Amir Timur Square, Tashkent
Amir Timur Square in Tashkent, long a centerpiece of Uzbekistan’s capital, ranks with the famous Chorsu Bazaar and the metro system in terms of must-see city attractions.The roundabout is named in honor of the acclaimed politician and warlord Amir Timur (known in the West as Tamerlane), who established a united empire in the 14th-15th centuries which stretched from the Caucasus to China and from Siberia to India. The seat of this massive empire, which lasted for more than 200 years, was at Samarkand in present-day Uzbekistan.
A huge statue of Amir Timur on horseback, his outstetched arm symbolizing benevolence and the promise of peace and prosperity, stands in the center of the square which bears his name. Inscribed at the base of the statue in four different languages is the phrase “Strength is in Justice”.
Emanating from the monument in a radial-ring system are eight boulevards symbolically leading to different parts of the world. In reality, most major thoroughfares running from Tashkent to every corner of Uzbekistan and its neighboring countries indeed find their origin at Amir Timur Square. Intersecting the streets and encircling the Amir Timur statue is a busy orbital road which pedestrians may easily cross via underpasses or designated pedestrian walkways. The Amir Timur metro station also opens up onto the square.
Several notable buildings form a ring around Amir Timur Square, most notably the landmark Uzbekistan Hotel and Amir Timur Museum, Tashkent’s most recognizable museum that is dedicated to the life accomplishments of this historical giant. Other significant structures include the Tashkent Clock Towers and historic brick buildings which once served as a women’s gymnasium and now belong to the Tashkent State University of Law. Broadway Alley, an artsy pedestrian boulevard, also links the roundabout to Independence Square near Tashkent’s key government buildings.
In November 2009, reconstruction of Amir Timur Square was carried out in conjunction with the city’s 2200th anniversary. Most notably, the Uzbekistan Palace of International Forums was added and now serves as a main venue for various events hosted by international organizations of which Uzbekistan holds membership. The building is more than 9500 square meters and is one of the largest structures of its kind in the capital. The palace contains three halls, one with a capacity for nearly 2200 people and two which can seat 300 participants each. The Palace of Forums contributes to the grandeur of Amir Timur Square not only with its sizable dimensions but also with its stately appearance. Its facade is accentuated with a colonnade and the building crowned by a 48-meter-high dome topped with a sculpture of storks, while copious amounts of marble and glass were used for external decoration. Surrounding the palace is a lawn filled with flower beds, trees and shrubs.
Along with the addition of the palace in 2009, timeworn trees, many of which were over 100 years old and a beloved symbol of the square, were uprooted. The road running past the University of Law was expanded and an administrative building constructed on the site of the former Poytaxt Hotel. As a result, Amir Timur Square in Tashkent has become brighter and the Amir Timur Monument, Palace of International Forums and Uzbekistan Hotel are all clearly visible from every angle of the square.