Shakhrisabz (Shahrisabz; Tajik: Шаҳрисабз; Persian: شهر سبز‎, romanizedshahr-e sabz (city of green / verdant city); Russian: Шахрисабз), is a city in Qashqadaryo Region in southern Uzbekistan located approximately 80 km south of Samarkand with a population of 100,300 (2014).[1] It is located at an altitude of 622 m. Historically known as Kesh or Kish, Shahrisabz was once a major city of Central Asia and was an important urban center of Sogdiana. It is primarily known today as the birthplace of 14th-century Turco-Mongol conqueror Timur.

Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz
UNESCO World Heritage Site
30 Shakhrisabz Ak Seraj (7)
Jahangir Mausoleum in Shahrisabz
Shahrisabz Chorsu 01
Ensemble Dorout Tilovat (Shahrisabz) (6018370667)
Walls of Shahrisabz
Shahrisabz 05
Mosque in Shahrisabz
LocationQashqadaryo Region, Uzbekistan
CriteriaCultural: (iii), (iv)
Inscription2000 (24th Session)
Area240 ha (590 acres)
Buffer zone82 ha (200 acres)
Coordinates39°03′N 66°50′E / 39.050°N 66.833°ECoordinates: 39°03′N 66°50′E / 39.050°N 66.833°E
Shahrisabz is located in Uzbekistan
Location of Shahrisabz in Uzbekistan
Shakhrisyabz Suzani
Shakhrisyabz suzani, first half of 19th century. Suzanis played a central role in the lives of the people of Uzbekistan. This suzani derives its particular appeal from its high proportion of light and brilliant colours: golden yellow, orange, ochre and light blue. Sold for EUR 39,000 in 2015.


Formerly known as Kesh or Kish ("heart-pleasing") and tentatively identified with the ancient Nautaca, Shahrisabz is one of Central Asia’s most ancient cities. It was founded more than 2,700 years ago and formed a part of the Achaemenid Empire or Persia from the 6th to 4th centuries BC. Throughout this period Kesh remained an important urban center of Sogdiana, a major province within the Empire. Documents from the late Achaemenid period speak of the renovation of the city's walls.[2] Its name was officially changed to Shahrisabz in the modern era.

Alexander the Great's general Ptolemy captured the satrap of Bactria and pretender to the Persian throne, Bessus, at Nautaca thus ending the once great Achaemenid Empire. Alexander the Great chose to spend his winters and met his wife Roxanna in the area in 328-327 BC. Between 567 and 658 CE rulers of Kesh paid taxes to khagans of Turkic and Western Turkic khaganates. In 710 the city was conquered by the Arabs[3] and following the Mongol conquest of Khwarezmia in the 13th century, the region came under the control of the Barlas tribe, all of whose lineages seem to have been associated with this region.[4] Kesh was the birthplace of Timur in 1336, to the family of a minor local Barlas chief, and during the early years of the Timurid Dynasty, the city enjoyed his considerable patronage. Timur regarded Kesh as his “home town” and planned it eventually to be the location of his tomb. However, during his reign, the center of activity shifted to Samarkand instead. According to legend, the Khan of Bukhara, Abdullah Khan II had the city destroyed in a fit of rage over the death of his favorite horse from exhaustion on a steep approach to the city, but was later overcome with remorse for the damage he had done.

The city struggled for autonomy under Bukharan rule and the Russians helped the Bukharan emir conquering the city in 1870.

Historical sites

Aq-Saray Shahrisabz 2
Remains of the Ak-Saray Palace.

Several remaining impressive monuments from the Timurid Dynasty have enabled the old part of the city to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

  • Ak-Saray Palace

Timur's Summer Palace, the “White Palace” was planned as the most grandiose of all Timur's constructions. It was started in 1380 by artisans deported by Timur from the recently conquered Khwarezm. Unfortunately, only parts of its gigantic 65 m gate-towers survive, with blue, white and gold mosaics. Above the entry of the Ak-Saray are big letters saying: "If you challenge our power – look at our buildings!"

A Friday mosque built in 1437 by Ulugh Beg in honor of his father Shah Rukh, its name meaning “Blue Dome”. Located immediately behind the Kok Gumbaz Mosque is the so-called “House of Meditation”, a mausoleum built by Ulugh Beg in 1438 but apparently never used for burials.

