The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city under oblast jurisdiction and administrative center of Shakhrisabz Raion, Kashkadar’ia Oblast, Uzbek SSR. Situated in the Kitab-Shakhrisabz Oasis, on the Great Uzbek Highway (Tashkent-Termez), 5 km from the Kitab railroad station, the terminal stop on a branchline of the Karshi-Termez line. Population, 30,000 (1974).

Shakhrisabz has a cotton-ginning plant, a cannery, a winery, a creamery, a gravel plant, and an asphalt plant. Other enterprises include the Khudzhum Factory, which manufactures articles of Uzbek national arts and crafts, a silk factory, a furniture factory, and a meat-packing plant. The city also has an agricultural technicum, a pedagogical school, and a medical school.

Shakhrisabz was settled in the 13th century or later. The name of the city of Kesh, which belonged to Sogdiana, was also applied for a long time to Shakhrisabz, as well as to the historical region in the Kashkadar’ia Valley on another trade route between Samarkand and Balkh. Between the 14th and 16th centuries, Shakhrisabz was a major city in Middle Asia. Under the Sheibanids and the Ashtarkhanids it was a separate domain. In the 18th century the ruler (bek) of Shakhrisabz proclaimed his independence. After being occupied by Russian troops in 1868, Shakhrisabz and the surrounding area ruled by the bek were annexed by Bukhara.

Architectural remains include ruins of the enormous gates of the palace of Timur Ak-Sarai (1380–1404), with their rich tile ornamentation. Part of a Timurid mausoleum, the Dorus-Siadat (14th century), has also been preserved. It consists of the tall Khazrat-Imam, with its tent-shaped dome, hall, and vault. Nearby is the vault of Dzhekhangir, faced with carved marble. An ensemble of memorial structures for worship includes remains of the mausoleum of Sheikh Kulial (c. 1370) and that of the descendants of Ulug Beg, the Gumbezi-Seiidan (1437–38), which has carved marble epitaphs. Also of note are the portal and dome of the Kok-Gumbez mosque (1435–36), which once had arched galleries.

Shakhrisabz has long been a center of artistic folk embroidery and ceramics.


Masson, M. E., and G. A. Pugachenkova. “Shakhrisiabz pri Timure i Ulugbeke.” In Trudy Sredneaziatskogo Gosudarstvennogo universiteta, no. 49. Tashkent, 1953.
Pugachenkova, G. A. Termez, Shakhrisiabz, Khiva. Moscow, 1976.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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