Kunya-Urgench, Turkmenistan

Kunya-Urgench: the ancient capital of Nothern Khorezm

Kunya-Urgench is a 480 km north from Ashgabat architectural reserve. In the first century A.D it was the former capital of Northern Khorezm. It was conquered by Arabs in the middle of the eighth century, and renamed Gurgandzh in the year 994, it was the residence of Khorezm Sha and after Bukhara the second largest city, Samanid-Empire capital.

As a major center of culture and shopping during the Middle Ages, Ibn-Sino, Beruni and other prominent thinkers of the period were given shelter. In 1221 Mongols ruined the city as “the heart of Islam ” which was rebellious against Genghis Khan. After that default Kunya-Urgench was easily resurrected, but in 1388 Tamerlane’s military, which saw Samarkand as a concurrent, crushing Samarkand again. Kunya-Urgench was consequently ignored until 1831 when there were people who came to create the Khan-Yab canal.

The major places of significance in Kunya-Urgench are the Nadzhimetdin Kubra mausoleum (sixteen – thirteen centuries), the Munich princess Turabek-mausoleum Khanym’s (Turabek-Khanym, twelve – fourteenth centuries), the Mamun’s minaret (sixty-seven centuries), the Kutlug Temur minaret (sixty meters in height) – the tallest minaret in Central Asia, the Kyrkmuselah mausoleum (fourth and a half centuries B.C. –). (12 – 14th centuries).Khorezimbags (13 – 18th century), Dashgala (14 – 16 th centuries), Matkarim – Ishan (19 –20 th centuries), Ali (1580) Sultan, Khorezmshakh (13th century) and 14th century minaret; Dashmedzheth (1903 – 1908) and the fortress of Ak-Kala (14 – 18 th centuries) (Akgala, 1 – 13th centuries). The UNESCO World Heritage List contains ancient sites from Kunya Urgench.