  • Hazrat-i Imam Complex

East of the Kok Gumbaz is another mausoleum complex called Dorus-Saodat (Seat of Power and Might), which contains the Tomb of Jehangir, Timur’s eldest and favorite son. The adjacent mosque is said to house the tomb of a revered 8th century imam Amir Kulal.

  • Tomb of Timur

Behind the Hazrat-i Imam Emsemble is a bunker with a door leading to an underground chamber, discovered by archaeologists in 1943. The room is nearly filled with a single stone casket, on which inscriptions indicate that it was intended for Timur. However, the conqueror was buried in Samarkand, not at Shahrisabz, and mysteriously, his tomb in Shahrisabz contained two unidentified corpses.

Also of interest are medieval baths and an 18th-century bazaar.

In popular culture

In 1980s the Uzbek Soviet band Yalla wrote a song about Shahrisabz.

See also


  1. ^ Статистический буклет «О населении языком цифр» Archived 2014-10-14 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Pavel Lurje, (2009), 'KEŠ' Encyclopaedia Iranica (online)
  3. ^ Pavel Lurje, (2009), 'KEŠ' Encyclopaedia Iranica (online)
  4. ^ B.F. Manz, The rise and rule of Tamerlan, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1989, p. 156–7

External links

Aeroflot Flight 505

Aeroflot Flight 505 crashed just after takeoff in Tashkent on 16 January 1987. Flight 505 was an early morning flight from Tashkent to Shahrisabz, both in the Uzbek SSR, now Uzbekistan. The flight took off just one minute and 28 seconds after an Ilyushin Il-76, thus encountering its wake vortex. The Yakovlev Yak-40 then banked sharply to the right, struck the ground, and caught fire. All 9 people on board died.

Bakhodir Khan Turkistan

Bahodir Xon Turkiston, Bokhodir Choriyev, Bahodir Choryiev, Бахадир Чариев, Баҳодир Чориев, was born on October 31, 1969 into a worker's family in Shahrisabz district of the Republic of Uzbekistan. After finishing school No 9 in 1986 entered the evening department of Tomsk Polytechnic Institute in Russian Federation and at the same year continued education at the Tomsk Junior Professional College No 17. Graduated from the college in 1987, started his first work experience at "Kontur" plant in Tomsk as a radio-installation specialist and was called for military service at the same year. Married. Has four children. He married Feruza Hurramova in 1989. Children: Sarvinoz 1992, Sevara 1993, Davronbek 1995 and Dadakhon, 2004.

Bayan Qulï

Bayan Qulï (died 1358) was khan of the Chagatai Khanate from 1348 to 1358 and a grandson of Duwa.

In 1348 Bayan Qulï was raised to the position of khan by the ruler of the Qara'unas, Amir Qazaghan, who had effectively taken control of the Chagatai ulus in 1346. For the next decade he remained Qazaghan’s puppet, exercising little real authority. In 1358 Qazaghan was assassinated and succeeded by his son ‘Abdullah. Not long after his ascension, ‘Abdullah had Bayan Qulï killed and selected a new puppet, Shah Temur, to succeed him. Bayan Qulï’s death was used as a pretext by ‘Abdullah’s enemies to bring about his downfall that same year.

Mongols, before their intrusion into Ma wara'u'n-nahr and Semirechye were heathens. However, in the 14th century more of them adopted Islam. Bayan-Quli Khan was a Moslem and a faithful stalwart of a Khorasani sheikh, Saif ed-Din Boharsi. Therefore, he was buried opposite the sheikh's grave. The mausoleum rises above the Bayan-Quli Khan grave since 1358.

The dinars, coined in Shahrisabz in 1357 (758), became a good evidence of Bayan Quli's piousness, because of saying, engraved on them: "Bayan-Quli-bahadur Khan is the greatest sultan. May Allah prolong his reign".


Boysun (also spelt Baysun, Bajsun or Baisun) is a town in Surxondaryo Region, Uzbekistan and capital of Boysun District. The population as of the 1989 census was 16,700; an estimate for 2012 puts the population at 26,309.

