TASHKENT, or Tashkend, one of the largest and most important cities of Russian Central Asia, and capital of Russian Turkestan, situated in the valley of the Chirchik, some 50 m. above its confluence with the Syr-darya, in 40° 20' N., 69° 18' E. It is connected by rail with Krasnovodsk (1085 m.) on the Caspian, and since 1905 with Orenburg (1150 m.). The city, formerly enclosed by walls (now ruinous), is surrounded by luxuriant gardens, and its houses are buried among the fruit and other trees which grow alongside of the irrigation canals. The buildings, which are of stone and sun-dried bricks, are mostly low, on account of the earthquakes which frequently disturb the region. The native city in 1871 had 78,130 inhabitants, and in 1897 156,414, mostly Sarts, with Uzbegs, Kirghiz, Jews, Russians and Germans. The Russian city, to the south-east, dating from 1865, has clean, broad streets lined with poplars, and canals, the low, pleasant-looking houses being surrounded by gardens. In 1875 its population, exclusive of the military, was 4860, mostly Russians, and in 1900 about 25,000. Tashkent has a public library containing a valuable collection of works on Central Asia, an astronomical observatory and a museum.
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