Balasagun and Burana Tower, Kyrgyzstan
This already nonexistent city served not only the important link in the chain of cities of the Silk Road but was also the capital of the powerful medieval state of Karakhanids. In the 10th – 11th centuries the territory of Karakhanid Empire stretched from East Turkestan to the Amu Darya. The political might of that state promoted the development of trade, crafts, active construction, emergence of new cities and settlements among which was Balasagun.
The city ceased to exist in the 13th – 14th centuries but its main landmark, the well-known Burana Tower strikes the visitors with its monumentalism. Located in the eastern part of the central ruins of ancient Balasagun it is the oldest in the Central Asia since it was erected in the 11th century.
The tower is decorated with the ornament made of burnt brick and consists of the foundation, the podium, the basement and the minaret trunk. The original height of the minaret was 40 m, now it is only 24 m; the rest was destroyed by the earthquake.
The tower was the first to be built by Turkic builders with the use of new approach. The archaeologists found a bath near the tower which testifies to the high culture development. The city was populated by the people of other religions and cultures such as Christians and Buddhists. Modern archeologists have found a number of proofs. Time has erased the past having replaced it with sad legends about the amazing tower standing alone in the steppe which had swallowed the blossoming city.
There are plans to turn Balasagun settlement, located near Burana village, into one of the key points standing on Kyrgyz sector of the Silk Road.