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 Penjikent

Penjikent city is situated in the valley of the Zarafshan River, 68 km from the city of Samarkand and 320 kilometers from Khujand at an altitude of 900 meters above sea level. The city has many places of interest, architectural monuments, beautiful country parks on the bank of the Zarafshan River.
The city already existed at the time of the ancient Sogdiana state. The ruins of Sogd city of the same name – ancient Penjikent (Pyanjikent) are in the south-eastern outskirts of modern Penjikent. It is a unique monument of pre-Islamic  culture of Central Asia.
The city was existing from 5 to 8 middle ages; the prosperity fell on the turn of the 7-8 centuries. In the 1st quarter of the 8th century Penjikent was destroyed by the Arab invaders, and in the 2nd half of the 8th century it became desolate. Numerous items of pottery, metal-working, glass making, as well as thousands of Arab and Sogdian coins made from bronze and silver were found in Penjikent. Opened in Penjikent painting (multifigured wall -adhesive murals with glue paints), clay (relief frieze) and wooden (reliefs, caryatids) sculptures are the outstanding memorials of monumental and decorative art of Sogd. In style and content the art of Penjikent is connected to the artistic culture of ancient cities and regions of Central Asia (Afrasiab, Varakhsha, Shakhristan, Balalyk -Tepe, Adjina -Tepe), Iran, Afghanistan and India.
There is a big settlement Sarazm to the West from Penjikent, it was growing in the forth and second millennium BC., demonstrating close cultural relations with early civilizations of the Middle East.
The architectural monument of the XII—XIV centuries, Mukhammad Bashoro mausoleum is located at a distance of 37 km from the city Pandzhikand in a beautiful canyon of northern foothills of the Zarafshan range. Mukhammad Bashoro mausoleum is one of the famous memorials of the Tajik architecture.
There is a small village Pandjrud at 60 km in the eastern part of Penjikent of the Zarafshan Valley. The Zarafshan Valley is a birthplace of Abu Abdullo Djafar ibn Mukhammad Rudaki, the founder of the Tajik and Persian literature, singer and musician. This place is located among high mountains.