A Central Asian nation and former Soviet republic, landlocked Uzbekistan is the proud home to spellbinding architecture and ancient cities that have been overlooked for many years.
Its centuries-long history under Persian rule and as a key stop on the Silk Road left a rich cultural and architectural legacy, made all the more fascinating by the country’s time as an enclave of the Soviet Union.
Its capital, Tashkent, is a charming mish mash of austere Soviet-style buildings, 12th century mosques and classical Russian architecture. It has no shortage of things to discover and do, from museums and monuments to traditional teahouses and vibrant street art.
The 14th century Samarkand was said to be the most magnificent city in Central Asia. In the city centre is The Registan, a great square flanked by three majestic madrassas (places of learning) covered in ornate mosaics in hues of vibrant emerald, azure, blue and gold.
Visiting the 6th century walled city of Khiva, an ancient Silk Road trading city, is like travelling back in time. Its labyrinth of streets, ornate mosques, mausoleums and madrassas have been artfully restored.
For seven centuries up until the 16th century, the city of Bukhara was the largest Islamic centre for the study of Sufism with hundreds of mosques and madrassas.
The innumerable cultural treasures in this fascinating country will take you on an amazing journey into the past.