Uzbekistan covers an area of 448,978 square kilometers, has a population of 32.6 million and borders all of the four other Central Asian former Soviet republics as well as Afghanistan to the south. The landscape is characterized by steppes and the Kyzylkum desert, which means “red sand”. The mountain ranges of the Tien Shan and the Hissar Mountains rise at the national borders in the east.

With the famous oasis cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Chiva, today’s Uzbekistan is home to three of the most important centres on the historic Silk Road. The term Silk Road was coined in the 19th century by the German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen and describes a network of caravan and trade routes on which, in addition to valuable goods such as silk, spices, jade and much more, ideas and religions were exchanged. The region has always been a melting pot of peoples and so live next to the titular people of the Uzbeks, who make up 71% of the population, also 5% Russians, 4% Tajiks, 3% Karalpaks, 3% Kazakhs, 3% Tatars, 2% Koreans as well Turkmen, Uyghurs and other ethnic groups in the country. There are 13 administrative areas as well as the autonomous republic of Karalpakstan, which is culturally very different from the rest of the country. Linguistically and culturally, the Karalpaks are closer to the Kazakhs and Kyrgyz than the Uzbeks.

During the Russian colonization, Tashkent was the capital of the General Government of Turkestan, later of the Uzbek Soviet Republic. In 1991 the city of 2 million became the capital of the now independent Uzbekistan. For a long time, until the first section of the metro was opened in Almaty / Kazakhstan in 2011, Tashkent was the only Central Asian city that had a metro. The stations are artistically designed based on the model of the Moscow metro.

The official language is Uzbek, a language belonging to the south-eastern Uighur group of Turkic languages. After independence, there was a change from the Cyrillic to the Latin script. However, predominantly Russian is still spoken in the capital Tashkent. Tajik is widely spoken in Bukhara and Samarkand.

UNESCO World Heritage in Uzbekistan:

Intangible Cultural Heritage in Uzbekistan: