Rishtan is one of the most ancient cities in the Fergana Valley. Inseparable part of the history of the Great Silk Road. Since ancient times it is known as the largest center for the production of unique glazed ceramics in Central Asia. The very name of the city was formed from the ancient Sogdian word "Rush" ("Rush", "Rushi") - "red earth": the pottery clay which has a reddish color.
In the Middle Ages, Rishtan, located at the intersection of caravan routes between China and India on the one hand, Persia and the Middle East on the other, could become an important center of trade, a transit point on the Great Silk Road.
Many Rishtan potters in the 14th century were forced to move to Samarkand, where they participated in the grandiose construction projects of Amir Timur and his descendants. With the end of the power of Temur’s empire the ceramists came back to Rishtan and by the end of the 19th century the village becomes again the largest center for the production of glazed dishes. During 19th century the local ceramists of Rishtan played the major role in decoration and construction of palaces and mosques and mausoleums built in all Central Asia.
The arrival of Russians and Soviets again brought the hardest days to Rishtan. The ceramists did not have the right to continue their art and they were obliged to work following the plans of the Soviets producing every year about 5million ceramic items which was designed and chosen by the Soviet government. For years the ceramists of other Uzbek regions have been sent to live and work in Rishtan in order to make the biggest ceramics center of the Soviet Union. Once again, the independence of Uzbekistan returned all freedom to the craftsmen and they are now capable to teach the secrets of their families to everyone who wants to learn and practice this craft which became an art.
Ceramic workshops of Rishtan in Fergana Valley are Recommended by CentAsia Voyages!