Welcome to Istaravshan
Called Kir by the Parthians, Cyropol by Alexander the Great and Ura-Tyube by the Russians and Soviets, Istaravshan (ИСТАРАВШАН) has a small historical core that is one of the best preserved in Tajikistan. Established over 2500 years ago and once encircled by a 6km wall, this former staging post on the Silk Road has had its share of ill fortunes from the execution of male citizens at the hands of Alexander the Great, the slaughter of innocents by Genghis Khan's marauding armies and shelling by Russian forces in the 19th century. It still carries something of the spirit of endurance in the present day, with a re-creation of the citadel's main gate symbolic of the town's defiance over the odds. With poor accommodation options, the town is ideally best visited as a day trip from Khojand or in transit between the north and Dushanbe or Penjikent.