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Koneurgench Unesco Site


Kunya-Urgench - the capital of Shahs of Khorezm is situated 100 km from Dashoguz. Kuhne-Urgench has been known by various names, found in Avesta-Urva (VI-th century BC); Hangird-Hanjird (VII-VIII Century AD); Gurgench-Djurdjaniya (IX-XII Century AD). After the invasion by the Mongols, the town was called Urgench; from 1646 AD, it was known as Kuhne-Urgench.

Ancient Kunya-Urgench was considered one of the major cities of the East.

The scientist who studied the topography of Gurgench (Urgench) considered that the territory was as large as 1000 hectares in X-XIV centuries AD. The site is presently protected by the State. It occupies 640 hectares.

Legend has it that the town Kuhne-Urgench was destroyed and re-built seven times, Beginning 1681 AD, Kuhne-Urgench came under the control of Arab rulers. Between 1017-1034 AD, Kuhne-Urgench was governed by Ghazanavids. Anushtegin, a Turkish slave, founded the new state which lasted until 1221 AD. In 1221 Urgench, the seat of Khorezm state, was destroyed by the Mongols. In 1321, the town was annexed to the Golden Horde. In the middle of the 14 th century. Hussein Sufi, a Qongrat Turk, founded the Sufi Dynasty with the support of the Khan of the Golden Horde. In 1388, the town destroyed by Temur Lenk, and lost a status of a city. In 1646, when the Amu-Darya River changed its course, life came to an end in Urgench. After the construction of the canal “Khanyap” by the Khans of Khiva, the town was re-born.

The population in Kuhne-Urgench is estimated at 116,750.

 Kuhne-Urgench (Gurgench) was well known since ancient times under different names. Over many centuries it assumed a very prominent position, one of science and culture.

Located along the famous Silk Road, Kuhne-Urgench became an important link for the caravans, passing from the East, the West and the North, from the Volga-River, Mongolia and China.

This crossroad contributed to the development of science and culture.

The historical monuments, being witnesses to the cultural progress to date, contain many secrets. They also please people with their unique and unparalleled beauty of Museum-madrese “Dashmosque”.

More than 6000 exhibits are intact. These tell of a history and culture of the Turkmens, as well as of today’s achievements.

KYRK MOLLA.  The fortress of Kyrk Molla is located in the north-eastern outskirts of Gur-gench and dates back to the X-XIV century AD.It is directly to the northeast of the monument of Khorezm-shah Tekesh.This raised area is known as Kyrk Molla ,an archeological ex-cavation of a fortress which was built on the ruins of a much earlier fortress.The height of the fortress is 12 metres.This could have been the site of the Academy of Mamun,or Shihabuddin Hivakils Library (Magaron UI Hikmat).

AK GALA fortress is located southwest of the ruins of Medieval Urgench. Their high walls, built with sun-dried bricks, have survived to this day. Historical references indicate that the famous “Koshk-l-Ahchas”, dating to the X-XII century AD, was located here. The height of the walls of the fortress ranges from 6 to 8 meters.

DASHGALA begins from the canal “Gushbegiyap” which runs to the south of the mausoleum Il’Arslan. It borders Ak Gala on the east and Khorezm Bagh on the west.

Dashgala is a polygon, the sides of which are elevated up to 600 to 800 meters. Dashgala is surrounded by a moat. Inside the Dashgala, there are such monuments as Karavansaray in the south and the Minaret of Mamun in the north.

MAUSOLEUM OF SOLTAN TEKESH.  The monument, known as Soltan Tekesh is located to the southeast of Kyrk Molla in the center of Gurgench. The mausoleum of Soltan Tekesh is unique in Central Asia for its beauty.

Soltan Tekesh ruled between XII-XII century AD, and the monument dates from the XII century. Although in the scientific literature this is known as the Mausoleum of Tekesh, in popular parlance it is called Gokgummez (Blue Cupola) or the Mausoleum of Shyh Sherip Baba. The foundation of the monument is quardrangular in shape, and the 24-sided cupola is 18 meters high with a square base measuring 11.45x11.45 meters.


IL ARSLAN is a magnificent building located between Dashgala and the Mausoleum of Tekesh, to the north west of Kelteminara. This magnificent structure is known among the people as Mausoleum of Khoresmshach Il Arslan.

The monument is also named after the famous Islamic scientist and philosopher Fahreddin Razi.

