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Samarkand: A City Frozen In History

The historic town of Samarkand, located in the valley of the Zerafshan River in northeastern Uzbekistan, is considered one of the greatest cities in Central Asia and a crossroads of culture and history. The city, which was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2001, is remarkable for how its historical buildings have been preserved. This gallery compares photographs of the city's historic sites with shots taken in the 19th century.


The Amir Temur mausoleum was originally built in the 14th century.
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The Amir Temur mausoleum was originally built in the 14th century.

Samarkand's Tashkent Street.
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Samarkand's Tashkent Street.

In the 15th century, the Bibi-Khanym mosque was one of the largest mosques in the Islamic world.
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In the 15th century, the Bibi-Khanym mosque was one of the largest mosques in the Islamic world.

The original Hazrat-e Khizr mosque was destroyed by Genghis Khan but was later rebuilt over the centuries.
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The original Hazrat-e Khizr mosque was destroyed by Genghis Khan but was later rebuilt over the centuries.

A courtyard in the Bibi-Khanym mosque complex.
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A courtyard in the Bibi-Khanym mosque complex.

The Shah-i Zinda mausoleum complex includes more than 20 buildings and the earliest parts date from the 11th century.
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The Shah-i Zinda mausoleum complex includes more than 20 buildings and the earliest parts date from the 11th century.

The Shah-i Zinda mausoleum.
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The Shah-i Zinda mausoleum.

Shah-i Zinda means "the living king."
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Shah-i Zinda means "the living king."

The Shah-i Zinda mausoleum.
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The Shah-i Zinda mausoleum.

The Bibi-Khanym mosque.
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The Bibi-Khanym mosque.

Samarkand's Registan Street.
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Samarkand's Registan Street.

A view of the Bibi-Khanym mosque from Shah-i-Zinda.
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A view of the Bibi-Khanym mosque from Shah-i-Zinda.

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