From the turquoise domes to the red desert of Kyzylkoum (country presentation)

Uzbekistan is a young country which became independent on August 31, 1991 following the collapse of the former USSR.

This beautiful but little known country is located between China and Russia, in the heart of Central Asia. It is characterized by a continental climate with hot summers and cold and dry winters. A large part of the country is covered by plains, including green areas, and the great Kyzylkoum sand desert (red sand desert). The other part is dominated by high mountain ranges, the highest peak being 4,880 meters above sea level.

Uzbekistan is a democratic republic, with a president elected by the people for a 7-year term. The state and religion are separate and the country is one of the safest in the world.

Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan since 1930. The city reflects the Soviet architecture of the time with most buildings built after the devastating earthquake of 1966 that left a large part of the city destroyed.

This cosmopolitan city features a metro system that was unique in Central Asia until 2011. The stations are widely known for their refined decorations on different themes. According to historians, the first evidence of settlement dates back to the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. Today, Tashkent is an important

Apart from its capital, Uzbekistan has several world famous historical cities. One of them is the city of Khiva, located in the northwest of the country. Connecting the major cities of the famous Silk Road, the city of Khiva and its fortress Itchan Kala (Inner Fortress) have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.

The history of this mysterious city spans over 2,500 years with more than 100 historical monuments. Most of them date from the beginning of the 16th century to the end of the 19th century. It was during this period that the Khiva Khanate established its headquarters. Today, the city continues to attract travelers from all over the world thanks to its perfectly preserved historical sites.

The city of Khiva is located between the two major deserts of Central Asia: the Karakum desert (black sand desert), covering a large part of Turkmenistan, and the Kyzylkum desert (red sand desert), covering a large part of Uzbekistan. This red desert has an area of 298,000 km2 (115,000 sq mi), making it the 16th largest in the world. It is rich in gold and natural gas resources

In the past, caravans traveling from Khiva to Bukhara used to cross the desert for weeks. To avoid the excessive heat, they would travel at night, using the stars to guide them. Today, a 450 km (280 mi) highway connects these two important cities of Uzbekistan.

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