Il Arslan ruled from 1156 to 1172 AD. According to the latest scientific theories, this building was used for storing water.

It is quadrangular in shape and the length of the inner walls is 3.5 by 3.6 meters.

MONUMENT OF TOREBEG HANUM monument, named after Torebeghanum, is located in the northern part of ancient Gurgench.  For sheer beauty, proportions and precision of lines, this monument is unparalleled in the whole of Central Asia.

Torebeghanym dates from the end of the XII to the beginning of the XIII century. There is a school of thought, which does not consider it to be a mausoleum, but rather the palace of the Anushtegyns Dynasty.  This structure, with a floor of 100 sq.m. and a high portal of 25 m., is divided into three parts. It consists of a large central hall, a watchtower on the left and a staircase of 45 steps on the right.

MINARET OF KUTLUG TIMUR is located in north west side of Khorezmshach Tekesh. It is 64 m high; the diameter of its foundation is about 12m; and the diameter of the top is about 2 m. There is an entrance into the minaret at a high of 7 m. from the ground. According to the latest scientific opinion, the minaret dates from the XI-XII century.

CARAVANSARAY  monument is located in the south of ancient Gurgench.

According to historical account, ancient Gurgench had three gates: Akabilan, Nowur and al-Kauz. Caravansaray is restangular in shape and measures 34m. north to east. Latest scientific opinion is that this was the gate of the palace of Khwarizmsah, and dates back from the X-XII centuries.

NEDJMEDDIN KUBRA monument is located on the west Side of the center of Kuhne-Urgench.

The monument named after Ahmed ibn Omar Abuldjenap Nedjmeddin al Kubra al Khorezmi. He was born in Urgench in 1145-46, and became the founder of the Kubravid’s School of Sophism.

Nedjmeddin Kubra was famous not only as philosopher, but also as a painter, physical, chess master, hero and talented general.

Seven or eight books and 24 rubais written by him survived to this day. The building is a perfect architectural construction. Its portal dates from the XII-XIII century. The monument was re-built during the era of prosperity of Khorezm, and was again re-built after the invasion of the Mongols (XIV century by Kutlugh Temur). 

The mausoleum PIRYARWELI is located on the west of Nedjmeddin Kubra. Within this monument are buried the many people who were famous throughout the Islamic world, such as Shyh Setdar, Sheker Gendji, Daniyar Weli. Piryarweli was a contemporary of Nedjmeddin Kubra, and was his disciple.

At, first the monument was built in XIII-XIV centuries. The height of its portal is 6.5 meters and length is 7.5 meters.

The monument IBN HADJIB located in the western sector of ancient Gurgench, was built in honour of Ibn  Hadjib, a talented disciple of Nedjmeddin Kubra. The monument is actually a complex, parts of which were built in different periods (XIV-XVIII-XIX centuries). This includes a burial chamber and premises for visitors.


The grave of Seyit Ahmet is located on the right side of the road to Minara from Torebeghanum. Seyit Ahmet was a famous contemporary of Nedjmeddin Kubra, and he propagandized the ideas of Khoja Ahmet Yasavy’s School. This monument was built in his honour in the XIV century.

KHOREZM BAGH is located in the southwestern sector of Kuhne-Urgench. The surviving ruins of Khwarizm Bagh show a quadrangular fortress, which was erected, on the site that was ravaged by the Mongols.

The mausoleum SOLTAN ALI is located on opposite side to the mausoleum of Nedjmeddin Kubra. The architectural style suggests that this structure was built on a grand scale befitting the state. The monument of Soltan Ali is architectural of the same quality as Soltan Tekesh, Torebeghanym and Il Arslan. It was probably built as a palace in honour of the Emir of the Urgench, Gutlugh Temur, and his wife Torebeghanym in 1333-1361. According local tradition, this monument is linked to the name of Soltan Ali, who ruled Urgench in the XVI century.

The monument is hexagonal in shape, 5m high; the diameter of the cupola is 9.5 meters.

DASH MOSQUE was built in 1903-1908. Father and son, Matkerim ishan and Madamin Ishan, taught here before the revolution. After the revolution the building was used as administrative offices for different organizations.

MAUSOLEUM OF MATKERIM ISHAN was erected in honour of Matkerin Ishan, and his son Madamin Ishan, who taught at the Madrese. Matkerin Ishan, who died in 1886, and his son, who died in 1912, lie buried in this mausoleum. The building is a single structure.

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