Great Silk Road

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Origin of Great Silk Road is related to II century B.C. And the term “Great Silk Road” was introduced in the science of historical academicians of XX, after German traveler and historian K.Rikhtgofen wrote his work “China”, in which he for the first time defined this commercial way through the Eastrn countries naming it “Silk Road”.

It is known that’s Chinese emperor Vu Di in 138 B.C. sent his ambassador Zhang Tsyan to search allies in struggle against warlike nomadic tribes “gunns”, who devastated northern outskirts of China. Traveling, the ambassador was taken prisoner many times. He succeeded in escaping through high passes of the Central Tian- Shan and then went out to the Issyk-Kul. Going along the shore of the Naryn River, he reached the Fergana valley. He tried to come to agreement with the ruler of Fergana valley, but he agreed to establish commercial relation only, and Zhang Tsyan went father to the South. Returning Zhang Tsyan presented the emperor a detailed report about his stay in the Central Asia, indicated comfortable ways for trade, which subsequently became foundation of the Great Silk Road. The emperor gave him a title “Great Traveler”.

Information about exchange between China and Central Asia are, generally kept in the Chinese chronicles from I B.C. till A. D. VII-VIII.

Gradually commercial relations between Central Asia and China were strengthened. Every year the emperor’s palace sent at least five missions to the west with hundreds of guards. They took with themselves silk and metal goods, which were exchanged on horses, nephrite, coral and other goods from Central Asia. 

Caravans, went out from the China, moved the northern Tan-Shan Mountains, crossed the territory of Central Asia, and then through Horosan (western Amudaria) struck in Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean sea.

According to different data, Silk Road was extended from 7000 to 12000 kilometers; therefore few merchants could pass all Silk Road completely. In general they tried to travel in shifts and exchange goods someway in halfway. Being a conditional name, the Great Silk Road itself was a kind of road system, through which in antiquity and the middle ages there were carried out commercial and economical relations between Eastern and Western countries, situated between world civilizations of those days Roman (Vizantya) and Han (China) empires.

The main direction of the Great Silk Road never changed, but local changes happened rather frequently. The main direction of the G.S.R. has never changed, but there often took place local changes on the plains. In fact the mountainous roads, which laid in canyons, passes and high mountain tracks remained unchangeable. 

Kyrgyzstan, due to its location in the heart of Central Asia, has always been important on the Great Silk Road. Three branches of the trade route – northern, southern and Fergana – passed through the country.

  1. The northern branch passed along the banks of Lake Issyk-Kul, then through the Boom Gorge and the Chui Valley led to the territory of Kazakhstan and further on to Uzbekistan. 
  2. The southern branch passed through the Irkeshtam pass, along the Kyzyl-Suu River it led to the Alay and the city of Osh, then through the territory of modern Dushambe it went to Uzbekistan.
  3. The Fergana branch, starting from the Torugart pass and crossing the Central Tien Shan, went through the cities of Osh and Uzgen to the cities of Uzbekistan: Samarkand and Bukhara.

On the territory of Kyrgyzstan, since the times of  Great Silk Road, many architectural structures and towns have been preserved, including Sujab, Burana Tower (Balasagyn), Navaket (Krasnaya Rechka village), Uzgen and Osh, Tash-Rabat inn and other places. 

The time of the Great Silk Road is the epoch of exchange of cultures, new knowledge, technologies, religions, traditions and goods. So the history of the states on the Great Silk way was written that time.

On a way! Here you will see magnificent architectural constructions, enjoy the picturesque nature and multifaceted culture of the Kyr