Nukus is one of the large cities of Uzbekistan and at the same time it is a capital city of the autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan. It is situated in the central part of the republic, on the right bank of the Amu Darya. It is surrounded by Kizil-Kum desert in the south and east, in the north it joins with the delta of the Amu Darya. Its area is 200 square kilometer and population was about 260 000 by the estimate in 2004 and population mainly consists of the Karakalpaks, Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Russians, Koreans, Tatars and others.
In the 60s of the XIX century there was a Nukus Aul (“village”) in the current place of present-day Nukus city. In the 1870s trade, handicrafts and fishing were increased. Russian troops placed a garrison consisting of 1500 people. In 1877 the first Russian indigenous school was built. At the beginning of the XX century the Nukus Aul turned into one of the largest population settlements on the right bank of the Amu Darya River. On the 12th of November, 1930 there was a formal decision to shift the centre of the autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan from Turtkul to Nukus Aul. From 1932 governmental buildings started to be built in Nukus. In 1939 the authority of the republic moved to Nukus city.
Nukus owns the Nukus Museum of Art as well as many other sights. Else this museum is known as the “Museum of Savitsky” or the “State Art Museum of the Republic of Karakalpakstan” named after I.V. Savitsky. There is one more museum which is called just the State Museum. The State Museum contains the ordinary objects from archeological findings as well as the vanishing flora and fauna of the Aral Sea. The art Museum is famous for its contemporary Russian and Uzbek art collection of 1918-1935. During the victimization period a lot of artists were sent to gulag. Farawayness of the region kept the Savitsky and his collection from the repression of Stalin. Thus the both museums display the past of the city as well as its threatened nature.
There are not so many monuments and memorials in Nukus. In spite of this here below you can see some of the protected sights in a list such as:
- The Museum of Savitsky (1966);
- The State Museum;
- Mazlumkhan Sulgu Mausoleum (XIV c.);
- Toprak Kala;
- Ayaz Kala;
- Mizdakhan ((in Hojeyli), IV BC – XIV CE);
- Koy Kirilgan Kala;
- Nukus bazaar and etc.