Kunya-Urgench: the ancient capital of Nothern Khorezm
Kunya-Urgench is an architectural reserve, located 480 km to the north from Ashgabat. In the past it was the ancient capital of Northern Khorezm in the first century A.D. In the middle of the eighth century it was conquered by Arabs and in the year of 995 it was renamed Gurgandzh and became the residence of Khorezm Shah and the second-largest city after Bukhara - the capital of Samanid Empire.
Being a major cultural and shopping center during the Middle Ages it gave shelter to Ibn-Sino, Beruni and other well-known thinkers of that time. In 1221 the city regarded as "the heart of Islam " rebelled against Genghis Khan a nd was destroyed by Mongols. Kunya-Urgench was quickly restored its power after that defeat but in 1388 the army of Tamerlane, who saw the city as a competitor to Samarkand, destroyed it again . After that Kunya-Urgench got in oblivion until 1831 when people came there to build Khan-Yab canal. This is the reason why many great monuments of Kunya-Urgench have survived in poor condition; but some of them are practically intact and draw close attention of specialists and tourists.
The main places of interest in Kunya-Urgench are the mausoleum of Nadzhimetdin Kubra (12 - 13th centuries), the mausoleum of Mongolian princess Turabek-Khanym (Turabekkhanum, 12 - 14th centuries), the minaret of Mamun (10 - 11th centuries), the minaret of Kutlug Timur (12 - 14th centuries) - the highest minaret in Central Asia - its height is 60 m, the mausoleum of Kyrkmollah ( 2nd century B.C. - 3rd century A.D.), Ibn-Khadzhib madrasah (14 - 16th centuries), the mausoleum of Arskan II - the oldest building in the city (11th century), the mausoleums of Fakhr ad-Din Razi (13th century), Azizan Al'-Ramatani (13 - 14th centuries), Seid Akhmed (12 - 14th centuries), Piryarveli (14 - 17th centuries), Guligerdan (12th century), Khorezimbag (13 - 18th centuries), Dashgala (14 - 16th centuries), Matkarim - Ishan (19 - 20 th centuries), Sultan Ali (1580), Tekesh - Khorezmshakh (13th century) with a minaret of the 14th century, Dashmedzhet (1903-1908) and Ak-Kala Fortress (Akgala, 1 - 13th centuries). Kunya Urgench historical sites are included into the UNESCO World Heritage List.