Shahrisabz is a city in southern Uzbekistan, near Samarkand as well as the border with Tajikistan. Shahrisabz means ‘green city’ in Persian, probably owing to the vineyard and orchards in the area. Shahrisabz is noted for being the birthplace of the great ruler of Central Asia named Timur, made famous in Western lore as Tamerlane by authors such as Shakespeare. Shahrisabz is an ancient city in Central Asia, having just celebrated its 2700th anniversary. It is near Shahrisabz that Alexander the Great spent winters and met his wife Roxanna and that the general Ptolemy defeated the Achaemenid Empire. Like many cities in Uzbekistan and Central Asia in general, Shahrisabz was a city along the famed Silk Road. Shahrisabz came under the rule of the city of Bukhara until Russian occupation in the 1800s.
Samarkand is situated in the valley of the river Zarafshan. It is the second largest city of Uzbekistan and is of the same age as the city of Babylon or Rome. The history of Samarkand is about 2,500 years old and has witnessed many upheavals during the times of Alexander the Great, the Arabic Conquest, Genghis-Khan Conquest and lastly Tamerlane’s.
Tashkent was first mentioned in “Avesta” and in ancient Chinese manuscripts. The city arose in the Chirchik river valley, on the border of the oasis and steppe as the place, where farmers and cattle – breeders, settled population and nomads used to meet for joint trading. And this place proved to be a happy choice, because the city managed to survive in spite of all trials – wars, sieges and invasions.