Due to its geographical location the land of the Uzbek people was always at the crossroad of migrations and invasions. This brought different cultures and civilizations to the region. The Great Silk Road passed through this land making famous the cities of Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara. Tashkent is now a modern city and the Capital ofUzbekistan. It is also the largest city in Central Asia. Samarkand and Bukhara are known for monuments from the bygone days. Minarets and mausoleums, mosques and madrassahs of the remarkable brick and tile structures - are masterpieces of many constructors and artisans. One of the largest open-air museums is Khiva, near Urgench. It is the most preserved ensemble of all the ancient Central Asian settlements.