Uzbekistan is a double landlocked country in Asia – it requires the crossing of at least two national borders to reach a coastline! It’s capital, Tashkent, has a multi-ethnic population, with the majority ethnic Uzbeks. Take a look below for 30 amazing and interesting facts about Uzbekistan.
1. In 329 B.C, Alexander the Great occupied Uzbekistan by seizing Samarkand.
2. With a history of over 2,500 years, the historic city and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Samarkand is known as the crossroad and centre of the world’s cultures.
3. The Registan Mosque, a central square lined by ornately tiled, mosaic-clad madrassas is ancient’s Samarkand’s most famous site.
4. Uzbekistan’s Silk Road sites include Samarkand, Shakhrisyabz, Bukhara, and Itchan Kala.
5. Arabs occupied Uzbekistan and converted its population to Islam during the 7th and 8th Centuries.
6. Uzbekistan was seized by Genghis Khan and was incorporated into the Mongol empire, during the 13th and 14th Century.
7. For nearly 200 years, Uzbekistan was ruled by Russia, as part of the Russian Empire, and then the Soviet Union.
8. Uzbekistan gained its independence on the 31st of August, 1991.
9. September 1st is Uzbekistan’s national holiday, when the country’s independence is celebrated.
10. Uzbekistan was known as the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic, during its time as a republic of the USSR from 1924 to 1991.
11. The name Uzbekistan is a mixture of the Turkic words “uz” (self) and “bek” (master) and the Persian suffix “-stan” (country), meaning the “Land of the Free”.
12. Islam Karimov, the authoritarian President ruled the country from 1989 until he died in 2016.
13. History fans will be intrigued to learn that in 2002, archaeologists discovered a series of ancient pyramids in a remote part of Uzbekistan, believed to be 2,700 years old!
14. In 1966 Tashkent was hit by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless.
15. Uzbekistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia.
16. It is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Kyrgyzstan to the northeast, Tajikistan to the southeast, Afghanistan to the south and Turkmenistan to the southwest.
17. Uzbekistan is one of only two countries in the world to be ‘double landlocked’ (landlocked and totally surrounded by other landlocked countries). Liechtenstein is double landlocked by 2 countries whilst Uzbekistan is surrounded by 5!
18. The coordinates for Uzbekistan are 41.0000° N, 69.0000°.
19. The terrain here is varied throughout the nation. In the west there are lowlands and flat plateau, with one of the world’s largest deserts in the centre and high mountains and semiarid grasslands in the east.
20. The lowest point in Uzbekistan is actually 39 feet below sea level, whilst the highest point – the Hissar ridge – is 15,233 feet above sea level!
21. The total land area of Uzbekistan is 172,742 square miles (447,400 square kilometres).
22. The Aral Sea, lying on the border of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan, was once the world’s fourth-largest lake, but since the construction of a Soviet irrigation project in the 1960s, the lake has almost disappeared.
23. Uzbekistan’s population was 32.96 million in 2018.
24. It’s the most populated country in Central Asia.
25. Uzbekistan’s population is equal to 0.43% of the entire world population and ranks number 42 in the list of countries.
26. The capital city is Tashkent; it covers an area of 129.2 square miles (334.8 square kilometres) and has a population of 2.393 million (2016).
27. According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) data from 2018, life expectancy in Uzbekistan is 69.7 years for males and 75 for females.
28. The residents of Uzbekistan enjoy long hot summers and mild winters, so don’t forget to pack your shorts!
29. The official language of Uzbekistan is Uzbek, whilst Russian and Tajik are also spoken here. ‘Bu murakkab til!’ (‘It’s a hard language!’).
30. Uzbekistan is home to the Muruntan gold mine, one of the largest open pit gold mines in the world!