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Destination Details

Turkmenistan

ANCIENT MERV – “Queen of the World” was one of the most important capitals of Islam along with Baghdad, Cairo and Damascus. The greatest period of its glory was during the eleventh-twelve centuries when it served as the eastern capital of the Great Seljuks. Their empire stretched from beyond the Oxus (Amu-Darya) to the Mediterranean. Seljuk Merv occupied more than 640 hectares and was one of the finest cities of the time. It attracted scholars and merchants from all over the Islamic world. However Merv was not fully to recover from its sack by the Mongol hordes in 1221, when the city and its great libraries were burnt.

The main sites of Merv are Sultan-kala (IX-XII c.), Gyaur-kala (III c.BC-VIII-IX c.AD), Erk-kala (I c.BC), Abdullakhan-kala (XV c.) and Bairam-kala (XVIII c.), Great and Little Gyz Kala and Gyz Bibi, the Mausoleum of Sultan Sandjar , mosque of Usuf Hamadani, Gyaur Kala,Erk Kala, Mausoleum of Mukhammed ibn Zeyd.

 Recognising the unique importance of the Merv monuments to the cultural heritage not only of Turkmenistan but of the world, the Turkmen authorities have ensured their preservations by placing the cities and monuments within the Archaeological Park «Ancient Merv».

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