The European Parts of Fergana Valley

Imperial Turkestan Fergana city is located in Fergana Valley (in the past named New Margilan, in 1907-1920 - named Skobelev) and it was specially constructed starting in 1877 as an administration center of Fergana region of Turkestan Governorate General. It was built by the "fan-like" radial-circular system with the fortress in the center of it, which was built on the commanding eminence south away from the city.

The remarkable buildings of the city are the following: the building of the Military Assembly (Sinkler, 1879), the Residence of Military Governors of the region (I. Lekhanov, 1897) and the Men Gymnasium building (Standard project of G. Svarichevskiy, 1902). All of them are the two-storied buildings and was made in the best traditions of Turkestan architecture. As for the other public and residential constructions, most of them are the one-storied buildings. Specialists point to their unpretentious style and rare fronts faced with baked bricks. But from the other side, a whole city and especially its center have a unique stylistic wholeness.

Kokand was one of the largest Central Asian cities in 19th century. The conquest of Kokand by the Russian Empire did not divide the city into two parts, the old and the new city, as it happened in other Turkestan centers. Russian militaries turned the last Kokand rulers' palace into the fortress Urdu (now the museum), and according to the architect M. Mauer's project they ran the new city traverse line west through the old city residential areas. The second big avenue ran perpendicular from the traverse line to the railway station. These two streets were crowded with European styled buildings and were the basis of the new linear planning of Kokand, the main center of the rapidly developing cotton industry of Turkestan in the end 19th, the beginning 20th centuries.

Many interesting Turkestan styled constructions remained here and all of them as a rule have the features of Modernist style. These buildings are: the residences of the rich Kokand merchants Simkhaev brothers (I Markevich, 10-s of 20th century) - now the Teacher's Training Institute and the Oil industry College, the private residence of R. Potelyakhov (1907) - now the Post office center, the residence of Kraft brothers (W. Heinzelmann, 1903). And especially notable for their artistic values are: the residence of Austrian merchant S. Knabbe (1905), the Russian-Asian Bank of Commerce (1909) and the ensemble of the private residences of Mandalaka brothers (the beginning of 20th century); all of them were built in Modernist style by I. Markovich project.

After the annexation of Fergana Valley to the Russian Empire in other two large cities of Fergana Valley, Andijan and Namangan, also were built so called "new cities" with the European architecture and planning.

In Andijan the center of the radial-circular planning system of the new city became the fortress. Since 1898 the railroad has divided the old city from the new one. There were just few monumental constructions here: the residence of the former Chinese Consulate (1913) and the hotel building on the central trade square. In Namangan the planning of the new city was similar to Andijan. There are fewer remarkable European buildings here except for the Russian-Asian Bank of Commerce building.

Thus many architectural monuments of the end of 19th - the beginning of 20th centuries remained till present days in the cities of Fergana Valley, all of them were built in Turkestan style with the features of Modernist style.

Text by Boris Golender

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Photo of Fergana Valley's Cities
Photo of Fergana Valley's Cities
Namangan photo
Kokand photo