Dushanbe - ancient & forever young
Some cities have epithets that followed them throughout centuries: sacred Mecca, holy Medina, white-stone Moscow, eternal Rome, noble Bukhara.
Epithet city-garden would fit Dushanbe. It seems that the city lies in caring and kind hands of the mountains that elevate him to 800 meters above the sea level in the middle of Gissar Valley. The valley is famous for its gardens, fields, rich variety of herbs and subtle breath of soil.
One can hardly find another city that has the same name as a day of the week: Dushanbe – means Monday in Tajik. The birth of the city is connected to a historical place where many caravan routes crossed - the Great Silk Route. Every Monday traders and merchants from Samarkand, Bukhara, Khojent, craftsmen and potters, peasants, religious preachers, dervishes would come here.
In the East one judged cities by their markets. Only there one could see what a country is rich in and how poor it is, what masters and talents it has, what guests visit the country. Even when they had nothing to buy or sell crowds would still come here on the market day. For market was not only a center for sales and deals, it was also a place where news from all over the world would come to.
Each city has its tree: maple, aspen, birch, pine, chestnut, cypress… Chinar or eastern plane tree is larger and older than the European oak that is a symbol of power of northern forests. Chinar has long been considered to possess certain magic powers.
Chinor-bobo – this is a respectful name the residents of Dushanbe use for three large chinars growing on one of the central streets of the capital. People rightfully believe that these trees are connected to the birth of the city itself.
Oldest residents of Dushanbe claim that the very first settlement on the bank of the river Dushanbinka was formed around these three chinar trees. This is where later the city of Dushanbe was built.
The city grew and improved and acquired its unique character of quickly developing capital city. Today Dushanbe is the capital of Tajikistan. It is country’s political, administrative, business, educational, financial, tourist, cultural and transport center.
It is the center of country’s growth that concentrates all economic activity in the country. In a way it is a locomotive for other regions of Tajikistan.
Guests and residents of Dushanbe can learn about history and culture of Tajikistan in National Museum of Tajikistan named after Kamolidin Bekhzod, National museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan where one can see famous 13 meter clay statue of reclining Buddha. One may also find interesting Museum of Music instruments named after Gurminj Zavkibekov. This museum collected music instruments from many parts of the world. Here one can also listen to live national music played by followers of the museum founder.
Dushanbe is a center of theatre art. Leading part here belongs to Tajik State Academic Drama theatre named after Abdulkosim Lakhuti, State Academic Opera and Ballet theatre named after Sadriddin Ayni, Russian Drama theatre named after Vladimir Mayakovsky and other theatres.
Traditionally in every town and village there is a Chaikhana – tea house – hidden in thick shade of plane trees. In each district of Dushanbe there is a beautiful, decorated in eastern style teahouse. Most colorful are teahouse “Rokhat”, “Istravshan”, “Saodat”, “Dusti”. Tea is not the only attraction of a teahouse in Asia. One can have tea at home. Chaikhana unites people and their souls, brings them closer to each other.
One should also mention many parks, squares, hotels that are currently constructed and will soon offer their broad range of services and entertainments to city guests and tourists.
Dushanbe symbol is a memorial dedicated to 1100th anniversary of Samanid state. The memorial’s center figure if Ismoil Samani. It is located on the People friendship square in the center of the capital.
Tajikistan and its capital are famous for warm hospitality and interethnic relations based on the principles of unity and tolerance. In Dushanbe people of different national and ethnic background live together in peace: Tajik, Russians, Tatars, Uigurs, Koreans – and each and everyone is guaranteed equality and freedom to preserve their national culture.
Modern Dushanbe is a symbiosis of a legend and modern reality. The city is looking into the future. Here in the heart of Tajikistan everyone can feel pulse of new era and prosperity.