About Uzbekistan

FUJILOVE Magazine: 29 Surprising Underground Art Galleries of Tashkent Metro
22 May 2020
FUJILOVE Magazine: 29 Surprising Underground Art Galleries of Tashkent Metro

FUJILOVE MAGAZINE posted an illustrated article by famous Dutch travel journalist and photographer John Reinhard, who is fascinated by Silk Road countries, specifically Uzbekistan.

During his trips to the region, John Reinhard was impressed not only by the ancient cities of Uzbekistan as Samarkand, Bukhara, Shakhrisabz and Khiva, but also highly amazed by the capital city Tashkent, particularly the Tashkent Metro Underground Art.

“Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan has more than 3.5 million inhabitants, making it the largest city in Central Asia. The city is also seen as the most cosmopolitan city in all of Central Asia. With extremely wide tree-lined avenues, countless fountains with many benches, parks and numerous modern restaurants, this surprisingly clean Tashkent is absolutely very different from the idea that you usually have of a Central Asian city” quotes the Fujilove Magazine.  

The magazine posted breathtaking photo gallery of 29 Metro stations of Tashkent by the famous photographer, mentioning that the capital city unlike Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva was unable to preserve many ancient monuments due to an earthquake, however has its own sights. Tashkent Metro was highlighted as one of them, being the first underground transportation system in Central Asia.

“Tashkent metro stations are among the best-kept art secrets in the world. You will find a different artistic design and creative theme at almost every of the 29 stations. With a train ticket that costs 1400 Sum (about € 0.30) you can enjoy yourself for a day in the most beautiful art galleries you have ever seen” writes the magazine.

In the article, Tashkent Underground was named as the oldest Metro in Central Asia, being a masterpiece with decorated platforms, glazed pillars and glittering tunnels: “Soviet elements mixed with Islamic geometric shapes, angular shapes and sharp corners, which underline the grandeur and power of the once so powerful Russian empire, but at the same time seem to clash with the graceful lines and seductive cobalt and emerald hues of the Arab world”.

The magazine also mentions that Metro network was built as a part of reconstruction plan after Tashkent earthquake, which had destroyed 80% of the building in the city, laving 300,000 people homeless. Being an important part of the transformation, Tashkent Metro has become the jewel in the crown of the new Tashkent.

Talking about the design of the underground, the article quotes “Despite modest concrete entrances and simple handrails, the view inside is enchanting. The interiors consist of sturdy and stable materials: metal (in the form of engravings), glass, plastic, granite, marble, ceramics and alabaster. The stations were decorated with pink and light gray marble from Gazghan and Nurata, and granite from the Kuramin and Chatkal mountains. The lighting is also interesting; in some stations it creates the atmosphere of the banquet hall, in others that of mysterious catacombs”.

The author also compares the Tashkent Metro to the London metro, for having the range and accessibility of the latter, the efficiency of the Rotterdam Subway, the simplicity of the Rome Metropolitana and the space of the trainsets of the Paris metro. However highlighting that in the field of art, the Tashkent Metro has no equal.



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Did you know?

Uzbekistan is one of only two countries in the world to be ‘double landlocked’ (landlocked and totally surrounded by other landlocked countries). Liechtenstein is double landlocked by 2 countries whilst Uzbekistan is surrounded by 5!

Did you know that Uzbekistan lies in the very heart of Eurasia, the coordinates for Uzbekistan are 41.0000° N, 69.0000°

Uzbekistan is home to the Muruntan gold mine, one of the largest open pit gold mines in the world! The country has 4th largest reserves of gold in the world after South Africa, USA and Russia

Uzbekistan is the world capital of melons. They have in excess of 150 different varieties, which form a staple part of the local diet, served fresh in the summer and eaten dried through the winter.

It is Uzbek tradition that the most respected guest be seated farthest from the house’s entrance.

Tashkent’s metro features chandeliers, marble pillars and ceilings, granite, and engraved metal. It has been called one of the most beautiful train stations in the world.

The Uzbek master chef is able to cook in just one caldron enough plov to serve a thousand men.

When you are a host to someone, it is your duty to fill their cups with for the whole time they are with you.  What you must not do, however, is to fill their cup more than half-full.  If you do that as a mistake, say it is a mistake immediately.  Doing it means you want them to leave.  Wow!  Amazing, right?

To Uzbeks, respect means a whole lot.  For this reason they love it if, even as foreigners, you endeavour to add the respectful suffix opa after a woman's name; and aka after a man's.  Example: Linda-opa and David-aka.  You could also use hon and jon respectively.

Having been an historic crossroads for centuries as part of various ancient empires, Uzbekistan’s food is very eclectic. It has its roots in Iranian, Arab, Indian, Russian and Chinese cuisine.

Though identified with the Persia, the Zoroastrism probably originated in Bactria or Sogdiana. Many distinguished scholars share an opinion that Zoroastrianism had originated in the ancient Khorezm. Indeed, today in the world there were found 63 Zoroastrian monuments, including those in Iran, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thirty-eight of them are in Uzbekistan, whereas 17 of these monuments are located in Khorezm.

One of Islam's most sacred relics - the world's oldest Koran that was compiled in Medina by Othman, the third caliph or Muslim leader, is kept in Tashkent. It was completed in the year 651, only 19 years after Muhammad's death. 

Tashkent is the only megapolis in the world where public transport is totally comprised of Mercedes buses. And due to low urban air polution it is one of the few cities where one can still see the stars in the sky.

You would be surprised to know that modern TV was born in Tashkent. No joke! The picture of moving objects was transmitted by radio first time in the world in Tashkent on 26 of July 1928 by inventors B.P. Grabovsky and I.F. Belansky.

Uzbekistan is the only country in the world all of whose neighbours have their names ending in STAN. This is also the only country in Central Asia that borders all of the countries of this region

Uzbeks are the third populous Turkik ethnicity in the world after Turks and Azeris (leaving both in Azerbaijan and Iran)

Did you know that there was silk money in Khiva? Super interesting right? Of course, but the best part of having silk money was that it could be sewn into your clothing.

Famous Islamic physician Ibn Sina (Avicenna in the Latin world) who was born near Bukhara was the one of the first people to advocate using women’s hair as suture material – about 1400 years ago.

Uzbekistan has a long and bloody history. The most notorious leader of Uzbekistan was Timur (or Tamerlane) who claimed descent from Genghis Khan. His military campaigns have been credited for wiping out some 5% of the world’s population at the time.

If you have thought that some of the Islamic architecture in Uzbekistan resembles that from Northern India, then that is because Timur’s great great great Grandson, Babur Beg, was the founder of the Moghul Empire that ruled much of India for almost four centuries! Babur’s great great Grandson was Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal.

Uzbekistan was once a rum producig country. There is still a real arboretum in Denau (city near Termez on the border with Afghanistan), grown from a selection station that studied the prospects of plant growing in the unusual for the Soviet Union subtropical climate of Surkhandarya region: only here in the whole of the USSR sugar cane was grown and even rum was produced!

Uzbekistan has been ranked one of the safest countries in the world, according to a new global poll. The annual Gallup Global Law and Order asked if people felt safe walking at night and whether they had been victims of crime. The survey placed Uzbekistan 5th out of 135 countries, while the UK was 21st and the US 35th. Top five safest countries:

  • Singapore
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Finland
  • Uzbekistan
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