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Photographer's Note

In 329 BC, when Alexander the Great first laid eyes on the city of Samarkand, he said, "Everything I have heard about is true, except that it's more beautiful than I ever imagined." The name Samarkand conjures up romantic images of the Silk Road, caravans, spices and days of travelling on camel, trading fabric, culture, flavours, sciences and faiths. One of Central Asia's oldest settlements and a crossroads of civilizations, Samarkand is 2750 years old, which makes it one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, later became an important trading post along the Road. Genghis Khan leveled the city in 1220, briefly ending its appeal to travelers.

Samarkand reemerged in the 14th century, thanks to the infamous Tamerlane when he made it his capital of the relatively small region of Transoxiana in 1370 and then expanded his empire as the centre of the world. Samarkand not only a vibrant city but also as the home to spectacular people-dwarfing buildings, and now is home to his mausoleum.

Today much of Samarkand has been preserved through the centuries, and others are being restored. Although the trade route has slong gone a long time ago, Samarkand is alive as a key place in the history of Islamic architecture and art and probably the most awesome wonders of Central Asia.

One of Samarkand's most notable sites is Bibi-Khanym mosque complex built by Tamerlane in 1399, It was once, one of the world's largest mosques, but over the centuries it crumbled and it finally collapsed in an earthquake in 1897 and later was partially restored.

Picture of Bibi-Khanym mosque's main entrance arched portal. Image cropped from original shot in WS1
A place where I wished I could have sat for hours, just watching the people passing by...
Can you spot the tiny workman doing some restoration work! just to give the indication of the size of the structures.

Additional photos
WShop1 : Bibi Kanim Mosque. General view of the 35 meter high main entrance or 'Iwan'
No tilt and shift lens only just fitted in the 18-70 with lens on dead level. I have tried to correct for the inevitable distortion, but probably still looks a little odd

WShop2: Bibi Kanim Mosque. Decor of the external porch, close up

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Additional Photos by abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4217 W: 141 N: 9698] (41936)
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