Tag: Tajikistan

Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Dushanbe, Tajikistan

According to abbreviationfinder, Dushanbe is the most populous city in Tajikistan as well as the capital of the country. Nowadays it is a safe city if it is contrasted with previous decades, it is also the seat of the government and its most important commercial center. It has just over 700,000 residents, with a high population density.

Dushanbe is a clean European-style city that has recovered from the damage caused by the civil war of the 1990s, becoming a booming capital and cultural center. Little known for tourism, it is a green, quiet and pleasant city with neoclassical architecture, museums, cafes, markets and monuments, as well as an opera and ballet theater, surrounded by impressive mountainous areas good for activities such as hiking, climbing and horse riding.

History

Although the history of Dushanbe dates back to the 5th century BC, the city was a small town until about eight decades ago.

The town was formed by the union of three towns, the largest of which was named Diushanbe, the city was renamed Stalinabad, in honor of Iósif Stalin. It became the capital of the Tajik Soviet Autonomous Republic in 1924. After the triumph of the Red Army and the arrival of the railway in 1929, the town became the capital of the Tajikistan Soviet Socialist Republic. The Soviets turned it into a cotton and silk production center, and welcomed thousands of people from other republics of the Soviet Union into the city. The city regained its old name in 1961, during the Khrushchev era The population grew because of the thousands of ethnic Tajiks who migrated to Tajikistan after the integration of Bukhara and Samarkand into the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. At the time of the Soviet Union, Dushanbe was a quiet and prosperous city.

There were some riots in the 1990s as plans to shelter tens of thousands of Armenians were revealed, triggering local nationalist sentiment. During the clashes that followed, twenty-two people were killed.

As a result of the Tajik civil war, which developed after independence, between 1992 and 1997, the city was seriously deteriorated. During that period the situation was very confusing.

Geography

Nature

The Hissor Mountains offer various attractions and activities, including the 13th century Hissar Fort, 10 kilometers from the city and the beautiful Varzob hill station just five kilometers from Dushanbe. The tallest dam in the world is near Dushanbe: The Nurek Dam on the Vaksh River is 300 meters high and produces most of Tajikistan’s electricity, while also offering great views. Hiking around Dushanbe is a popular activity, with several routes to choose from, and climbing can be done at Fansky Gory, northwest of Dushanbe. Horseback riding and mountain bike tours are a popular way to see the stunning mountain areas around Dushanbe.

Location

The city is located in the foothills of the Hissar Mountains, above the Kafimigan Valley in western Tajikistan.

Climate

Dushanbe has a continental climate with hot, dry summers and cold, snowy winters. There are important variations in temperatures according to altitude, and the mountain areas around the city have more extreme climatic conditions than in the city. Spring and summer are good times to visit Dushanbe. The city receives a lot of rain, most of it usually during the spring.

Government

Dushanbe is a political, scientific, industrial, historical and cultural center. The city houses the Presidential Palace, Parliament, all ministries and institutions, embassies, as well as the offices of commercial banks, large corporations and humanitarian organizations.

Administrative division

The city of Dushanbe is made up of five districts:

  • Frunzensky I
  • Frunzensky II
  • Ismoila Somoni
  • Zheleznodorozhny
  • Center

Population

The city is inhabited mainly by Tajiks, but there are also many minority groups living in Dushanbe, including Uzbeks and Russians. Tajik is the official language, but Russian is widely used in business and government offices. See population of Tajikistan.

Economy

The city is important in textile production, especially cotton, although it also manufactures silk, machinery, household appliances, leather goods, tractor components, and food products. In the vicinity of Dushanbe there are some coal, lead, and arsenic mines. Lately drug trafficking has reached a great boom in the city’s economy.

Sightseeing

Dushanbe is not a very touristy town but it has a good range of things to see, and the surrounding mountain areas are excellent for many activities such as hiking, climbing and horse riding.

The main points of interest in Dushanbe are located near the main avenue, Prospekt Rudaki. Among them are the Ismael Somoni Monument, a statue of a historical leader with a golden crown, the Haji Yacob Mosque and a Russian Orthodox church, as well as a 19th century synagogue. The Unity Palace, also called Vahdat Palaces, is a congress center and the headquarters of the People’s Democratic Party.

Transportation

You can travel to Dushanbe by air, rail or road. The city has an international airport with flights to Dushanbe, mainly from Russia and Asia. You can also travel to Dushanbe by train from Moscow. There are also trains to Dushanbe from neighboring Uzbekistan. There are minibuses and cars to Dushanbe from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as from other parts of Tajikistan. However, Dushanbe’s mountain roads are closed in winter. There are domestic flights to Dushanbe from Khojandand Khorog.

Local public transport is mainly run by buses. In Dushanbe there are also taxis. Renting a car in Dushanbe with a local driver is a good option. You can rent a car in Dushanbe from tourist agencies. The city lacks street names, so driving can be difficult at times.

Art and culture

Dushanbe has many interesting museums, such as the National Museum of Antiquities, the Ethnographic Museum and the Unified Museum of Tajikistan, a national museum with, for example, exhibits on natural history. There is also a modern Opera and Ballet Theater in Dushanbe, as well as several art studios and many interesting and cheap markets. The Victory Park offers good views of the city, and has botanical gardens and a zoo.

Places of interest

  • Haji Yakoub Mosque
  • Ethnography Museum
  • Unified Tajik Museum
  • Old Synagogue of Dushanbe

Dushanbe, Tajikistan