UZBEKISTAN

 

 

Since ancient times, Tashkent played an important role in Central Asia and was the leading center of the Silk Road connecting east and west, north and south.Tashkent city was famous in the east and west of its scientists, architects and poets. 

About Tashkent it is mentioned in "Avesta" - the sacred book of Zoroastrians (Zoroastrians religion), as well as in ancient Chinese sources and described as the partial territory of the state Kang-kü/Kangju. In addition, the most ancient chronicles of Tashkent was mentioned as Shea Chzheshi, and in the early Middle Ages - Chach, Shash, Binket. On the tenth to twelfth centuries city was ​​known as Tashkent, which means "Stone City", "City of turquoise". The capital city Tashkent is the most cosmopolitan city of the country.

 The city is noted for its tree lined streets, numerous fountains and pleasant parks. Must visit tourist destiantions of Tashkent are Khast Imom Complex, Kukaldash Madrasah, Chorsu Bazar, Navoi Opera and Ballete Theater and Sheikh Abulkasim Madrasah.

Khasti Imom Complex

The ensemble of buildings began to take shape around the mazar of first Imam and preacher of Islam in Tashkent - Abubakr Muhammad al-Shashi Kaffal, after which the area got its name: "Hasti Imam" ("The Holy Imam"). In the XVI century basis of the ensemble was Barak-Khan, united into a single complex two mausoleums XV-XVI centuries - Nameless and Suyundzh Khan. 
On the contrary to Barak-Khan mosque is located Tilla-Sheikh Mosque, which operates to this day. It was built in 1856-1857 years by Kokand ruler Ahmed Mirza Kushbegi. 

The mausoleum, built in 1541 over the tomb of revered cleric Mohammed Abubakr al-Shashi Kaffal.
In the middle of the XIX century, during the rule of the Kokand Khanate, mosque Namazgokh was built in the opposite of the mausoleum of al-Shashi Kaffal. 

Hasti Imam Complex more than a thousand years, remains an important center of Islamic culture in Uzbekistan. In 2007, the International Islamic Educational, Scientifc and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) announced Tashkent a world capital of Islamic culture. In this regard, several actions were taken, including restoration of the complex Hasti Imam.

Barak-Khan Madrasah

Aruond Hasti Imam there is one of the greatest monuments of medieval architecture - Barak-Khan. Barak-Khan madrasah differs significantly from the traditional structures of this kind due to its different planning. In fact, it is a complex of buildings, consisting of madrasas and the two built in a mausoleum, formed in several stages during the XV-XVI centuries. The first was the mausoleum of "Untitled" in the eastern part of today's complex. The latter – two domed mausoleums-khanaka, built in 1530 in honor of the governor of Tashkent Suyundzh Sheibani Khan (the first governor of Tashkent inheritance of the Uzbek dynasty Sheibanids). He was richly decorated with carving and gilding, but with the passage of time it has undergone many transformations. In the middle of the XVI century son of Suyundzh Nauruz- Khan-Ahmad, known as Barak-Khan, built madrassah next to the mausoleum of his father. However, the mausoleum was the basis of the entire complex. Its central hall, as well as nameless mausoleum topped by darshana and turquoise domes on high drums. 

The decor in the Barak-khan was distributed only on the main sites - the input peshtak, portal and the dome of the mausoleum Suyundzh Khan. According to historians, calotte dome of the mausoleum was covered with blue tiles, the dome was decorated with star-shaped drum with a pattern girih 8-sided star, recruited from the mosaic, so the mausoleum called "Kok Gumbaz" ("Blue Dome"). Interior walls are decorated with paintings. However, during an earthquake in 1868 the dome was destroyed. 

For several decades in the Barak-khan Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Uzbekistan was located, which is housed in a new, specially built building, and hujra Barak-khan were transferred to the craftsmen and folk artists.



Kaffal ash-Shashi Mausoleum

  Kaffal ash-Shashi was built in honor of Imam Abubakr Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Ismail Al Kaffal ash-Shashi. It was built over the grave of the Imam in 1541by Khanate architect Gulom Hussein of its time. Crypt in its original form has not survived. 

The mausoleum Kaffal ash-Shashi has an unusual design. Since the shrine Kaffal al-Shashi was a place of pilgrimage, the mausoleum was in the form of an asymmetric dome khanaka portal layout. Hanaka was designed to give shelter to pilgrims in the living cells - hujra. 

