Every city is like a human being—each has own character and own secrets. In order to become familiar with it, a person needs to touch town’s history, admire its monuments and get to know with its inhabitants. This city often called “city of dream”, precious diamond in architectural crown of Uzbekistan. It is know to civilization from the times of Rome and Athens. It is coeval to Jerusalem and Jericho , Samarkand and Bukhara. It is famous city in Great Silk Road. Finally, it is birth place of great Amir Temur, who was known worldwide as a statesman, ruler of Mavarounnahr, creator of centralized state.
Shahrisabz means in Persian “Green City” and was known in middle ages as famous city of Kesh. City witnessed invasions of Persian kings Darius and Cyrus, army of Alexander Macedonian, Arab conquerors and horde of Chengiz Khan. People of Kesh time and again had fought against enemy invasions. In seventh century this city become center of struggle against Arab invasion and propagation of new religion. The rebellion lasted more then 25 years leaded by Muqanna Hashim Ibn Khakim. Freedom loving spirit of people of Kesh showed itself up later in XIV century during the struggle against Mongol authority. Special place in the history of Shakhrisabz takes epoch of Timur and Timurids. Timur was born in 1336 in Hodja Ilgor village not far away from city, where he spent his childhood. During 35 years of his government Timur in all possible ways strengthened and beautified his home city. During this time the historical importance of the city rose as a nonofficial capital of great empire. Shahrisabz hosted messengers and businessmen from big European and Asian states. Natives of Shahrisabz become ambassadors of Timur in Byzantium, Genoa, Castile, Egypt, China and other countries. Kings of France and England exchanged with Timur with friendly messages. The foundation of strong centralized state promoted bloom for trade, crafting, construction, art and science. Unique socio-cultural life was established in Shahrisabz. Famous theologians, scientists and skilled masters paid visit to this city.
City become an oasis of scolars and artists, thus Arabian historians called it “kubbat ul ilm va adab” (dome of knowledge and piety). Shamsuddin Kulal, the moral and spiritual master of Amir Temur lived here, in due time, worked here 3 out of 6 recognized scientists – expositors of “Hadis”, deeds of Prophet Muhammad: Abu Muhammad Abda Hamar Ibn Nasr Al-Keshiy (Hazarati Imom), Abdulloh Muhammad Ad-Daromiy As-Samarkandiy and famous Imom Abu Abdulloh Muhammad Ibn Ismoil Al-Bukhoriy. Eminent scientist, astronomer, mathematician and follower of Ulugbek’s science school Giyas-Ad-Din Al-Kashiy also was from Shakhrisabz. Timur and his successors paid good attention to home city by building excellent buildings with unique architecture and special artistic decoration. Even remnants of these buildings can impress with their scale, originality of pictures, design, tint of décor and—they don’t have peerr anywhere else. In period from 1373 to 1438, as per notes of Professor R. Hilenbrand, Shakhrisabz become centre of construction, where apart from huge ensembles, also were built mosques, madrassahs, bath houses, caravan sarays and bridges.
Spanish ambassador Rui Gonsalez Klaviho, visited Shakhrisabz in 1404 wrote that city situated in plain area, many channels and brooks surrounded it, and also was surrounded by many gardens and houses, and had defensive wall with deep moat and drawbridges at the gates. Thanks to the note of De Klaviho and descendant of Timur, Zakhiriddin Bobur, we can imagine magnificence of Ak-Saray palace, which is the pride of architecture of Timurids. It is said in the inscription in one of portals: “If you hesitate in our power, look at our buildings”. Now many tourists come to admire masterpieces of world civilization with architectural ensembles Ak-Saray, Dorut-Tilovat, Dorut Saodat, madrasah Kuk-Gumbaz, Chubin, trading Chorsu bazaar and others. It is no coincidence that in 2000, Shakhrisabz together with Bukhara and Khiva was included into the list of world heritage by general assemble of UNESCO.
Recently, city lying at the foot of Gissar and Zarafshan edges, place where Aksu and Tanhoz rivers interflow, with rich history, celebrated 2700th anniversary. Celebrations run under the aegis of UNESCO and brought big social resonance. Huge restorations of monuments and face-lift works have been done in the city.
The representative of UNESCO in Uzbekistan Michael Barry Lain, who participated in anniversary celebrations, greeted from heart the visitors gathered in the squire in front of Ak-Saray on behalf of general director of this international organization Knciro Matcuuro, and admired the big role of Kesh in the progress of mankind.
President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov while congratulating guests and people of Shakhrisabz with 2700th anniversary, outlined: the great sons of this god blessed region Abu Muhammad Keshiy, Shamsiddin Kulol, Khazrati Bashir, poets and scientists Firoki and Khiromiy, Ravnakiy and Fakiriy had glorified Shakhrisabz far away beyond its borders. Moreover, the fact of connection forefathers of great classics like Husrav Dehlaviy, Mirzo Bedil, Mirzo Golib, who put priceless contribution into treasure house of world culture, testifies the divinity of this country.
No doubt, today we can say about huge historical and cultural heritage of Shakhrisabz and whole Kashkadarya oasis, about its unique natural resources. But the main wealth of this god blessed land is the people living here, generous, gratious, courageous and with sense of own dignity people of Kashkadaryo, trained well with many tests and hardships. By hands of people of Shakhrisabz now the area is being built. Now it is second largest city in Kashkadarya. In the area, there are cotton and grain crops cultivated together with many other agricultural products, it is also rich for gardens and grapes. Nowadays Shakhrisabz is a large administrative, economical and cultural center at the north-east of Kashkadarya region. There is developed infrastructure and industry in region as well.
Works of Shakhrisabz masters are available not only in local market but also are exported worldwide. The ancient city is taking own niche in the economic structure of the country. There are schools and hospitals built, erected bridges, villages are improved.
At the end we would like to say the words of Amir Temur, the symbol of our pride and dignity, built up on this land and appealed to coming generations: “Who we are, descendants of which great forefathers we are?.. «