masters of the Middle Age. All these were transformed in the amazing and beautiful monuments of architecture, which still admire the people. When Europe waded through mud on the streets of its cities, Samarkand was paved with stones. Before invasion of Genghizhan people of Samarkand used water supply system while the source of water in many European cities was still the well.

Samarkand geographers and travelers wrote essays and scientific books about neighboring nations, which were illiterate, and had no its script.

Samarkand is the city of legend, and its stones and walls are like live pages of history, which can be looked through endlessly. Name of Samarkand is connected with the greatest scholars and poets of the Middle Age as Rudakiy, Alisher Navoi, Jamiy, Zahiri Samarkandiy, Ulugbek, Omar Khayam, Avicenna, Rumiy, Beruniy and many others who lighted up the city to all around the world.

Many times in its history Samarkand was scorched field, but every time, the city struggled through lifeless stones like a flower raykhan, and acquired new life again.