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Dushanbe ( , Dushanbe; Dyushambe until 1929, Stalinabad until 1961), population 679,400 people (2008 est.), is the capital and largest city of Tajikistanmarker. Dushanbe means "Monday" in Tajik, and the name reflects the fact that the city grew on the site of a village that originally was a popular Monday marketplace.


Situated on the confluence of two rivers, Varzob and Kofarnihon, Dushanbe is the capital of Tajikistan. Although archaeological remnants dating to the 5th century BC have been discovered in the area, there is little to suggest that Dushanbe was more than a small village until around 80 years ago. In 1920, the last Emir of Bukharamarker briefly took refuge in Dushanbe (then called Dyushambe) after being overthrown by the Bolshevik revolution. He fled to Afghanistanmarker after the Red Army conquered the area the next year.

Dushanbe, which means "Monday" in Tajik, developed on the site of a Monday marketplace village, Dyushambe-Bozor, and its former name Dyushambe was a Russified version of the word meaning "Monday" in Tajik (du-shanbe from du two + shanbe Saturday, lit. "second day after Saturday"). Following the Red Army victory in Central Asia the village was upgraded to town in 1925 and made the capital of the newly created Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Tajik ASSR). After the transformation of Tajik ASSR to Tajik Soviet Socialist Republicmarker (Tajik SSR) in 1929, Dyushambe was renamed Stalinabad, after Joseph Stalin. As part of Nikita Khrushchev's de-Stalinization initiative, the city was renamed Dushanbe in 1961.

The Soviets transformed the area into a centre for cotton and silk production, and relocated tens of thousands of people to the city from around the Soviet Union. The population also increased with thousands of ethnic Tajiks migrating to Tajikistan following the transfer of Bukharamarker and Samarkandmarker to the Uzbek SSR. A peaceful and relatively prosperous city under Soviet rule, Dushanbe was home to a university and the Tajik Academy of Sciences. Severe rioting occurred in February 1990, after it was rumored that Moscow planned to relocate tens of thousands of Armenianmarker refugees to Tajikistan. Dushanbe riots were primarily fueled by concerns about housing shortages for the Tajik population, but they coincided with a wave of nationalist unrest that swept Transcaucasia and other Central Asian states during the twilight of Gorbachev's era.
Dushanbe dancer
The city was badly damaged as a result of the Civil War in Tajikistan (1992–1997) that sprang up in the nation shortly after its independence. However resurgences in the Tajik economy have transformed Dushanbe into a rapidly growing commercial, cultural and industrial center. Many multi-story apartment and office buildings were constructed and the city was beautified during this period. Monuments and statues commemorating the city's Persian and Iranianmarker past were erected.


Dusanbe is currently made up of: 83.4% Tajiks, 9.1% Uzbeks, 5.1% Russians, 2.4% other.
Population of Dushanbe
Year Population
1926 6,000
1936 83,000
1956 227,000
1971 388,000
1991 582,000
2002 579,000
2006 661,000


Districts of Dushanbe

Dushanbe is divided into the following districts:

  1. Abuali Ibn Sina
  2. Firdavsi
  3. Ismail Somoni
  4. Shokhmansur


Dushanbe has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and relatively mild winters. The climate is damper than other Central Asian capitals, with an average annual rainfall over well over but is still highly continental and has the hot, dry summers typical of the region. Winters are not as cold as further north owing to the shielding of the city by mountain from extremely cold air from Siberiamarker.


Coal, lead, and arsenic are mined nearby in the cities of Nurekmarker and Kulobmarker allowing for the industrialization of Dushanbe. The Nurek Dammarker, the world's highest as of 2008, generates 95% of Tajikistan's electricity, and another dam, the Roghun Dammarker, is planned on the Vakhsh Rivermarker. A leading cotton textile center, Dushanbe also produces silk, machinery, electrical appliances, clothing, leather goods, tractor parts, and foodstuffs. The city of Dushanbe is now home to a number of modern telecommunications, aeronautic and other business corporations adding vitality to its economy. Tourism and ecotourism to the Dushanbe region is a component of the city's service industry, which includes shopping centers, cafes, restaurants, and hotels. Museums and theatres add a cultural element to the economy.

Buildings and attractions

Dushanbe government building


Many of the most important universities and institutes are based in Dushanbe:


The city is served by Dushanbe Airportmarker.

Sister cities

Currently, Dushanbe has 14 sister cities.

See also


  1. D. Saimaddinov, S. D. Kholmatova, and S. Karimov, Tajik-Russian Dictionary, Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan, Rudaki Institute of Language and Literature, Scientific Center for Persian-Tajik Culture, Dushanbe, 2006.
  2. Dushanbe in Dictionary of Geographic Names
  3. Francis Joseph Steingass, A Comprehensive Persian-English Dictionary, on-line edition
  4. Ethnic rioting in Dushanbe, New York Times, 13 February 1990. Retrieved 18 October 2008

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