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It is located in the north-east of the country close to the Kazakhstan border.
Much of the city was destroyed in the 1966 Tashkent earthquake, though it was rebuilt afterwards as a model Soviet city.
Tashkent was settled by ancient people as an oasis on the Chirchik River, near the foothills of the West Tian Shan Mountains.
In ancient times, this area contained Beitian, probably the summer "capital" of the Kangju confederacy.
After the 16th century, the name evolved from Chachkand/Chashkand to Tashkand.
The modern spelling of "Tashkent" reflects Russian orthography and 20th-century Soviet influence.
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The principality of Chach had a square citadel built around the 5th to 3rd centuries BC, some 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south of the Syr Darya River.
In 2009, the city celebrated its 2,200 years of written history.