50 Fascinating Facts About Uzbekistan

If the name of Uzbekistan doesn't ring a bell, you're not alone. There's a lot to learn about Uzbekistan, which is often overlooked on the world stage. There is a lot to learn about Uzbekistan, and it's a rich and fascinating culture. From the origins of the name to its history, cuisine, and much more. This little-known country in Central Asia is one of the most fascinating in the world, and it's filled with interesting facts that are worth knowing. Uzbekistan is well worth exploring, from its ancient history to its modern culture. Here are 50 fascinating facts about this unique country.<br />

Fascinating Facts

1
The name "Uzbekistan" comes from Persian and means "the land of the free people."
2
Thumb printing for criminal records was introduced in 1865, making Uzbekistan one of the earliest countries to print fingerprinting records.
3
Alexander the Great reached what is now Uzbekistan in 329 B.C. and founded the city of Marakanda (Samarkand).
4
In 2000, archeologists discovered a 6th century B.C. stone tool workshop in the Surkhandarya Province in southern Uzbekistan.
5
The world's oldest golden jeweler was found buried in a tomb from the 5th century A.D., near Bukhara, Uzbekistan.
6
The world's most extensive collection of medieval Islamic manuscripts is housed at the University of Tashkent in Uzbekistan.
7
Uzbekistan's most widely recognized symbol is the Iskhak-khan or Kok-Gumbaz mausoleum complex near Samarkand. It was built between 1424 and 1437 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
8
Ferghana Valley, in eastern Uzbekistan, is one of the most fertile areas in Central Asia.
9
Uzbeks are descendants of Turkic and Mongolian nomads who migrated to the region in the 13th century.
10
Uzbekistan is a secular country with no official religion.
11
The first mosque in Uzbekistan was built in Bukhara in 706 A.D.
12
Uzbeks are considered some of the most hospitable people in the world.
13
Uzbeks celebrate a number of traditional holidays, including Navrus (New Year), Sizdah Bedar (the 13th day of the New Year), and Nowruz (the Persian New Year).
14
The ancient city of Samarkand is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
15
The Registan Square in Samarkand is one of the most famous squares in the world.
16
Tashkent was founded in 1865 as a military garrison town.
17
The Aral Sea is a large lake in Uzbekistan that was once the fourth largest in the world. However, due to years of excessive water diversion for agriculture, it has shrunk dramatically in size and is now on the verge of disappearing entirely.
18
During the 19th century, Tashkent was known as the "City of Slaves" because slaves would be auctioned off near the main bazaar in Tashkent's old town.
19
The first subway system in Central Asia opened in Tashkent on November 6, 1977.
20
Between June 11 and 15, 1989, President Bush met with Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent under the Treaty on Early Exit from Afghanistan.
21
Shahrisabz, a city outside Samarkand, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998 because it contains some of Central Asia's most important historical and architectural monuments
22
The record-holding long jump was performed by Usain Bolt at 100 meters out of a starting block with a 1-centimeter gap in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on July 29, 2012.
23
The historic Silk Road cities of Bukhara and Samarkand were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 2001 and 2003, respectively.
24
Uzbekistan is also notable for its early days of space exploration. The first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, was launched into orbit from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, located just across the border from Uzbekistan.
25
In September 2015, Uzbekistan joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional economic and security organization comprised of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
26
The Amir Temur National Park in the Surkhandarya Province is home to the endangered Bukhara deer.
27
The Kyzylkum Desert, located in the northwest of Uzbekistan, is the largest in the country.
28
Uzbekistan is home to many famous cities, including Bukhara (medieval capital of the Emirate of Bukhara), Samarkand (capital of Timur's empire), Khiva (capital of another ancient state), Kokand (emirate which existed until 1876), Tashkent (the present capital), and Ferghana (ancient kingdom).
29
The country's GDP per capita is around $5,700. This made it the 77th largest economy in the world. The main industries in Uzbekistan are Textiles, Food Processing,
30
Uzbekistan has a population of around 32 million people.
31
Uzbeks primarily speak Uzbek, a Turkic language, but Russian is also widely spoken. Also, The official language of Uzbekistan is spoken by around 80% of the population. Russian is also spoken by a significant portion of the population, as it was formerly the Soviet Union's main lingua franca.
32
The country has an area of 447,400 square kilometers.
33
Uzbekistan's climate is continental, with hot summers and cold winters.
34
The Aral Sea used to be located in western Uzbekistan. Still, it dried out due to excessive irrigation by the Soviet Union during the 20th century, leaving behind a vast desert wasteland known as the Aral Karakum.
35
The Ferghana Valley is one of Central Asia's most seismically active areas.
36
Uzbeks are Sunni Muslims, and alcohol and pork products are forbidden by law.
37
Uzbekistan has the fourth-largest reserves of natural gas in the world.
38
The most popular food in Uzbekistan is Plov. There are many different variations of plov, but the main ingredients usually include rice, carrots, and meat. You must try three specific types of plov while visiting Uzbekistan: Prishplov, Kosher plov, and Palav.
39
The world's first-ever book on medicine, the "Qanun," was written by Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi of Iran during his time in Samarkand.
40
One of the Soviet Union's first-ever cosmonaut team in 1960 was a woman named Valentina Tereshkova, who hailed from the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic.
41
The Sumgait Chemical Weapons Production Facility in Azerbaijan was originally built at the request of Joseph Stalin during World War II to make weapons-grade chemicals for military purposes. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenia took over the facility, and it is now believed to be the largest chemical weapons production site in the world. Uzbekistan has been trying to get it to shut down for years.
42
Uzbeks are a few Turkic peoples who do not have a Turkish or Mongolian language as their mother tongue.
43
The first university in Central Asia was established in Samarkand and is still open today.
44
The earliest known use of gunpowder dates back to the 9th century, when Arab traders brought the technology from China into Uzbekistan and the Middle East.
45
Many of the most famous mathematicians, scientists, and astronomers (including Avicenna) were born in Uzbekistan.
46
The Russian poet Alexander Pushkin once said, "Every Bukharan [person from Bukhara] is a hero."
47
In the Soviet Union, Uzbek cotton was considered the best in the world because of its length and durability.
48
The highest point in Uzbekistan is Victory Peak (7,134 meters), located in the Pamir Mountains.
49
Uzbekistan is the only country in Central Asia with a majority ethnic Uzbek population.
50
The Aral Sea Disaster of 1986-1992 - caused by Soviet irrigation policies - was one of the biggest ecological disasters ever witnessed by humanity and left much of western Uzbekistan an arid desert wasteland.

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