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TOSHKENT

  The capital of Uzbekistan and the fourth-largest and most dynamic city in Central Asia and CIS countries. It lies in the valley of the river Chirchik. A multi-ethnic metropolis of over 2.5 million people, Toshkent was largely rebuilt after the 1966 earthquake and is now a pleasant city with wide tree-lined boulevards, large parks, modern and 20th century style Russian buildings of little architectural interest. The earlier buildings lie in the old town to the west of the centre. A myriad of narrow winding alleys, it stands in stark contrast to the more modern Toshkent.

  Known from 2 century B.C. Toshkent has always been well-developed city with good infrastructure, Toshkent is the gates to the country of silk and satins, picturesque bazaars and Oriental life.

  Many of the Islamic sites in Toshkent are not open to non-Muslims, and visitors should always ask permission before entering a mosque or other religious building.

  Things to see include some 16th and 17th century madrassas (Moslem theological schools) Kukeldash Madrasa, which is being restored as a museum, Barak-Khan madrasa and the Kaffali-Shash Mausoleum, the bazaar, some traditional craft centres and several excellent museums such as the Fine Arts Museum which houses a collection of paintings, ceramics and the Bukharan royal robes, and the Museum of Decorated and applied arts with its interesting Uzbek architecture, wall hangings and reproduction of antique jewellery. It is also worth taking a trip on Toshkent's attractive and efficient metro system.

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