Despite its large size, the building looks graceful and tall. This effect creates a blue dome on a drum in the form of a rectangular prism. The facade of a large peshtak portal with majolica decoration. 
The grave of Kaffal ash-Shashi is in the western part of the tomb and fenced off with inlaid wooden lattice pandjara. 
Architectural building, erected over the tomb of Muhammad, Abubakr al-Shashi Kaffal, is a part of an ensemble of Hazrat Imam. 

The Legend about Kaffal ash-Shashi 

Abubakr Muhammad al-Shashi Kaffal is one of the first imam of the Muslim world, the famous Muslim scholar, an expert on the Quran, Hadith, Islamic law and lexicology. People said that his nickname al Kaffal, which means "Locksmith" he got for making amazing lock with a key, which weigh 0.5 g. After his death in 976 / 77, the tomb of Imam became a place of worship which was revered and popular. It is believed that Sheikh Zaynaddin for him went for worship via an underground passage from another part of town.

 

Namazgoh Madrasah

Namazgokh mosque was built in the opposite of the mausoleum of al-Shashi Kaffal in the middle of the XIX century., during the rule of the Kokand Khanate. Its main facade faces the inside a small courtyard. 

The interior of mosque is not decorated. The only detail - mikhrab in the main hall, a small flat, with stalactites - mukannas - in the vault. At present, the monument was rebuilt, and, of course, its interiors are distorted. Now this building houses the Islamic Institute of Imam al-Bukhari, which was formed in 1970, and it has become an authority in the Muslim world of higher education.

 

Madrasah and mosque Muyi Muborak Tilla-Sheikh 

Muyi Muborak madrasah was built in the XVIII century by Kokand ruler Ahmed Mirza Kushbegi. This memorial is located in the opposite of Barak-Khan (XVI cent.). The portals of madrasas are located directly in the opposite of each other. 

Mosque Tilla-Sheikh - longitudinal-axial structure, which has a rectangular plan and covered 12 domes. Entrance compartment is separated from the walls later a square hall of prayer. In the courtyard of the mosque are both winter and summer facilities for prayers, a quince, a short minaret, utility rooms and a library. The mosque is decorated with carved a niche mikhrab, minbar and the window openings. 

Currently, the library building in a special vault, where supported by a certain temperature and humidity, to keep the famous Uthman Koran dating from the VII century. 

The Legend of Muyi Muborak 

According to legend, in the library of madrasa Muyi Muborak  the hair of the Prophet Mohammed is kept - Muslim holy relic.  Muyi Muborak - which is translated as "hair of the prophet." The name of Madrasa is called so because of above mentioned reason.

About the Uthman Quran

In 650, the third caliph Uthman ordered to his adopted son - Zayd ibn Thabit - to collect all records of sermons of Prophet Mohammed and combine them into one book. Only five copies were made which were sent to Mecca, Medina, Damascus, Kufa and Basra, and all other versions and drafts were burned.The authentic version was left to Uthman himself. According to legend, at the time of the death of Uthman, he was reading one of the canonical copies of the Koran,pages of which had been flooded by blood of Khalifa. 

This copy of the Koran had disappeared, but after some time in the Muslim world, there are several lists of the Koran with blood-stained pages, each of whom claimed to be true to the Quran of Osman. 

One of the copies was brought to Samarkand, where it was kept in the mosque of Khoja Ahrar, who lived in the XV century. In Osman Quran beautiful Arabic script was used and brown spots could be seen. During major holidays book was brought out of the mosque and was shown to people. 

There are several versions of how Osman Quran got into Samarkand. 

The first version: it has brought from Baghdad in the X century by theologian Kaffal Abubakr al-Shashi. 

Version Two: The student and follower of Khoja Ahrar went on pilgrimage to Mecca, on the way back during his stay in Constantinople, he healed the caliph with the power of his grace from the disease and asked the caliph to present Osman Quran as a gift. 

The third version, which most researchers believe the most likely, is this: Osman Quran was brought by Emir Temur during his trips to Syria and Iraq and then stored in the library of the Temur.

