Toshkent or Tashkent, city in eastern Uzbekistan, capital of the country and of Toshkent Wiloyat (region). Located in an oasis near the Chirchiq River in a cotton- and fruit-growing region, Toshkent is a major industrial and transportation center. It has industries producing machinery, cotton and silk textiles, chemicals, tobacco products, and furniture. A center of Uzbek culture, Toshkent has several large libraries and is the seat of the Uzbek Academy of Sciences and numerous other institutions of higher learning. A subway system was opened here in 1977.
The first mention of Toshkent dates from the 7th century ad, although it was probably founded by the 1st century bc. The city was conquered, successively, by the Arabs in the 8th century ad, by Genghis Khan in the early 13th century, and by Tamerlane in the 14th century. It was annexed by Russia in 1865, and a new Russian city was built around the older town. Toshkent succeeded Samarqand as the capital of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union in 1930. In 1966 Toshkent suffered heavy damage from an earthquake. Toshkent became the capital of independent Uzbekistan in 1991. Population (1999 estimate) 2,142,700.
Encarta Encyclopedia 2004.