Date: 2019-12-12 11:00:05
y adventures in Samarkand continued with a tour of the local ancient sites and some delicious, authentic Uzbekistan food. Come along with me as I explore Samarkand!
I started at Registan Square, which is bounded by the Ulugh Beg Madrasah, the Tilya-Kori Madrasah, and Sher-Dor Madrasah. Samarkand was the most important city along the Silk Road in Central Asia.
Registan is considered the heart of Samarkand. On its western side is Tilya-Kori Madrasah, which contains a mosque! The inside of its dome is gold-plated and painted in beautiful blue and gold. It’s covered in Arabic scripture from the Koran.
Next, we visited the Ulugh Beg Madrasah. On the second floor is an open-air terrace that’s also a hallway. From there, we had an awesome view of the courtyard below. We were near the students’ dormitories. The students came here already knowing the Koran and then chose what they wanted to study.
Then, we headed over to the Mausoleum of Amir Timur, a conquerer and king who founded the Timurid Empire in Central Asia. A 2-minute taxi ride there cost 10,000 som/$1.05 USD.
It costs 25,000 som/$2.63 USD for foreigners to enter the mausoleum, while Uzbeks pay 1,000 som/$0.10 USD. There was a beautiful courtyard and I could see an irrigation system. It didn’t look finished, or like part of it had been destroyed. There was a dome, two minarets, and the foundation of an old madrasah that was destroyed.
We headed to the tomb, where Amir Timur’s spiritual teacher is buried. Timur is also buried there along with the most important people in his life. There’s also an unknown tomb there. No one knows why it’s there! At the back of the tomb is the crypt, but only VIPs are allowed inside.
Next, we visited the Ulugh Beg Observatory at the Complex Museum of Mirzo Ulugbek. The observatory is where the Timurid astronomer Mirzo Ulugh Beg viewed the stars. In the museum are paintings of him and his colleagues, along with 15th-century astronomy instruments and models.
After another $1 USD ride, we arrived at the Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis. It’s made up of gorgeous temples, mausoleums, and other buildings from the 11th to 19th centuries.
There are 11 tombs in the necropolis in total! At the end is the mausoleum of the cousin of the prophet Muhammad!
We entered the Kusam Ibn Abbas Complex, which was built between the 11th and 13th centuries. It consists of a mosque, mausoleum, and prey room. His tomb was behind a sort of window. The mausoleum was so beautiful and colorful, and the tilework has lasted 7 centuries!
Next, it was time to go to Samarkand Restaurant for lunch! They served bread, a fritter, a pepper, eggplant with salad, cauliflower, a Greek-like salad, and stuffed zucchini. The zucchini was moist and crunchy on the outside.
The fritter felt like a vegetable omelet, while the pepper was refreshing and not spicy at all. The ham salad contained peas and potatoes, and there was a Greek-like salad of tomatoes, cottage cheese, and olives next to it.
The fried cauliflower was like the ultimate cauliflower! Next was a fluffy, crunchy, and airy Samarkand-style somsa, which was denser and rounder than others I’d had. There were tender meat and onions inside. Then, I had a soup called Nohot Shurva with chickpeas, carrots, potatoes, and a huge piece of beef! The chickpeas absorbed the broth and the beef was fresh, tender, and buttery!
Next, we had some local Bagizagan Select 2009 Merlot, which was very young, fresh, and fruity. The Samarkand plov was made with brown rice with carrots on top instead of throughout. It also contained raisins, chickpeas, and beef. I loved how fruity and sweet it was!
I hope you enjoyed exploring Samarkand with me! If you did, please give this video a thumbs up and leave a comment. Also, please subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss any of my upcoming travel/food adventures!
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My name is David Hoffmann. For the last decade, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,100 destinations in 76 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.
I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.