Mausoleums of Kunya Urgech

Mausoleums of Kunya Urgech, Turkmenistan

At the begining of the 1st century AD the Chinese sources mentioned the city of Yue-gan which is identified with city of Gurgench or Urgench. It relates to Khoresm according to the ancient and medieval geographic conceptions. In the later period this city is mentioned in connection with the most important political events. Kunya Urgench had been destroyed and rebuilt several times.

And at last, the city was miraculously revived by trade that had been united into the lands of the Golden Horde and by 1366 had become “the largest, greatest and most beautiful and important city of Turks”, a city that “shakes under the weight of its population”. Ibn Battuta continues to describe a city so busy that a man could not move in the throng.

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Kunya Urgench tour to Turkmenistan


The Arab, Persian historians, geographers and travellers left enormous information about Kunya Urgench. There are preserved numerous archeological and architectural monuments presenting considerable scientific and cultural value on the territory of Kunya Urgench. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee decided to include Kunya Urgench in its list of world heritage at the 29th session held in Durban, South Africa.

Mausoleum of II-Arslan

Mausoleum of II-Arslan is connected with the name of Fakhr-ad-din Razi scientist who died in Heart in 1208. The oriental date of the construction of the mausoleum is XII-XIII centuries. The mausoleum presents a small, almost square erection, crowned with twelve-sided marquee. The eastern facade wall with a dorr has a beautiful decorative trim, made of ornamentalmasonry of the burnt grinding bricks and frets. The relief inscription along the upper part outline facade interlaces with vegetable ornament refined painting.

Mausoleum of Sultan Tekesh

Tekesh was the 12th century Khoresmshah who made Khoresm great with conquests as far as Khorosan (present day northern Iran and Northern Afghanistan). He built this mausoleum for himself, along with a big medressa and library (which did not survive) on the same spot.

After his death in 1200 he was buried here. The conical dome with a curious zigzag brick pattern is typical of old Khoresm. Nearby in the mound of graves called Kyrk Molla (Fourty Mullah’s Hill), a sacred place where Kunya Urgench’s inhabitants hels their last stand against the Mongols.

Najmeddin Kubra Mausoleum

 Najmeddin Kubra Mausoleum is the holiest spot in Kunya Urgench. He was a famous and 12th and 13th century Khoresm Muslim teacher and poet who founded the Sufic Kubra order. His tomb is believed to have healing properties and you may find piligrims praying here. The building has three domes and a fine, not restored, tiled portal.

Minaret of Kutlug Timur

Gutlug minaret a striking landmark
 The revival of Khoresm and its capital city, literally, from the ashes is connected with name of Golden Horde governor – General Kutlug Timur (1321-1335) and his wife Turabek hanym. The minaret of Kutlug Timur is the tallest minaret in Central Asia. Its height is 62m. The minaret is decorated with bands of brick and a few turquoise tiles. 145 winding steps lead to the top of the minaret. This is one of the impressive points of Kunya Urgench.

Mausoleum of Turabek hanym

Mausoleum of Turabek hanym is one of the most perfect buildings of Central Asia. Its geometric patterns are in effect a giant calendar signifying humanity’s insignificance in the march of time. There are 365 sections on the sparkling mosaic in the underside of the dome representing the days of the year, 24 pointed arches immediately beneath the dome representing the hours of the day, and four big windows representing the weeks of the month.

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