Dushanbe, on the River Dushanbinka in the Hissar valley in the southwest of the country, is the former capital of Soviet Tajikistan. It is one of the region’s most important transport and industrial hubs.
There is evidence of human habitation in the area dating back 7,000–9,000 years. The city originated from a village named after its weekly Monday market. The first written record of Dushanbe was in 1676, by which time it was long established as an important stopping-off point on silk trade routes. In 1875 it appears on a map as a fortress.
For a long period it was under the control of the Emir of Bukhara but in 1920 Emir Said Alimkhan was overthrown by the Soviets.
Dushanbe became a battleground as Enver Pasha led a Basmach armed rebellion to recapture the city from the Bolsheviks in 1922. Igrahim Bek also made the city his headquarters in his fight against the Bolsheviks but by 1923 Soviet control was firmly established. In 1929 it was renamed Stalinabad and...