Mosque in Tashkent Uzbekistan by Limpopo, Shutterstock© Limpopo, Shutterstock

The largest city in central Asia, Uzbekistan’s capital is a cultural smorgasbord, hosting a diversity of races, beliefs and customs.

The capital of numerous incarnations of Uzbekistan, including the present republic, Tashkent morphs and expands with every new generation. With a population that by some estimates is as high as 4.45 million (though more likely around 2.5 million), Tashkent is by far and away the largest city in central Asia: only Kabul comes anywhere close. A stroll through any bazaar reveals the ethnic diversity of the people, with not only Uzbeks, Tajiks and Russians but also Crimean Tartars, Koreans, Bukharan Jews and other unexpected minorities each contributing to Tashkent’s cultural smorgasbord. Though first impressions may be of chaos, concrete and cars, a stroll through the backstreets of the Old City or a rummage in Chorsu Bazaar reveals an older, slower way of life that continues to underpin modern life.

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