Notes on the Geography of Uzbekistan: Russian Samarkand
The Russians brought their brand of civilization to Samarkand. Like colonists everywhere, their influence has outlasted their political power.
An old photograph of a Russianized Samarkand street.
You can still find plenty of buildings from that era. Here's a wing of the main post office. Behind those big windows upstairs are rooms full of computers for public access to the internet.
This grander-than-it-looks house belonged to Abraham Kolontarov, who kept it until the Revolution. For five years it housed the Central Committee of the Uzbek Communist Party. Now it's a museum of local history.
Inside, there's a fine, imported stove.
Another stove is set into a wall.
One room has been converted into an auditorium.
A block away, one of the main circumferential streets. Big changes are afoot here. We'll take a look.
Same street. In the background is the state-owned GUM department store.
It's hopelessly out of date.
Back on the street, though, you can see the future: not the usual international retailers but local equivalents.
An old shop gets refitted.
Ready for business.
The old theater is cleaned up.
A five-minute walk from those shops, there's this dinosaur on the loose: another fine example of Soviet modernism.
The planners have juxtaposed their center against the historic one, the Registan. No contest.
The same Soviet complex seen from Bibi Khanum.
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