The Tashkent heart is Amir Timur Square, a milestone place with rich history. It is a part of the city, where the changes having taken place in the city and country’s life from year to year were reflected more brightly. Time passed by, the square had been changing its conceptual designs and names several times before it became the one it represents now – a symbol of the beginning, a benchmark, from which the main city’s roads like arteries channel off to all the cardinal points. Perhaps, that is exactly why this place is referred as the capital heart?
The history of the square and that of the park once located in its territory dated back to the XIX century, in times when Uzbekistan was still part of tsarist Russia, and Tashkent was declared the center of Turkestan Military District. In year 1882, the General Chernyaev initiated to lay out a small park next to the buildings of Men and Women Gymnasia, State Bank, and Normal School. And in year 1913 the first monument to Kaufman, the Governor-General and honorary Tashkent citizen was established. Since that time, this place has been constantly changed: surrounding fencings were installed and dismantled, new structures were erected, new roads were laid, while the memorials and monuments, the main messengers reflecting the spirit of the time, revolved one another.
Following independence in 1991, Uzbekistan took a number of actions to develop the park. The alleys were widened; fountains and flower beds were laid out. In 1993 it was named after Amir Timur (1336-1405), the great commander and talented ruler, who managed to establish a powerful centralized state in the territory of Central Asia. The center of the park is occupied by the Amir Timur’s majestic equestrian monument, sculptured by Uzbek sculpture Ilhkom Jabbarov. A well-built figure of the famous horseman demonstrates an aspiration to development and prosperity. The Amir Timur’s winged words “Power is in Justice”, engraved on its plinth in four languages became a policy and motto of the young state. The establishment of the monument has marked the beginning of the transformation of whole Tashkent.
In 2009 in the course of new reconstruction program the place around the monument was cleared and the park was transformed into a small square.
Not far from the square there is an elegant round building under a bright turquoise dome – the Amir Timur Museum, opened in commemoration of 660 anniversary of the great ancestor. The Museum has built up a unique collection of exhibits connected with the times of the Temurids ministry, which includes pieces of weapons and clothes as well as miniatures reproducing interesting and remarkable scenes from the life of that epoch.
Next to it there is one of the Tashkent oldest hotels - the Uzbekistan, a multi-storey building resembling an open book by its shape. Over several decades it has been cordially welcoming the metropolitan guests, providing them with a possibility to accommodate comfortably in the rooms which command a lovely view to the square and its close quarters. Its vicinity to an underground station enhances yet more the popularity of the Uzbekistan Hotel. “Amir Timur Square” underground station, a part of the Chilanzar line was put into operation on 6 November 1977. There, one can make a change to “Yunus Rajabi” station of the Yunus Abad underground line.
The Forums Palace whose opening was timed to the 18 anniversary of Uzbekistan independence joined the general architectural ensemble of Amir Timur Square in 2009. The Palace, built to host significant major state-level events, totals about 10,000 m2, and its grandiose 48-m high dome was crowned with figures of storks to symbolize happiness.
Each building making up the Amir Timur Square ensemble is unique in its own way. There stands one of the city’s symbols – the Tashkent Chime established in 1947. The project was developed by A.A. Mukhametshin, the outer façade finishing was carried out by usto Shirin Muradov, one of the best ganch carving masters. The most important element of the structure was a well-known clockwork - a military capture, presented to Tashkent by the watchmaker Ayzenshtein, Alexander Abramovich who received it when he was doing his military service in a small town of Olsztyn (Poland), when he took it from the town-hall building destroyed by fire in January 1945. Ayzenshtein was nominated an honorary citizen for his initiative and appointed the chime warden. A new chime, its exact copy was built opposite to the old one in year 2009. The both structures harmonically wed with the general composition of the square, representing its gate. The present building of the Juridical Institute built by order of the Turkestan Governor General Kaufman in the XIX century is of great historical value and an important architectural monument of that epoch.
Amir Timur Square is one the most beautiful places in the city, attracting both the metropolitan residents and guests. It is the place, worth starting to familiarize with Tashkent: there are cinema theatres, shopping and entertainment centers and also many other city’s landmarks in its close quarters.