The historic town of Samarkand is a crossroad and melting
pot of the world's cultures. Founded in the 7th century B.C. as ancient
Afrasiab, Samarkand had its most significant development in the Timurid
period from the 14th to the 15th centuries. The major monuments include
the Registan Mosque and madrasas, Bibi-Khanum Mosque, the Shakhi-Zinda
compound and the Gur-Emir ensemble, as well as Ulugh-Beg's Observatory.