Namangan city the second largest city in Uzbekistan after Tashkent. It is located on the north of Fergana Valley and considered one of the most populated cities in Uzbekistan; the population is 597 thousand people. The name of the Namangan city has its story. Translated from Persian, “namak kan” means “salt pit”. Archeological sites showed that there was a settlement in 1st century AC. The legend says that there was a lake in that area from which people mined salt.
The story of the city itself goes back to 15th century AC. There are historical notes mentioning existence of Namangan city. Namangan was populated mostly with merchants and craftsmen. The city was known for its craftsmen: blacksmiths, potters, weavers, and jewelers. In 1620, indigenous population of Aksikent was forced to move to Namangan because of horrible earthquake. In 1875, construction of the new Namangan started. The city became a part of the Russian Empire.
There are a lot of interesting historical monuments in Namangan. There is Muvlon Buva the last resting place of a famous poet of Kokand Empire. It is a complex built in 1806 to commemorate a famous poet who is buried there. There is also an ancient settlement Aksikent; its story goes 2500 years back. The main tourist attraction of Namangan city is Hoja Amin Mausoleum. The most famous madrassah in Namangan is a masterpiece of ancient architecture.
Today, Namangan is known as a city with strong Muslim traditions and developed light and food industries. Citizens of Namangan has always been very religious, even the Soviet government wasn’t able to suppress them fully. Due to strong integration of religion in everyday life of Namangan citizens, extreme Islam sects established its center in Namangan. After terroristic acts in Tashkent in 1999, Uzbek government oppressed Islamic sects and since then everything has been under control.