The Republic of Uzbekistan is located in the middle of Central Asia, between two big rivers of Amudarya and Syrdarya. From west to east the republic stretches for 1425 kilometers and from north to south for 930 kilometers. By its size Uzbekistan far exceeds the UK, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland and Austria, taken together.
In the north-east the republic borders on Kazakhstan, in the east and the south east on Kirghizstan and Tajikistan, in the west on Turkmenistan and in the south on Afghanistan.
One third of republic’s territory is mountains and foot hills in the east and the south east.
The mountains here belong to the Western Tien Shan and Gissaro-Alay ranges.
A high level of seismicity, sometimes up 8-9 points, is characteristic for the Republic. Among the most destructive earthquakes which occurred there were those in Ferghana (1823), Andijan (1889 and 1902), and Tashkent (1866 and 1868). The capital of republic also lies in a seismic zone. A strong earthquakes there on April 26, 1966 severely damaged some of its residential areas and especially greatly – the central part. During just one year of 1966 there was registered above 700 shocks.
The geographical map of Uzbekistan has gone through many changes. Until 1917, the territory of Uzbekistan was divided between Turkestan rule (a colony of the Russian Empire in Central Asia ), the Bukhara emirate and the Khiva khanate. The Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic was established in 1924 as a result of the national- territorial division of Central Asian republics.
From 1924 to 1929 the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was part of Uzbekistan. In 1925 a single administrative division was introduced. The republic was divided into seven provinces (Samarkand, Tashkent, Ferghana, Zarafshon, Surkhandarya, Kashkadarya, and Khorezm). The city of Samarkand was the capital. In 1930 these provinces were abolished and 9 towns were granted the status of independent administrative and economic units with 73 districts and 1696 village councils in Uzbekistan. From 1930 on, the city of Tashkent became the capital of Uzbekistan. In 1936, the Karakalpakstan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was annexed to Uzbekistan SSR.
Henceforth, the administrative territorial division of Uzbekistan developed by enlarging and establishing provinces. Many settlements have since turned into towns and cities.
The independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan was declared on August 31,1991 at an Extraordinary Session of the Supreme Council of the republic with the decree that the Uzbekistan SSR was renamed the Republic of Uzbekistan, Today the Republic of Uzbekistan consists of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, 12 provinces, 162 districts, and 120 towns.
The Republic of Karakalpakstan, Tashkent, Andijan Province, Bukhara Province, Ferghana Province, Jizzakh Province, Kashkadarya Province, Khorezm Province, Namangan Province, Navoi Province, Samarkand Province, Surkhandarya Province, Syrdarya Province, Tashkent Province.