Amir Temur square
Central to the modern city, Amir Timur Square is a lush, green space with plenty of flowers and fountains. Roads radiate from here to the north, east and south of Tashkent, and the city's most important buildings, both political and cultural, are concentrated on the square and in the immediate vicinity.
The tour through modern Tashkent would be better to start from Amir Temur square, that is literally forms the centre of Tashkent and from where you can move in any direction to explore that or another part of Tashkent. In the centre of the square you will find a statue of Tamerlane on horseback that is the latest political statement to mark Uzbekistan's rites of passage.
The history of the square is very interesting. It was firstly designed in 1870 by Imperial Russian architects as a central park of the new Tashkent and was called Constantine Square. The square represented a small park in the center of the city surrounded by buildings of women and men’s gymnasium, normal school and state bank.
Since then the main monument in the center of the square was changed several times. On the death of governor general Konstantin Kaufmann in 1882, this military parade ground received his cannonball tomb, later moved to his cathedral as the square became a racetrack and promenading area for the well-to-do. In 1913 his statue returned, supported by two soldiers sounding the bugle and planting the flag of-tsarist victory. The Bolsheviks renamed Kaufmann's square Revolution Garden and replaced him with a monument to Free Workers (1917), monument to 10th anniversary of October revolution (1927), temporary obelisks and Lenin busts, until 1947 when Stalin arose, imposing and avuncular. In 1968, long after Joseph's disgrace and removal, came a gargantuan bronze head of Karl Marx, hair and beard cascading in the rush to communism. In 1993, at the close of the experiment his philosophy spawned, Marx was toppled by Tamerlane, rehabilitated from feudal despot to Uzbek hero.
In 2009 the century-old chinor trees planted by Tsarist Governor-General Chernyaev, which had weathered the entire Soviet era unscathed, were suddenly cut down without warning or reason, leaving the square sadly barren. The result is clearer views of the new white Palace of International Forums and the Soviet-era Hotel Uzbekistan, the latter so ugly that it's almost beautiful.
Walking through tracks towards to the Amir Temur monument in the centre of the square, one will reach pedestal with this famour warlord sitting on a horse raising his hand to the sky as if he is blessing the nation. On the monument you will read his words: “The strength is in justice”, inscribed in three languages. The monument author is the sculptor Ilkhom Jabbarov.
Amir Timur Square is surrounded with the buildings of the “Uzbekistan” Hotel, University of Law (former Women’s Gymnasium), the Amir Timur Museum, well-known Tashkent Chime and the Forums Palace - one of the most grandiose architectural structures in Tashkent.
Almost all the buildings located around Amir Timur Square have historical importance. One of them is the building of University of Law. It is situated opposite Amir Timur Square and is a historical monument of the XIX century. The building itself was built by order of the Turkestan governor-general Kaufman. It housed a women’s gymnasium for a long time. During the Soviet time this building was given to Tashkent State University. There was History Faculty in the left wing and Faculty of Law in the right one. After proclamation of independence the building was fully given to University of Law.
To the right from University of Law there is the building of the Amir Timur Museum. The Museum inauguration was dated to 660 anniversary of Amir Timur. The Amir Timur Museum holds exhibits dedicated to the epoch of Timur and the Timurid dynasty .
But, perhaps the most famous architectural monument located on the Square is the Tashkent Chime (or Clock Towers). Over dozens of years from the moment of its construction in 1947, it was the symbol of Tashkent. The author of the building floor plan was A.A. Mukhamedshin and this project initiator was I.A. Eisenstein – one of the Tashkent residents, a watchmaker by profession. During the war he participated in battles for city of Konigsberg and brought the famous clock mechanism from there and presented it on behalf of his regiment to Tashkent. The architectural design was chosen from competition entries and the 30m tower now displays an ethnographic collection of traditional Uzbek textiles (including embroidery), woodcarving and ceramics. A famous Uzbek master in ganj carving - usto Shirin Muradov participated in its outer facade decoration. In 2009 another chime being as a mirror reflection of the old one was built in the course of construction in the center of the city. The second tower contains a showroom exhibiting antique and modern jewellery made by Uzbekistan's master craftsmen. Today new and old chimes may be called an original “Gate” of the Square.
To the left of the Tashkent Chimes stands enormous snow-white building surrounded by lawns, flower beds and young trees. This International Congress Hall of Uzbekistan was built in 2009 to honor Tashkent’s 2200th anniversary. Exterior view of the Palace is very impressive. The Palace is crowned by a large dome with the golden statue of storks on the top that symbolize the peace and happiness.