Chorsu (Samarkand)

Chorsu (Uzbek: Chorsu and Russian: Чорсу) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, is a domed, hexagonal building located southeast of the Registan at the intersection of the roads connecting Samarkand, Tashkent, Bukhara, and Shahrisabz. Chorsu is a word of Persian origin meaning "crossroads," referring to this intersection.

Dorut Tilavat

Dor-i-Tilavat/Dorut Tilovat/Dor al-Tilavat (House of recitation) is a madrasa in Shahrisabz, Uzbekistan.

Dorut Tilovat was first constructed in the thirteenth century by Shams ud-Din Kulal (not to be confused with his grandson, also named Shams ud-Din Amir Kulal (d. 1370)). He had travelled from Bukhara to Kesh (Shahrisabz) to spread the message of Islam. Shams ud-Din belonged to a scholarly family. Many noble families sent their sons to study at Dorut Tilavat. One of these famous protégés (murid) was Turghai (d. 1356 AD) – Amir Timur’s father. Turghai held Shams ud-Din in high esteem, and so did his son Timur, who considered Shams ud-Din’s grandson Amir Kulal as his spiritual guide. At his death Shams ud-Din was buried at the madrasa Dorut Tilavat.

Shams ud-Din built a reputation for Dorut Tilavat which continued during the times of his son and grandson, Amir Kulal. After Turghai’s death Timur approached Amir Kulal for his consent to bury Turghai at the side of Shams ud-Din at madrasa Dorut Tilavat. However, the family refused. The lure for Timur was establishing a spiritual connection with a renowned and scholarly family of Bukhara, which also happened to be a direct descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Amir Kulal, being Timur’s spiritual guide (pir) and head of a strong tribe, yielded considerable influence over Timur and kept him from his intention. However, after Amir Kulal’s death in 1370, the Kulal Tribe lost a strong spiritual leader and Timur, who was in the first year of his reign, chose to go ahead with his plans. He moved his father’s body to Dorut Tilavat. The madrasa and adjacent buildings were expanded and the construction was completed by 1374. In the coming centuries the area was reconstructed and expanded upon numerous times.


The Gūr-i Amīr or Guri Amir (Uzbek: Amir Temur maqbarasi, Go'ri Amir, Persian: گورِ امیر‎) is a mausoleum of the Asian conqueror Timur (also known as Tamerlane) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. It occupies an important place in the history of Persian-Mongolian Architecture as the precursor and model for later great Mughal architecture tombs, including Gardens of Babur in Kabul, Humayun's Tomb in Delhi and the Taj Mahal in Agra, built by Timur's Persianised descendants, the ruling Mughal dynasty of Indian Subcontinent. It has been heavily restored.


Hashti or Dlan-e-voroudi, in most traditional houses in Iran, is the space one behind the sar-dar (doorway). Hashtis are designed in many different shapes, including octagonal, hexagonal, square and rectangular. In more luxurious homes the hashti has more ornamentation and a seating area.After the hashti, a series of curved and narrow spaces called "rahro" follow, which usually lead to the home's courtyard. In a mosque, the hashti is designed so as to guide the visitor through purification before prayer.


Kesh may refer to:

Kesh (Sumer), an ancient Sumerian city and religious center

Kesh, the former name of Shahrisabz, Uzbekistan

Keş, Azerbaijan

Kesh, County Fermanagh, a small village in Northern Ireland

Kesh Recordings, record label run by British musician and sound artist Simon Scott

Maze (HM Prison), a prison in Northern Ireland sometimes called "Long Kesh"

Kesh (Sikhism), a practice of not cutting hair in Sikhism

Kesh, a fictional human culture and language in Ursula K. Le Guin's novel Always Coming Home

The Empire of Great Kesh, a nation of the world of Midkemia, in books written by Raymond Feist

KESH, the electricity supplier of Albania

Kesh Kumari, an English artist

Keshi, specifically those not marketed in Japan.

List of World Heritage sites in Uzbekistan

This is a list of World Heritage sites in Uzbekistan with properties of cultural and natural heritage in Uzbekistan as inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage List or as on the country's tentative list. As of 2016, five sites in Uzbekistan are included. In addition to its inscribed sites, Uzbekistan also lists thirty properties on its tentative list.

