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Home » Dashoguz prrovince of Turkmenistan. Settlements and nature of Dashoguz.

Kunya-Urgench town.

Trip to the town of Konya-Urgench.

Kunya-Urgench – the ancient state of Khoresm, which encompassed the whole Amu-Darya delta area in Northern Turkmenistan and  western Uzbekistan, rose to its greatest heights at Kunya-Urgench (Old Urgench).
For a short period in the XIII c.  Old Urgench was the heart of Islam. The city’s best highlights include the cluster of sights around the Najm-ed-din Kubra Mausoleum, the Torebeg Hkanum mausoleum and 67 m high Kutlug Temir minaret – the highest minaret in Central Asia.
“Kunye-Urgench is a an historical and archeological treasure which should be excavated and reconstructed, including the Museum which impressed me so much. UNDP hopes to make the site important and well-known both to the people of Turkmenistan and outsiders.
The site should promote the Turkmen culture, with benefiting, people living in the area from the resulting tourism”. At the beginning of the next century Kunya – Urgench will appear before tourists in all its greatness by becoming a real pearl on the route called the “Gold Ring of Khorezm”.
Kunya – Urgench has always attracted true enthusiasts of the East thirsty for knowledge of ancient secrets. Until now its magnificence has remained in the silent monuments of the former capital of Khivin Khanate.
But in the year 2000 the museum under the open sky will find both a new life and new pilgrims. To save the ancient city and protect its treasures from the destructive effects of time are the main aims of a joint project between Turkmenistan’s government and the UNDP.
In a joint effort, large sections of its roads and access roads have already been restored, leisure zones have been created, and information board have been installed. However the first task of the participants of the project is to create and equip the ethnographic museum of Dash – Mosque in line with international requests, and restore the Turabeck – Khanum mausoleum and the Kutlug – Timur minaret.  
The outer dome of the Turabeck – Khanum mausoleum was destroyed about 5 centuries ago. An internal dome was decorated with a unique mosaic during the XVI century. Even today it could not be replicated.
Arduous research led scientist to conclude that the outer dome was executed in the Khorezm style and had the form of a truncated cone. Following final amendments to their restoration plan – at the beginning of the current year summer, the experts will begin restoration work, and the unique historical monument will find a new life.
Kutlug – Timur minaret, the highest in Central Asia, is threatened with another danger. According to legend, some centuries ago during the siege of the town, fire damaged the minaret’s foundation, cracking the building.
The experts intend to fix the top of the minaret, to stop the crack increasing. The search is on for an acceptable method of restoration, and at the beginning of the summer construction  work will begin here too.
The next stage of the joint UNDP project of development of Kunya – Urgench’s cultural sphere will be the joint construction of an hotel, tchaikhana (folk tea-cafe), parking places and a ramified web of street cafes, souvenir booths and places of rest. In total 1 million 50 thousand of dollars is being set aside for these purposes: 500 thousand granted by government of Turkmenistan, 350 – by UNDP and 200 – by donor-countries including Turkey and Great Britain.

Alexey Shirobokov. “Tourism and Development” №1,1999.