Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, lost much of its architectural history in a huge earthquake in 1966, and although it is an old city, most of it has been built since then. Today, the city is a jumble of tree-lined boulevards, oversized 20th century Soviet buildings and reconstructed traces of the old city with mud-walled houses, winding lanes and mosques. Of note are the Shahid Memorial Complex, dedicated to those killed during Stalin’s purges; the Courage Monument, honoring the Soviet people who helped rebuild the city after the 1966 quake; and Independence Square. A fascinating side-trip is a stop to admire the oldest Koran in the world, written on deerskin 19 years after the death of Mohammed.
PUBLISHED: February 5, 2013