 Kukeldash

Kukeldash - one of the most important architectural monuments of the XVI century in Tashkent. There were specific to its time techniques, but at the end of the XVIII century madrassa was used as a caravanserai. Madrasah located on a high hill in the area of Chorsu. The builder is vizier of Tashkent khans, nicknamed Kukeldash (translation - "foster-brother of Khan"). 

Madrasah has a traditional composition: an extensive yard built in hudjras with darshanas (training room) and  mosques in the corners. 

The high portal on the main facade leads to a courtyard bounded by the two-story residences in the form of cells - hujras. Each cell consists of a room and entrance terrace. Two or three students occupy one room. From “guldasta” (corner towers) in the main portal muezzins called for prayer (worship). 

Madrasah was built of baked bricks. Decorated only one of the facades. The portal remains of tiled decor - glazed bricks and majolica: they filled in the 1950s.

 

 

Sheikh Abdulkasim Madrasah

 

Madrasah Sheikh Abdulkasim is a monument for Abdulkasimhan, the great thinker of his time. It is located in the southern part of the old Tashkent near the former gates of Beshagach. Madrassa Abdulkasim Sheikh reminds the beauty of ancient architecture in Tashkent. Archeological studies, historical documents and folk legends suggest that the madrasah was built in the XVI century. 

Originally it was a one-story complex, which included a mosque, baths and madrasahs. In 1864, during the restoration of madrassas, the second floor was completed. Abdulkasimhan paid about 30 thousand “rubles” for the construction of madrasa, and each year paid for training of 150 students. Hanaka Muyi Muborak became part of the madrassas, which is one of the most significant historical buildings in the city. 

From the entrance to each hujra, madrassa walls were painted with poems and quotations from the Koran which had an educational and historical significance. In the lines of a poem encrypted secret (Moddai tarikh) - year of construction of madrasa. According to the science of "abzhad," all 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet correspond to certain numbers. Deciphering all the letters in the fourth line of one of the poems on madrassas walls, determines that Abdulkasim Madrassa  was constructed in1849. 

In 1892, after the death of the founder, Sheikh Abdulkasimhan Madrasah became to be called in his honor. In Soviet times, the beautiful facilities of the complex were destroyed, but miraculously survived the building of madrasas. Workshops of the Academy of Fine Arts are located in twenty “hujra”s (cells) the. Here are engaged craftsmen, many of whom are celebrities, members of the creative union of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan, the participants and winners of national, regional and international exhibitions. 

Legend of Abdulkasime 

There is a story about the death of Sheikh Abdulkasim. When the clergy of the city gathered at the home of Sheikh Abdulkasimhan to end a cholera epidemic, they decided to make a sacrifice in the name of Allah. During the prayers at the mosque, Sheikh Abdulkasimhan announced that he will take risk  that befell on his people. On common prayer, he foretold that the cholera epidemic will soon leave the city. July 4, 1892 Abdulkasimhan gave soul to God. Innumerable crowd of citizens followed him on his last journey. The next day cholera was ended.

 

 

Museum of History of Temurids

The State Museum of Timurids was opened in Tashkent on October 18, 1996 after the 660th anniversary of the birth of a great statesman and commander Amir Temur.
The museum, as an unusual form of construction of a luxury dome is a masterpiece of architecture, which blends with modern and ancient traditions. The decor of the building presented graceful white columns and carved wooden doors, a huge mural. The interiors of the museum in marble, domed ceiling is painted and covered with gold leaf in the best traditions of Uzbek ornamental art on the walls and halls are made murals in the style of oriental miniature painting, depicting the life of Amir Temur and the stages of the country's history from antiquity to the present day. All of this brings the visitor into the world created by the great Amir Temir, which develops science, arts and crafts, erected magnificent buildings, thriving state. 

Since its inception, the museum became a center of scientific thought and education. It stores jewelry, arms, clothing, military commanders and ordinary soldiers, musical instruments, manuscripts of Amir Temur, Babur, astronomical instruments of Ulugbek. The museum also contains valuable documents such as letters of Amir Temur and his descendants with the monarchs of Europe, skilled miniature copies of paintings by Amir Temur, written by European masters of the time. The originals of these paintings are in the National Library of France. These and many other cultural treasures dating back to the Timurid era, and reflecting the history of Uzbekistan from the XIV century. Have great historical value. 

According to the administration of the museum, in the first ten years after the museum opened it was nearly thirty exhibitions on various themes, and unique museum exhibits were shown at international exhibitions held in France, USA, Germany and Austria.

