Sites & cities that bear the name of Dushanbe


Today in : Tajikistan
First trace of activity : ca. 10th century C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Shuman?, Дюшамбе, Dyushambe, Сталинабад, Stalinabad, Душанбе

Description : Dushanbe (Tajik: Душанбе; meaning Monday in Persian; Russian: Душанбе) is the capital and largest city of Tajikistan. As of January 2020, Dushanbe had a population of 863,400 and as of 2010 that population was largely Tajik. Until 1929, the city was known in Russian as Dyushambe (Russian: Дюшамбе, Dyushambe), and from 1929 to 1961 as Stalinabad (Tajik: Сталинобод, Stalinobod), after Joseph Stalin. Dushanbe is located in the Gissar Valley, bounded by the Gissar Range in the north and east and the Babatag, Aktau, Rangontau and Karatau mountains in the south, and has an elevation of 750–900 m. The city is divided into four districts, all named after historical figures: Ismail Samani, Avicenna, Ferdowsi, and Shah Mansur. In ancient times, what is now or is close to modern Dushanbe was settled by various empires and peoples, including Mousterian tool-users, various neolithic cultures, the Achaemenid Empire, Greco-Bactria, the Kushan Empire, and the Hephthalites. In the Middle Ages, more settlements began near modern-day Dushanbe such as Hulbuk and its famous palace. From the 17th century to the early 20th, Dushanbe began to grow into a market village controlled at times by the Beg of Hisor, Balkh, and finally Bukhara. Soon after the Russian invasion in 1922, the town was made the capital of the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1924, which commenced Dushanbe's development and rapid population growth that continued until the Tajik Civil War. After the war, the city became capital of an independent Tajikistan and continued its growth and development into a modern city that today is home to many international conferences. Dushanbe was at a crossroads where a large bazaar occurred on Mondays. This gave rise to the name Dushanbe-Bazar (Tajik: Душанбе Бозор, Dushanbe Bozor) from Dushanbe, which means Monday in the Persian language, literally – the second day (du) after Saturday (shambe). Its historical name of Stalinabad was named after Joseph Stalin. Ajina Teppe was a Buddhist monastery of the Hephalite period of the late 5-6th century discovered in the Vaksh valley near Dushanbe. Other settlements were discovered near Dushanbe during the Tokharistan period as well, like the town of Shishikona that was destroyed during the Soviet era and depopulated during the Mongol invasion. International trade began during this period in the Dushanbe region. A castle was also discovered in modern-day Dushanbe dating from the time period. In the 7th century, a Chinese pilgrim visited the region and mentioned the city of Shuman, possibly on the site of modern Dushanbe. Sasanid silver coins were discovered in the city. After the Arab conquest, in the 10th-12th centuries the medieval city of Hulbuk was developed near Dushanbe, which notably contained the palace of the governor of Khulbuk, "an artistic treasure of the Tajik people," among other smaller medieval settlements like Shishikhona. Kharakhanid coins were found that were minted from 1018 to 1019 in Dushanbe. Other, smaller settlements were found from the Late Middle Ages after the Mongol invasion. These included Abdullaevsky and the Shainak settlement. The region of Dushanbe was controlled during this time period by different empires, including the Timurid Empire. The first time Dushanbe appeared in the historical record, in a letter sent from the Balkh khan Subhonquli Bahodur to Fyodor Alekseevich, the Tsar of Russia, was in 1676, called "Kasabai Dushanbe," when the village was under the control of Balkh, although the Dushanbe area was mentioned by the Balkh historian Mahmud ibn Wali in the 1630s in the book "Sea of Secrets Regarding the Values of the Noble." This reflected Dushanbe's status as a town, originally taking the name Dushanbe (Monday) due to the large bazaar in the village that operated on Mondays. Dushanbe's location between the caravan routes heading east–west from the Hissar Valley through Karategin to the Alay Valley, and north–south to the Kafirnigan River and then to Vaksh Valley and Afghanistan through the Anzob Pass from the Fergana and Zeravshan valleys that ultimately led traders to Bukhara, Samarkand, the Pamirs, and Afghanistan incentivized the development of its market. At the time, the town had a population of around 7-8 thousand with around 500-600 households.

See on map »