This town south of Samarkand, reached by crossing a beautiful mountain pass, is most often seen as a day trip. Tamerlane was born in a village not far away, and he chose Shakhrisabz as the site for his main palace. Not much is left of the Ak-Saray, but the size of what is there is a good indication of how large the complex was. The two towers remaining were actually part of the entrance to the palace—they used to be joined by a huge arch. You can climb to the top of one of the towers for a good view of the town and the nearby mountains. Other sights in and around Shakhrisabz include the Dorut Tilovat Madrasa with the blue-domed Kok Gumbaz Mosque and Dorus Siadat, a mausoleum housing tombs for several of Tamerlane's sons and even one intended for himself (in the end, Tamerlane was buried in Samarkand). Shakhrisabz is about 50 mi/80 km south of Samarkand.

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