Haji Yaqub Mosque

There is a spectacular mosque to serve as the centre of belief in every Islamic country. The Haji Yaqub Mosque, which is the central mosque in the capital city, used to be the largest in the nation until the new erection of the Mosque of Tajikistan.

The mosque accommodating as many as 3,000 people was founded about 200 years ago. It was named after Haji Yaqub, a famous Tajik general and religious leader who fought a battle with General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, to dedicate his valour and contributions in the territorial acquisitions. Since the Tajiks originated in Persia, the Haji Yaqub Mosque is in Persian style and as colourful as its counterparts in Iran. It has a massive arch. Under the dome in the prayer hall, there is a huge chandelier hung on the ceiling decorated with meticulously drawn patterns. These patterns painted on the external and internal walls of the mosque, together with the Persian columns and the Russian palace layout, give the mosque a unique charm.

Tajikistan National Museum

In the heart of many capitals, you can see this layout: Surrounding the government headquarters and the presidential palace are very often the central square, the parliament, the monument, the representative flagpole and the national museum. Dushanbe has a similar layout. You can find the Tajikistan National Museum right next to the Palace of Nations, the official residence of the president.

The architecture of the national museum is in the Soviet style, and it is constructed with Persian columns. The cuboid-shape exhibition hall is divided into four departments, namely natural history, ancient and medieval history, modern and contemporary history, and fine and applied arts. They display the origin and the splendid civilization of the Tajiks with an abundance of crafts such as textiles and handwoven carpets that they are proud of. Outside the museum lays an enchanting Persian park and a lot of sculptures. After visiting the museum, don’t miss the world’s second-tallest flagpole and the eagle statue in the Flag Pole Park right in front of it. They are the symbols of the country that Tajiks are proud of.

Statue of Ismail Samani

In-between the Rudaki Park and the National Library in the centre of the capital, is a statue not far from the Independence Monument. It is a dedication to Ismail Samani (Ismoil Somoni), the father of the Tajiks.

Ismail Samani was a Persian Muslim and the leader of the first nation of the Tajiks - the Samanid Dynasty. He united the surrounding tribes, ordered conquests and acquisitions to turn the Samanid Dynasty into a regional power. Many scholars, artists, doctors and different kinds of elites were recruited to turn the nation into the religious and cultural centre of Central Asia. Ismail Samani’s contributions to the Tajiks were profound and far-reaching. The highest mountain in Tajikistan and the Soviet Union was renamed from the Communism Peak to the Ismoil Somoni Peak for the celebration of the 1100th year of the Samanid Dynasty. Besides, the somoni currency of the country is named after him, and has his image imprinted on the 100 somoni banknotes. It would be fun to take a picture on the Statue of Ismail Samani together with the somoni banknote.

Rudaki Avenue

Rudaki Avenue is the most vibrant street in Dushanbe. Its significance to Dushanbe is as much as Chang’an Avenue to Beijing. There are a number of famous national landmarks on the avenue, showing the most thriving side of the country.

Like many of the capital avenues in the republics in the Soviet years, this main avenue in Dushanbe was named Lenin Avenue to dedicate to Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union. To de-Sovietise after restoring independence, Tajikistan renamed the avenue after Rudaki, the Tajiks’ most respected Persian poet. The central park on the avenue is named after him as well. The renowned theatre, the Palace of Nations, the National Library, the Tajikistan National Museum, the Independence Monument, together with Haji Yaqub Mosque, the central mosque, the historical Hotel Tajikistan and several prominent universities can all be found on and around Rudaki Avenue. It brings to you the buildings that Tajikistan is most proud of, and is a great place worth half a day wandering around.

Palace of Nations

The presidential residence in every country is of great magnificence and solemnity. Tajikistan is no exception. From the central square in the capital, you can see the elegantly constructed presidential residence of Tajikistan - the Palace of Nations.

The palace was established as a dedication to Ismail Samani (Ismoil Somoni), the father of the Tajiks. His statue was erected near the Palace. Its construction began in 2000, and was referenced to the design of the White House of the USA. The palace, topped by a Persian golden dome, is thus called the “White House” as well. Its image is imprinted on the back of a 500 Somoni banknote. In front of the palace stands the once tallest Dushanbe Flagpole in the world. The 165m-tall flagpole hoisting the country’s three-colour flag was then surpassed in height by the 171m-tall Jeddah Flagpole in Saudi Arabia in 2014. Yet, the Dushanbe Flagpole is still as spectacular as it has always been. Watching the flag-raising ceremony here is going to be an incredible experience.