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Guidebooks of Uzbekistan

"Golden section" of the Great Silk Road - this is how the lands of Uzbekistan are called, the lands where since the ancient times there were concentrated great cultural and spiritual values, where scientific centers were established, where architecture, crafts and applied arts developed. In Uzbekistan a lot of historical and cultural monuments of past gone centuries have preserved to the present day. Moreover, architectural complex Ichan-Kala in Khiva, historical centers of Bukhara, Shakhrisabz, Samarkand are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Today tourists from many countries of the world are eager to visit Uzbekistan in order to get in touch with the history of this region, the beauty and mystery of its ancient cities, to admire splendid creations of folk artisans whose traditions are being handed over from generation to generation, to see nature reserves.

Guidebooks, which are published today in many thousands of copies, can become a reliable compass, a good assistance to the tourists who decide to make a tour to Uzbekistan. And first of all the following guidebooks should be mentioned.

Judith Peltz. Usbekistan Entdecken. Auf der Seidenstrase nach Samarkand, Buchara und Chiwa. - Germany, Berlin: Trescher Reithe Reisen, 2000. - 290 p. (In German). At the beginning of the 20th century count Von Pahlen visited Turkistan, and he told many interesting things about his journey in this region, which at that time was little-known to the Europeans. In the preface of this book we find his delighted report of the majestic Registan square in Samarkand.

Inviting to get acquainted with Uzbekistan, which since ancient times occupied the middle part of the Great Silk Road, author of the guidebook Judith Pelts emphasizes that this trip should be made if for no other reason than the ancient cities, such as Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, where until now there remained many unique monuments of ancient architecture. "The beauty of architectural structures, erected during the time of Tamerlan`s reign. Shining of the blue domes on the background of the snow capped mountains. Ancient legends and tales. Many things here will make you feel that you have been transferred into one of the eternally alive fairy-tales of Arabian Nights" - this is how Samarkand is pictured in the book. Another quotation of the guidebook is as follows: "This is the land of plenty, which was described by the greatest German poet Heinrich Goethe in his 'West-East Divan' lyrical poetry collection".

The author relates the most important tasks of the tourist marketing in the countries of the Great Silk Road - revival of this ancient trade route as an important channel of international cooperation, including the sphere of tourism. The guide book also tells about modern Uzbekistan, which in 1991 obtained independence, and about the reforms carried out in country's economy and public life; it also contains information on the tourist infrastructure of Uzbekistan.

Calum Macleod, Bradley ayhew. Uzbekistan. The Golden Road to Samarkand. - Hong Kong, Odyssey Publication, 1999, 2002. - 334 p. (In English). In The New York Times there was published the following review of the book: ".one of those rare travel guides that is a joy to read whether or not you are planning a trip."

'The Golden Road', 'The Royal Road' - this is how the authors call the route for the offered travel. From Samarkand, resplendent in blue tiles of its mosques and madrassas, to "blessed Bukhara" with its numerous monuments of ancient architecture; from the flourishing Fergana valley - to the Khorezm region, bordering on arid deserts. Here, in the very heart of the former Khiva khanate, since the time of the Great Silk Road, there has remained intact the ancient city of Khiva, which is justly called "museum in the open". Since ancient times Uzbekistan has been a fertile oasis crossed by the Great Silk Road. No wonder that today the country possesses a breathtaking architectural legacy of the previous centuries. The authors of the guidebook note that this area played especially important role in the history of the world civilization; for many centuries it attracted tradesmen, travelers, the rulers of near and far away countries, who were coming here along the fragile threads of the Great Silk Road. Alexander the Great came here from the west, Genghis-Khan from the east, and Tamerlane founded his home right in the very heart of the oasis - Samarkand. Memory of all those events in the history of Uzbekistan is preserved in the ancient walls of palaces, fortresses, minarets that survived till our days.

The guide book gives detailed description of Uzbekistan highlights, tells about its history, culture, its present day, and also offers interesting tours to the neighboring countries of Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. It contains recommendations about the means of transportation for tourists, required documents, customs procedures, hotel accommodation, etc.

Wim Van Ginkel. Reishandboek Oezbekistan en Kirgizstan. - The Netherlands, Rijswijk: Elmar Editions, 1998. - 256 p.(In Dutch). The author of the guide-book is Dutchman, Wim Van Ginkel. Traveler and writer, he visited Central Asia many times. This is his second edition devoted to the Great Silk Road and the countries on the ancient caravan route.

The growing interest of the Dutch to Uzbekistan prompted Wim Van Ginkel to make a special travel guide. The book contains both detailed description of towns, villages and historical monuments and author's warm loving care for this country and its people. Wim Van Ginkel obtains deep insight into the history and present life of the countries visited by him. "When Sogdiana is mentioned, or Timurids empire, or Khiva, Bukhara and Kokand khanates, one should keep in mind that this is one country - modern Uzbekistan" the author mentions in the preface of the book.

This guidebook gives the readers and future travelers an opportunity to learn a lot about the Great Silk Road - this transcontinental arterial highway of the ancient times, which connected Europe with Asia. Dutch traveler tells in detail about Uzbekistan highlights, its ancient cities. Presenting Samarkand he writes: "As the capital of Timurids Empire, Samarkand became one of the most beautiful cities of the world in the 15th century. The Great Timur brought to his capital the best artisans from different parts of his empire. A lot of beautiful, lavishly decorated mosques, madrassahs and palaces were built and many of them have preserved till the present day and continue to arouse unreserved admiration".

The edition contains parts, which provide maximum information about Uzbekistan: its history and population, politics and economy, arts and culture, nature and traditions. The Dutch traveler is attracted by local exotic bazaars (market places), choikhonas (tea-houses), local traditions. He also emphasizes hospitality of Uzbekistan people who meet travelers with the words: "Hush Kelibsiz!" ("Welcome!").

* Judith Peltz. Usbekistan Entdecken. Auf der Seidenstrase nach Samarkand, Buchara und Chiwa. - Germany, Berlin: Trescher Reithe Reisen, 2000. - 290 p. (In German).
* Calum Macleod, Bradley Mayhew. Uzbekistan. The Golden Road to Samarkand. - Hong Kong: Odyssey Publication, 2002. - 334 p. (In English).
* Wim Van Ginkel. Reishandboek Oezbekistan en Kirgizstan. - The Netherlands, Rijswijk: Elmar Editions, 1998. - 256 p. (In Dutch).
* Francoise Spiekermeier. Objectif Adventure. Asie Centrale: Kirghizstan - Ouzbekistan. - France, Paris: Guides Arthaud editions, 2001. - 350 p. (In French).
* Calum Macleod, Bradley Mayhew. Decouverte. Ouzbekistan: Samarcande, Boukhara, Khiva. - Switzerland, Geneve: Editions Olizane, 2002. - 352 p. (In French).
* Klaus Pander. Zentralasien. Guidebook to Uzbekistan. - Germany,  eln: Publishing house Du Mont, 1996. - 384 p. (In German).
* Robert Bodegraven. Te gast in Oezbekistan. - The Netherlands: Informatie Verre Reizen, 1999. - 48 p. (In Dutch).


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