Dec. 25, 2020, 4:10 p.m.
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12 gates of ancient Tashkent
Tashkent has an ancient history and has always attracted the attention of other countries due to its convenient geographical location. For this reason, Tashkent city was surrounded by three rows of walls in order to avoid external enemies.
According to available data, at the end of the 18th century, the height of the city's defensive wall was almost 8 meters, and the width of the peak was up to 2 meters. The length of the perimeter of the wall is 18.2 km, and the total area of the city is 26.4 km sq.
In the middle of the 19th century, the walls of Tashkent were restored, as the city walls fell into disrepair as a result of continuous wars and required reconstruction. At that time, the height of the wall was more than 10 meters, and at the top of the wall many covert places, named “shinak” were opened in order to shoot at the enemy. The defensive wall around city had 12 gates (Takhtapul, Labzak, Kashgar, Kokand, Koymas, Beshyogoch, Kamolon, Samarkand, Kukcha, Chigatay, Sagbon, Karasaray) and two entrance (i.e., one cavalry entrance).
All these 12 gates are built on a large road, the gates are solid, made of mountain pine, and the top is decorated with carved ornaments. Each gate had a pair of rings and keys. The keys are made of solid gold and were kept by gatekeepers themselves. The gatekeepers opened the gates in the morning and closed them at sunset. When the gates were closed, no one had the right to open them. But it was only allowed to open gates with urgent order of the city’s mayor.
After the capture of the city by the Russian Empire troops on June 16, 1865, General Chernyaev handed over the symbolic golden keys of historical twelve gates to the Military Museum in St. Petersburg. The keys were brought to Uzbekistan on June 14, 1933, received by the permanent representative of Uzbekistan in Moscow, Mukhiddin Tursunkhodjaev, and handed over to the chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Monuments, Nizomiddin Khodjaev. Currently, eleven of these keys are kept in the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and one is exhibited in the State Museum of the History of Uzbekistan. Each of these keys bears the date of manufacture (1282 AH) and the name of the gate.
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