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Urgench, Capital of Ancient Khoresm


Dashoguz velayat islocated in a northern part of Turkmenistan and being a historical and cultural heritage is comprehensively developed in an epoch of happiness and power. Also, a complex of Kunyaurgench monuments located on the territory of Dashoguz velayat is in the centre of attention of the whole world. In 2005 the complex of Kunyaurgench monuments was included in a number of the UNESCO world heritage.

Tyurabek-khanym is a historic person. According to a legend, Tyurabek-khanym was a wife of the Khoresm powerful governor and she was famous for her beauty. She died young and following the dictates of the inconsolable sovereign a palace was built over her tomb by the best Khoresm’s craftsmen worthy of her charm. The mausoleum is a tomb of Sufi’s dynasty and it was built in XIV century.

Urgench. Ancient Khoresm was founded in the same epoch with Parthia and the Greek-Baktri Kingdom and considered as one of the powerful states of the East. According to Ancient Greek geographer Strabon, the Khoresmi (the Khoresmis) is a separate massagets’ tribe – a nomadic population on a southern coast of the Aral Sea. They, unlike the massagets’ main majority, gradually went over to a settled way of life. The Khoresmis built some large and small drains to economically consume the Amudarya waters, which divided Ancient Khoresm oasis into two parts as well as they built other irrigation facilities. As a result, all conditions were created for irrigation arable farming and a settled way of life. In the І century B.C. such settled places as Toprakgala, Galalydyr, Gadymgala, Mangyrgala, Shasenem and Ancient Vas were formed, which turned into a political and cultural centre of Ancient Khoresm gradually formed as a state.


In 1321-1336 while Gutluk Teimur’s governing Urgench achieved its peak of blossoming. The town was enlarged more than it had been before Mongols, large and small buildings enhanced its beauty. In 60s of the ХІV century Urgench became an independent state of Golden Horde. Just during that historical period Teimurlan’s new state was formed in Maverannakhr, which capital became Samarkand. Starting from 1372, after Teimurlan’s main match to Urgench, the town was destroyed in full. Urgench history has left to us some monuments of that period in a good state, each of which is considered as a rare architecture sample.


of the historical architectural complex.








Kutlug-Timur Minaret is located on the territory of Kumyaurgench historical- and-cultural reserve. Outside of Tash-kaly there is Kutlug-Timur minaret, the largest in the Central Asia, of the governor-general of Golden Horde in Khoresm governing here in 1321-1336. The conic tower of the height of 59.9m sharply narrowed up has remained almost at all its height. Some minaret inclination is especially visible in its top and hollow from within part. It is supposed that the reason for it was an earthquake or a fire caused non-uniform heating of masonwork.


Soltan Tekesh Mausoleum is located on the territory of Kumyaurgench historical- and-cultural reserve. The structure is made of a burnt brick of the size of 29x39x6-6.5cm and represents a square dome hall with the sides of 11.45m and the height of 12.5m. The building is orientated to the parts of the world; a front entrance is arranged to the north. With the lapse of time, due to weather impact, wars and restoration works the initial shape of the mausoleum has undergone to considerable changes. Despite it, it remains a fine sample of the unique architecture created by skills of fine craftsmen.


Il-Arslan Mausoleum is located on the territory of Kumyaurgench historical- and-cultural reserve and known, first of all, for magnificent terracotta ornamentation of the main facade. It is dated to the second half of the XII century.

The square building in plan is orientated to the parts of the world; its main portal facade is orientated to the east.

The total height of the mausoleum premises exceeds twice the height of its walls. Il-Arslan mausoleum is one of the first monumental structures of Central Asia.