It’s known that majority of places of interest are largest ancient trade centers. These cities were the most developed because of their exposure to all opportunities that the Great Silk Road gave. Traders from the most remoted corners of the world brought their knowledge, culture, and helped to shape these cities. Unique on its own way with centuries of history behind their backs, cities like Samarkand, Bukhara, Khujand, Kokand, and, of course, Kunya-Urgench, attracts thousands of tourists every year.
Kunya-Urgench is a historical city located 480 km away from Ashgabat, in Dashoguz Province. The first written mention of the city appeared in 10th century BC; back then, Kunya-Urgench was named Gurgandzh by the Arabs that took over the power. Gurgandzh located on the intersection of two paths of the greatest Central Asian trade web; this fact helped to develop science, culture, and trade with the speed of light. Hard to imagine a city that would surpass fame and significance of Bukhara in such short period of time, but Gurgandzh or Kunya-Urgench did! The majority of locals was formed by the brightest minds of Islamic world. That’s why the historical city was called “City of thousand wise men”. One of the most significant representatives of the Islamis Golden Age like Avicenna and Al Biruni, lived and worked there. The city kept flourishing until the end of 13thc century, when the ruler of Gurgandzh stood up against Genghis-khan. Ruthless Mongolian khan ordered his armies to destroy this magnificent city, so they did. It went through another decline in development in 17th century, when Amir Timur took over the city. Past glory of the historical city was forgotten by the last inhabitants who left it in 1700s.
Today Kunya-Urgench is a cultural-historical reserve with mausoleums, caravanserais, madrassahs, and minarets of different eras. What’s a better way to explore Turkmenian culture and history than starting from the roots?