 

Alisher Navoi Opera and Ballet Theater

 

The building is named after Alisher Navoi. Theater is located near Amir Temur in the downtown area in front of Tashkent Palace hotel. In front of the theater there is a beautiful fountain in the shape of a flower cotton.

Alisher Navoi Opera and Ballet Theater was opened in November days of 1947, while celebrating the 500th anniversary of Alisher Navoi, in whose honor has been given the name of the new theater. Contemporary theater, designed by the academician of architecture A. Shchusev, who was also the architect of the Lenin Mausoleum in Moscow. In the final stage of construction Japanese prisoners of war from the Kwantung Army were attended. 

 
Ranging from decorative bricks, many marble steps, handcrafted oak carved doors to fine art galleries, arcades and lacy chandelier - all filled with tradition and talent of local craftsmen. Six lobby rooms, located on three floors on the sides of the auditorium, dedicated to six regions of Uzbekistan in 1947: Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Termez, Ferghana, and Khorezm. The best folk artists of the republic under the leadership of the famous Usto Shirin Muradov, Usto Boltaeva and others were invited from each region to design rooms. Thus, the Bukhara hall was decorated with engravings ganch imposed on the mirror surface. This decorative element was first used in the construction of the palace of the Emir of Bukhara. Khorezm hall is decorated with panels of gunch, repeating patterns of rich wood carving, characteristic of Khorezm. 

The auditorium is decorated with plaster moldings and gorgeous crystal chandelier, weighing more than three tons. Internal decorative and artistic decoration of the theater is complemented by large mural, created by folk artist of Uzbekistan Chingiz Ahmarov. Drawings are based on the poems of the great Uzbek poet Alisher Navoi. The facade is decorated with marble columns. 

Repertoire 

 Tours of the theater have had success in many countries: Russia, Germany, Bulgaria, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and China. In addition, over the past few years, the theater took on its stage such renowned guest artists, conductors, as Saim Akchil (professor of music at Istanbul University), Pierre-Dominique Panelli from Germany, Lawrence Golan of the United States, Paolo Longo of France, from Italy, Giovanni Gverreri.  Soloists of Korea and Japan managed their concerts with great success in Alisher Navoi Operan and Ballet Theater.

 
Alisher Navoi Operan and Ballet Theater has a rich and varied repertoire - more than fifty performances of the classical heritage of the world and works of national authors.Pearls of Italian opera - "La Traviata," "Rigoletto," "Aida," "Masked Ball" by G. Verdi, "Madame Butterfly", "Floria Tosca," "La Boheme" by Puccini, and "The Marriage of Figaro," " Director of the Theatre "In-A. Mozart's "Queen of Spades," "Eugene Onegin", "Iolanta" by Tchaikovsky, "Rusticana" by Mascagni, "Pagliacci" by R. Leoncavallo, "Lucia di Lammermoor" by Donizetti and many others. Simultaneously, the theater puts popular Uzbek statement: "Leopard from Sogdiana" I. Akbarov, "Dilorom" M. Ashrafi, "Zebuniso" S. Jalil, "Layla and Majnun," by R. Glier, T. Sadykov . This adds variety and a bright palette of classical ballet world such as "Giselle" and "Le Corsaire" by A. Adam, "Don Quixote" by L. Minkus, "Swan Lake", "Sleeping Beauty", "Nutcracker" by Tchaikovsky; " Spartacus "by Khachaturian," Esmeralda "C. Puni," The Fountain of Bakhchisarai "A. Astafieva. The special charm are oriental ballets - "Amulet of Love" by M. Ashrafi, "Tomiris" W. Musaev, "A Thousand and One Nights" Amirov, "Legend of the ancient Afrasiab" G. Mushelya raised a remarkable choreographer People's Artist of Uzbekistan, Ibrahim Yusupov.Operas are shown in Italian, Russian and Uzbek languages. In addition, the theater hosts concerts, tours of foreign performers, performances of the leading soloists of the world, celebrations. 

Alisher Navoi Opera and Ballet Theater is the only great theater throughout Central and South-East Asia. Its achievements is a great asset of the Uzbek people, the pride of the nation.

 

Repertoire of Alisher Navoi Opera and Ballete Theater is here.

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