National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan


Looking almost as aged as some of the exhibits it houses, this dusty old museum, with its threadbare carpets and uneven floors, has a certain charm about it, not least for the quality of the collection therein and the enthusiasm of its friendly caretakers. Many of the exhibits, which focus largely on archaeological finds, represent key pieces of Central Asian history and trump the copies in the National Museum.

The 13m-long reclining Buddha, for example, is the original removed in 92 segments from Ajina Teppe in 1966. Dating from the Kushan era (around AD 500), this is the largest Buddha statue in Central Asia. Other interesting pieces include figures buried with beads from the archaeological site in Sarazm (near Penjikent), bronze mountain goats fashioned as 5th-century BC throne fragments, and some beautiful carved ivory scabbards.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Dushanbe attractions

1. Ethnography Museum

0.03 MILES

Sharing the same complex as the National Museum of Antiquities, this small museum houses an exquisite collection of traditional Tajikistan clothing …

2. WWII Tank Monument

0.35 MILES

This monument commemorates the veterans who participated in the victory over Nazi Germany in June 1945.

3. Bactria Centre

0.45 MILES

Language classes available in Russian and Persian are available at this cultural centre, together with concerts, art exhibitions and a showroom of…

4. Shah Mansur Bazaar

0.56 MILES

The Shah Mansur Bazaar, known in English as the 'Green Bazaar', is the heartbeat of Dushanbe trade and a great place to gain a sense of local life in the…

5. Statue of Ismoil Somoni


One of Dushanbe’s most impressive modern monuments, this statue celebrates the 10th-century founder of the Samanid dynasty. With an art-deco quality to…

6. National Library


Opened in 2011 and constructed to resemble an open book, this US$40 million archive is reputed to be Central Asia's biggest library. It makes an…

7. Parchan

0.71 MILES

Crowning the fountain-filled thoroughfare outside the National Library, this national monument was built to commemorate Tajikistan's independence. Cast…

8. Gurminj Museum

0.73 MILES

Hidden within a private family compound behind unmarked green gates is a precious collection of antique musical instruments originating from across…