The country of Uzbekistan whose regions were inhabited multiple millennia ago and which went through cavalcade of conquest by various dynasties is widely known for its magnificent architectural monuments many of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. But very few know that Uzbekistan was and is home to some of the skilled handcrafters in the world who are blessed with seemingly magical hands capable of weaving together a magnificent piece of art. Our Craft Hub tour will take you some of the cities and villages in Uzbekistan which are noteworthy for arts and crafts.
Here Are The Major Craft Hubs In Uzbekistan That This Tour Will Cover:
The capital city of Uzbekistan where this tour ideally will start gives ample sightseeing opportunities for tourists ranging from ancient medieval monuments to 21st Century theatres where operas, plays are organized. Chorsu Bazaar is biggest market in Uzbekistan where everything from daily necessities to rare antiquities are sold. Apart from that, you can visit many historical point of attractions and recreational centers in Tashkent.
Samarkand which was the center for Islamic scholarly studies and a major intellectual center, it is now the second largest city in Uzbekistan with numerous mausoleums and madrasahs which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Happy Bird Art Gallery or Ali Baba Cave is exhibits various handmade carpets, clothes, potteries, jewelries, paintings, and figurines. Even though it is not a commerce center, some of the items displayed can still be bought.
Nothing comes close to the art and craft heritage of Bukhara in the entire Central Asia. Artisan Development Center and Magok-i Attari Mosque (Museum of Carpets) are the prime living example of that. While the former was established in 1996 to aid artisans and everlasting heritage, the latter is a bazaar turned museum which exhibits extraordinary range of Uzbek, Turkmen, Iranian, Kazakh, and Armenian rugs and carpets along with other wool and silk products. Besides that, there are more than 140 eye-catching architectural monuments to be explored.
Fergana is the capital of Fergana Valley region which is blessed with finest soil and fertile valley was long home of production of silk and handcrafts. The fertility of the valley can also explain the ethnic and artistic diversity of this region where multiple layers of dynasties over time settled.
Margilan is one of the oldest cities in Central Asia which, as per some legends, is said to have been founded and named by Alexander the Great himself after he tasted delicious meat and bread at a lunch stop. Located in the Fergana Valley, it too has a tradition of producing excellent silk works. A number of silk factories, Yudgorlik Factory being the standout, are present in Margilan where still to this day traditional manufacturing process is employed and preserved.
Another small jewel of the Fergana Valley, the village of Rishtan since the medieval period was well-known for its awe-inspiring blue dominated pottery artwork. The village is also home to famous Rishtan Art Ceramics Factory which was founded and is run by RustamUsmanov. It’s an excellent place to shop for some souvenirs which are all reasonably priced.
The city of Kokand located in the southwestern edge of Fergana Valley was historically a major transit junction in the valley for travelers coming into Central Asia from southern part which led to the northwest over the mountains to Tashkent. There were numerous caravanserais in Kokand when the Silk Road route was at its peak which made it one of the largest trading centers in the region. Merchants brought in excellent pieces of artworks and materials from various regions for trading which gave rise to its artisan population. The signature Kokand carpets which are made out of camel wool with decorated patterns is one fine example of great artwork in Kokand region.
All in all, Uzbekistan has all the armors in its arsenal to please anyone with a deep or even slight interest in craftworks. From hand crafted carpets to colorful figurines, you can purchase these stupendous art forms which will adorn your closet or shelf back home.