The Ak Sarai ('White Palace') is the only surviving fragment of an estate made by one of the world's great garden makers: Timur Tamerlane. He was born in this city (Shakhrisabz, 85 km south of Samarkand) and saw himself as a successor to Genghis Khan. Sections of the palace's mud walls can be seen from the top of the great arched gateway and the remains of blue-tiled pools are visible to the south of the gateway. Further south, the Russians built a European park and placed a giant statue of Timur in its midst. He soldiers are estimated to have killed 5% of the world's population (17m people).