Qashqadaryo Region

Qashqadaryo Region (Uzbek: Qashqadaryo viloyati, Қашқадарё вилояти, قەشقەدەريا ۋىلايەتى; old spelling Kashkadarya Region) is one of the regions of Uzbekistan, located in the south-eastern part of the country in the basin of the Qashqadaryo River and on the western slopes of the Pamir-Alay mountains. It borders with Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Samarqand Region, Bukhara Region and Surxondaryo Region. It covers an area of 28,400 km². The population is estimated to be around 2,067,000 (2007), with some 73% living in rural areas.

Razi style

The "Razi style" (شیوه معماری رازی) is a style (sabk) of architecture when categorizing Iranian architecture development in history.The Dictionary of Traditional Iranian Architecture defines the Razi Style as:

A style of architecture dating from the 11th century to the Mongol invasion period, which includes the methods and devices of The Samanids, Ghaznavids, and Seljukids.

Rizvan Ablitarov

Rizvan Ablitarov (Ukrainian: Різван Решатович Аблітаров; born 18 April 1989 in Shahrisabz, Uzbek SSR) is a professional Ukrainian football defender of Crimean Tatar origin.

Ablitarov is product of youth team systems of UOR Simferopol.

Shahrisabz (disambiguation)

Shakhrisabz (Uzbek: Шаҳрисабз Shahrisabz; Tajik: Шаҳрисабз; Persian: شهر سبز‎ shahr-i sabz (city of green / verdant city); Russian: Шахрисабз), is a city in Qashqadaryo Region in southern Uzbekistan

Shakhrisabz or Shakhrisabz may also refer to:

Shakhrisabz District, Uzbekistan

Shakhrisabz Suzani, a type of Uzbek textile

Shahrisabz Museum of History and Material Culture

The Shahrisabz Museum of History and Material Culture is a museum in Shahrisabz, Uzbekistan. It was founded in 1996 on the 660th anniversary of Amir Timur's birth and contains arcaheological, ethnographic, and numismatic collections.

Shakhrisabz District

Shakhrisabz District is a district of Qashqadaryo Region in Uzbekistan. The capital lies at Shahrisabz.

Talyat Sheikhametov

Talyat Abdulganiyevich Sheikhametov (born 24 April 1966 in Shahrisabz) is a retired Soviet and later Ukrainian professional footballer. His first name often spells as Tolyat.

Timurid Renaissance

Timurid Renaissance was a historical phenomenon of the rise of arts and sciences in the Timurid Empire that occurred during the reign of Timurid dynasty in the period between the late 14th and early 16th centuries. The use of term of renaissance for the description of this period has raised reservations among scholars and some of them see it as a swan song of Timurid culture. It was flourishing at the same historical epoch when Europe experienced Renaissance movement. Timurid Renaissance reached its peak in the 15th century after the end of period of Mongol invasions and conquests. One of the symbols of the Timurid Renaissance is the rebuilding of the Samarkand by Timur. Samarkand, important Islamic center for scholarly study, was destroyed by Genghis Khan during the Mongol conquest of Khwarezmia. Timur reign experienced revived interest in the classical Persian art. Large-scale building projects have been undertaken (mausoleums, madrasas, and kitabhane-medieval Islamic book workshops), mathematics and astronomy got more attention, and at the beginning of the 16th century mastering firearms was achieved. Major commissions from the Timur's lifetime were the Timur's Summer Palace in Shahrisabz, Bibi-Khanym Mosque, as well as reconstruction of the city of Samarkand itself. The city of Herat became important center of intellectual and artistic life in the Islamic world during this time. The fact that Samarkand and Herat were able to become the centers of Timurid Renaissance and Persian culture at that time in general is due to the destruction of Persian cities by previous wars. Timurid Renaissance differed from the previous cultural and artistic developments during the Buyid dynasty in fact that it was not direct revival of classical models but it rather broaden the cultural appeal by including more colloquial style in Persian language as well as by including more widespread Turkic language as a literary and the official language.

Zafar Kholmurodov

Zafar Kholmurodov (born 15 October 1976), is a retired Uzbek professional footballer and coach.

Districts and seats
Traditional cities
Theory and analysis

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