Remains of Ancient Otrar
According to the legend, the legendary city was burnt down by Genghis-khan for its arrogance and unwillingness to obey. In the Middle Ages it was the trade and religious capital of huge Otrar oasis which stretched for 2,500 square kilometers in the big fertile valley where the rivers of Arysi and Syr Darya meet each other.
Otrar is the witness of Kazakhstan prosperity during an epoch of the Silk Road. It remained a major trade centre up until the Middle Ages epoch. Otrar was well-known for its own mint, magnificent Oriental baths with their original heating system, a huge library which was comparable to the most known libraries of antiquity. It is the native city of the famous medieval thinker Al-Farabi.
In the late 13th century during Mongolian invasion the city was destroyed. However, its ruins still tower over the steppe like a huge mound. The streets and house ruins dug by archeologists show the tourists how busy the city life was. Over hundred small settlements with the remains of military fortresses were built there.