TASHKENT UZBEKISTAN — Antiquity, Medieval, Soviet and Exploding Modernity Mix

A monument to Emperor Timur in central Tashkent's Amir Timur Square

Tashkent dispels any romantic notions and Silk Road mental imagery you might be carrying with your suitcase.  Think instead of slipshod Soviet era construction being rapidly torn down and replaced by more modern architecture, and college co-eds who might sport the latest fashions or the most traditional hijab.

In alleys behind its famed Chorzu Bazaar you make way for bakers hauling traditional breads fresh from their ovens in what seems like squatter factories.  International cuisine restaurants mix with more traditional Uzbeki fare.  Sculpture greets you at Soviet-era Metro stations that glitter like gems or in the many green spaces you find throughout the city.

Rich in museums and historic monuments, Tashkent feels more like a working city offering insights on Uzbekistan today than other spots on the well-worn Uzbeki tourist trail.


Plov Center
TV Tower provides a panoramic view
Making plov at Plov Center
Friendly fellow tourists are happy to pose for a photo at TV Tower
Street vendor selling juice.

The skyline of Tashkent seems to be rapidly changing.  A Soviet-era apartment building you see one day is being demolished the next.

In a popular Japanese Garden, there seem to be more brides than flowers.    Wedding planners were at work building outdoor pavilions for wedding parties slated for the next day.  At this time of year at least, weddings seem to spare no splurge.

Beyond its bleak name, The Museum of Victims of Repression provides a very comprehensive and digestible account of Uzbekistan's pained history, especially shining a light on persecution of artists, scientists and other cultural leaders.  Armed with translation apps, the extensive exposition accompanying each display case and its chronological order is now accessible to all foreign visitors.

The park surrounding this museum and the architecture of the building itself add to the museum's draw.

There are in fact many parks and green spaces in Tashkent, and many with a family-friendly feel.

In one of the many family-friendly park spaces this sculpture shows a political leader reading to children to show his devotion to the next generation.
Silk Road circa NOW can be quite fashionable but with a unique Uzbeki flair.

The main takeaway one gets in Tashkent today is of a relatively annoyance-free and clean city where people happily go about living their lives.


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