On the silk road…Samarkand

Samarkand, crossroads of cultures

Rare vintage photograph mounted,  “Market at the Registan” – SAMARKAND – 1900’s

(sorry, I don’t read russian, please help to translate what is written under the photo)

Size: 9″ x 6″½



Samarkand was known by an abbreviated name of Marakanda when Alexander the Great took it in 332 BC. There are various theories of how Marakanda evolved into Samarkanda/Samarkan. One derives the name from the Old Persian asmara, “stone”, “rock”, and Sogdian kand, “fort”, “town”.According on Sanskrit texts, the original name of Samarkand was “Markanda”, named after the Vedic saint of the same name. The Greeks later referred to the city as Maracanda, which is a corruption of its former Sanskrit name.

Samarkand is the second largest city of Uzbekistan and is of the same age as Rome, Athens and Babylon- more than 25 centuries old. Ancient Arab manuscripts refer to it as the “Gem of the East”, Europeans called it the “The Land of Scientists”. A majestic and beautiful city, Samarkand is the city of legends. When Alexander the Great first time saw Samarkand, he exclaimed “ I heard that the city was beautiful but never thought that it could be so beautiful and majestic”.

Samarkand, Today

As one the ancient poets said:

You can travel through the whole world, have a look at the pyramids and admire the smile of the Sphinx;You can listen to the soft singing of the wind at the Adriatic Sea and kneel down reverently at the ruins of the Acropolis, be dazzled by Rome with its Forum and Coliseum, be charmed by Notre Dame in Paris or by old domes of Milan; But if you have seen buildings of Samarkanda, you will be enchanted by its magic forever.

One thought on “On the silk road…Samarkand

  1. 74 year , Samarkand city. Kurban Praying during Kurban Hayit ( is one of the main religious Muslim holiday, its the Festival of Sacrifice ). Registan Square during morning praying .

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