Dushanbe is the capital and largest city of Tajikistan. Dushanbe means "Monday" in the Tajik language, and the name reflects the fact that the city grew on the site of a village that originally was a popular Monday marketplace. Until 1929, the city was known as Dyushambe and from 1929 to 1961 Dushanbe was known as Stalinabad.
Situated at the confluence of two rivers, Varzob and Kofarnihon, Dushanbe is the capital of Tajikistan. Although archaeological remnants dating to the 5th century BC have been discovered in the area, there is little to suggest that Dushanbe was more than a small village until the early 20th century. In 1920, the last Emir of Bukhara briefly took refuge in Dushanbe (then called Dyushambe) after being overthrown by the Bolshevik revolution. He fled to Afghanistan after the Red Army conquered the area the next year.
The Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic was created in 1929, and following that event the city of Dushanbe developed at a rapid pace.
The city was renamed as Stalinabad between 1931 and 1961.
The Soviets transformed the area into a centre for cotton and silk production, and tens of thousands of people relocated to the city. The population also increased with thousands of Tajiks migrating to Tajikistan following the transfer of Bukhara and Samarkand to the Uzbek SSR.
Severe rioting occurred in February 1990, after it was rumored that Moscow planned to relocate tens of thousands of Armenian refugees to Tajikistan. The Dushanbe riots were primarily fueled by concerns about housing shortages for the Tajik population, but they coincided with a wave of nationalist unrest that swept Transcaucasia and other Central Asian states during the twilight of Gorbachev's era.