Museum in Samarkand

Afrosiab Museum

The Afrosiab Museum was built around one of Samarkand’s more important archaeological finds, a chipped 7th-century fresco of the Sogdian King Varkhouman receiving ranks of foreign dignitaries astride ranks of elepha…
Mosque in Samarkand

Bibi-Khanym Mosque

The enormous congregational Bibi-Khanym Mosque, northeast of the Registan, was finished shortly before Timur’s death and must have been the jewel of his empire. Once one of the Islamic world’s biggest mosques (the c…
Mosque in Samarkand

Hazrat-Hizr Mosque

Across the intersection from the Siob Bazaar, the Hazrat-Hizr Mosque occupies a hill on the fringes of Afrosiab. The 8th-century mosque that once stood here was burnt to the ground by Chinggis Khan in the 13th centu…
Plaza in Samarkand

The Registan

This ensemble of majestic, tilting medressas – a near-overload of majolica, azure mosaics and vast, well-proportioned spaces – is the centrepiece of the city, and arguably the most awesome single sight in Central As…
Mausoleum in Samarkand

Rukhobod Mausoleum

Rukhobod Mausoleum, dated 1380 and possibly the city’s oldest surviving monument, now serves as a souvenir and craft shop.
Cemetery in Samarkand


Samarkand’s most moving and beloved site is this stunning avenue of mausoleums, which contains some of the richest tilework in the Muslim world. The name, which means ‘Tomb of the Living King’, refers to its origina…
Mausoleum in Samarkand

Tomb of the Old Testament Prophet Daniel

The restored Tomb of the Old Testament Prophet Daniel lies on the banks of the Siob River (turn left off Toshkent yo'li 400m northeast of the Afrosiab Museum). The building is a long, low structure topped with five …
Observatory in Samarkand

Ulugbek’s Observatory

The remains of Ulugbek’s Observatory is one of the great archaeological finds of the 20th century. Ulugbek was probably more famous as an astronomer than as a ruler. His 30m astrolab, designed to observe star positi…
Mausoleum in Samarkand

Ak-Saray Mausoleum

Behind the ugly new wall surrounding Gur-e-Amir is the little Ak-Saray Mausoleum, with some bright frescoes and majolica tilework inside. The frescoes were barely visible before being restored in 2008.
Museum in Samarkand

Regional Studies Museum

The Regional Studies Museum occupies an old Jewish merchant’s house, and has a lavish wing devoted to Jewish history, with old photos of Samarkand’s once-prominent population of both European and Bukhara Jews. The r…