Samarkand is the one of the oldest cities in the world and was founded as an oasis city about 2750 years ago. For a long time Samarkand was one of the main provinces of the Persian Empire. Prosperity came with the ancient Silk Road which ran through Samarkand. Alexander the Great conquered the town in 329 before Christ, in the 7. century it became slowly Islamic. Under Islamic rule the city flourished, especially during the reign of the Persian Samanids, until it was destroyed by Genghis Khan in 1220. The Mongol ruler Tamerlane made Samarkand the capital of his great empire. 1868 the city came under Russian rule. Capital of the Turkestan ASSR from 1918 and in 1925 became the capital of the Uzbek SSR, but lost this function in1930 to Tashkent.