According to oxfordastronomy, Tashkent was probably founded in the 1st century BC, although the first news about the city dates back to the 8th century when it was occupied by the Arabs. After being conquered by Genghis Khan and his Mongol armies in the 14th century, the city fell into a time of turmoil.
The Mongols lost it at the end of the same century when the Timuris took control. The Timuri dynasty ruled Tashkent until the late 15th century, when the Saibanids ravaged the region. When this empire collapsed, Tashkent was independent until 1809, when it became part of the khanate or khanate of Kokand, centered in the nearby Fergana valley.
Later in the 19th century, Russia attacked Tashkent in order to control this important trade route. Russian forces took Tashkent after bloody battles that left the bodies of the hundreds of Muslim soldiers defending it in the city. When Russia annexed this strategic city, great floods of merchants came to it, eager to profit from the burgeoning Asian trade. The imperial rulers had to cope with the skyrocketing population by building new residential areas alongside the ancient city’s maze of mosques, bazaars, and stone dwellings.
Russian control over Tashkent began to antagonize the city’s predominantly Muslim population, and in the late 19th century, tensions peaked both here and elsewhere in Central Asia. These tensions culminated in Tashkent during the cholera epidemic in 1892 when the Russians imposed sanitary regulations, especially regarding funerals, which offended the religious practices and customs of its residents. When the competent authorities arrested some residents for violating these sanitary regulations, small disturbances took place in which merchants, religious leaders and ordinary citizens participated.
In 1917 the Bolsheviks took control of Tashkent and most of Uzbekistan, and named the capital city of the former Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. A resistance force made up of so-called ‘White Russians’, Uzbek nationalists and British troops forced the withdrawal of Russian forces in 1918, although Moscow soon regained control. In 1924 it became the capital of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic, integrated into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Tashkent’s industrial base developed during Soviet control. Its textile industry, based on the important cotton crops of the region, flourished when the city was connected to the Orenburg freight distribution center after the construction of the railway in the early 20th century. This burgeoning textile industry along with other related industries attracted thousands of new residents, and the city’s population tripled between 1926 and 1959.
In 1966 a terrible earthquake shook Tashkent and much of the city was reduced to rubble. It was rebuilt under Soviet control, although the massive damage caused by the earthquake left only a handful of buildings standing that can be seen today. These include a series of adobe-walled houses, a religious school and several mosques from the 15th and 16th centuries.
The project of the new city was designed according to the typical Soviet urban model, that is, the grid model around a large square in the center of Tashkent. The city’s textile sector soon recovered from the devastation caused by the earthquake, helping the region regain its position as the largest cotton producer in the Soviet Union.
Starting with the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, Tashkent experienced economic chaos and lost trade links with Russia and other markets. The city became the capital of Uzbekistan when the country became independent in 1991.
In internal road transport, Tashkent has a public bus system supplemented by a fleet of taxis. In addition, it has a metro system, the Tashkent Metro, which was inaugurated in 1977, being the first to be built in Central Asia and the seventh in the former Soviet Union and which is currently the largest capacity in the region. It also has a tram service.
Regarding international and interurban transport, the city has an airport, the Tashkent International Airport, which connects it with the rest of Asia, Europe and America and which is the largest in the country. It is linked by a high-speed railway line with Samarkand.
Places of interest
Due to the destruction of many of its historic buildings after the Russian Revolution of 1917 and subsequently during the devastating earthquake of 1966, much of Tashkent’s traditional architecture has been lost. One of the most important buildings still preserved in the city is the Kukeldash Madrasah, from the 16th century. Currently, the building houses a mosque, and is being transformed into a museum. The construction of this building dates back to the reign of Abdullah Jan (1557 – 1598).
During the 19th century, Grand Duke Nicholas Konstantinovich Romanov, grandson of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, was exiled to Tashkent, where he died and was buried. His palace is still preserved in the city center, near Mustaqillik Maidoni Square.
The most emblematic building in Tashkent today is the television tower (Tashkent Tower), the highest in Central Asia,  which stands out for integrating traditional Uzbek architectural elements. The tower receives some 70,000 annual visitors. One of the oldest copies of the Koran is preserved in Tashkent.
About Republic of Uzbekistan
Located in the heart of Central Asia, this country was once part of the Persian Empire. It has many cities where architectural monuments from various eras are located. Among them are Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Shakhrizabs, Termez and Kokand. These cities were the centers of science and art. It limits to the north and northwest with Kazakhstan, to the south with Afghanistan, to the northeast with Kyrgyzstan, to the southeast with Tajikistan and to the southwest with Turkmenistan. Known for the land of cotton and orchards, entertaining bazaars and artisans, practicing their methods of trade the same way it has been done for many years.
Before the gradual arrival of Turkish invaders the area was populated by Scythian elements and people of Persian and Iranian descent, who still comprise a large minority in Uzbekistan and are today called Tajiks. During the Middle Ages, present-day Uzbekistan was part of the powerful Corasmian Empire. Since the Modern Age, the emirates into which the country was divided were buffer states between Persian and Chinese aspirations, and later Russian.
In the 19th century, the Russian Empire began to expand and divide Central Asia. The “Great Game” period is generally considered to be continuous from roughly 1813 to the Anglo-Russian convention of 1907. Following the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, a less intensive second phase followed. At the beginning of the 19th century, there were about 2,000 miles separating British India and the remote regions of Tsarist Russia. Much of the land was not on maps.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Central Asia was firmly in the hands of Russia and despite some resistance to the Bolsheviks, Uzbekistan and the rest of Central Asia became part of the Soviet Union.
The 1 of September of 1991, Uzbekistan declared independence reluctantly. While the Baltic republics led the fight for independence, the Central Asian states were afraid of it. “The centrifugal forces that broke the Union were the weakest in Central Asia. After the coup attempt in August 1991, all Central Asian leaders believed that the Union could be preserved in some way.”