To the visited countries list
To the Concerts list
First steps into Central Asia
February 2010

tajikistan Flag Tajikistan: Dushanbe gates & Botanical Gardens Flag tajikistan

< Previous: Hisor Fortress < Begin Trip > Next: Museum of National Antiquities >
< Another place in tajikistan > < Another Country >

Dushanbe is the only Central Asian capital I’ve been to, but it does feel more like Europe than Asia.

Most modern buildings and boulevards were constructed during the Soviet years.
In those days, the city’s name used to be Stalinabad.

There’s evidence of human presence in the area since the 5th Century B.C., but Dushanbe was just a small town until the early 20th Century.
The word Dushanbe means Monday in Tajik, and the town used to be known for its bustling Monday Market.

In 1920, the last Emir of Bukhara fled to Dushanbe after the Bolshevik revolutionaries overthrew him.
He followed his way on to Afghanistan, as the Red Army took control of the city.

Dushanbe became the capital of the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic within the USSR and by 1929 its name was changed to Stalinabad.

The city became a centre for cotton and silk production, and people from all over the USSR were relocated here.

When Stalin transferred Bukhara and Samarkand to Uzbekistan (yes! Historically those highlights of Central Asia are Tajik cities!) many ethnic Tajiks moved to there.

Stalinabad quickly became prosperous, prestigious universities were built, and in 1961 its original name, Dushanbe, was given back by Khrushchev.

By 1990 several riots occurred concerning nationalism.
Then the civil war began and city was severely damaged.

Since peace came back in 1997, the population managed to restore the city.
Today it is home to several prestigious universities, and a busy cultural and student life.

The city is now free to celebrate Tajik and Persians heroes, and their monuments quickly replaced the soviet ones.

The pictures on the left side are from Dushanbe's Batanical Garden.

The gate of the Botanical Garden is a beautiful structure, where you can find symbols of every major piece of History that has been through Tajikistan: Tajik heroes portrayed like Greek sculpures remining Alexander The Great; Bas reliefs reminding Persian times; a dome remining a mosque, and pastel colours reminding the houses in Russia.
All this with a few Tajik flags and under a roof reminding a Tajik Teahouse.

It snowed during most of the time I spent in Dushanbe.
Well, maybe I would have preferred to see the city in sunnier days, but I think winter was a very interesting time to visit.

After all, the city is covered by snow during 3 or 4 months per year, so winter is also part of Dushanbe.

Share on Facebook

Central Asia Phrasebook

Central Asia Phrasebook

This new phrasebook is your key to travelling the famed Silk Road, with essential words and phrases for getting around and getting to know the tools.

< Previous: Hisor Fortress < Begin Trip > Next: Museum of National Antiquities >
< Another place in tajikistan > < Another Country >
© 2010 Metal Traveller - all pictures and contents owned by Metal Traveller