Samarkand is one of the oldest settlements of mankind. Situated at a central position on the trading route between Asia and Europe as well as in between the Orient civilization of the south and the Nomad tribes of the far north it developed into a place of prosperity and into a melting point of different cultures. They came as tradesman and conquerors, as refugees and preachers. Their traces can still be seen in the vivid faces of the inhabitants of this marvelous city. Also Samarkand is a deeply religious place with Islamic architecture dominating the central part of the town, mostly being impressive madrases (religious schools) and mosques with gorgeous blue cupolas. It is the mixture of people and graceful architecture, so different from Western Europe, that makes the city fascinating and alluring to the traveller. Truly another world worth visiting.