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History of Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. In medieval times, Merv was one of the great cities of the Islamic world and an important stop on the Silk Road, a caravan route used for trade with China until the mid-15th century.

In Turkmenistan there are over two thousand historical and cultural sites. These include open-air museums that are testimony to ancient settlements such as Old Nisa, Kunya Urgench, Atamyrat, Ancient Dehistan, Old Sarakhs, Abiverd and Geoktepe fortress. All of them have become a place of cultural pilgrimage for many tourists and scientists from around the world.

There are eight protected historical sites in Turkmenistan compromising the most important archaeological and architectural monuments, three of which have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. These are Ancient Merv (included in 1999), Kunyaurgench (2005) and the Parthian Fortresses of Nisa (2007).

Ancient Merv State Historical and Cultural Reserve is a vast complex of ancient settlements and remains of the city. This is one of the largest centers of ancient and medieval civilization in the East. The monuments still existing in Ancient Merv are up to 2500 years old and represent important landmarks of Turkmen history.

Another unique outdoor museum is Ancient Kunya Urgench which was linked to outstanding scientists of medieval East. Great encyclopedist Biruni lived and worked there, and the legendary philosopher East Abu Ali Ibn Sina is also native of the city. To this day, pearls of medieval architecture as the minaret of Kutlug Timur (XIV c.) and mausoleum of Tyurabek Khanum are still preserved.

Old Nisa was residence of Parthian kings, and today its remains are testimony the the power and prosperity of the Parthian state, who have been main rivals of the Roman Empire for world domination for centuries.

Historical monuments

On the territory of Turkmenistan there are thousands of historical and cultural objects, which are the material embodiment of the people's memory of the significant, triumphant, joyful and sorrowful pages of fate of the nation.

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Merv(Margiana) - The city covered with the legends

Historical and Cultural Reserve “Ancient Merv” was included in the World Heritage List in 1999 at the XXIII session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee

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Koneurgench – Monuments of the Illustrious city

Monuments of Koneurgench was included in the World Heritage List in 2005 at the XXIX session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee

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Nisa- Parthian Heritage, Parthian fortresses of Nisa

In 2007 at the XXXI session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee Parthian fortresses of Nisa were included in the World Heritage List. The ruins of ancient and medieval town Nisa are located not very far (only 18 km) from the Ashgabat in the foothills of Kopetdag mountains in Bagir village.

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Dehistan

The caravan route from Khorezm to Persia along the Amudarya River's ancient bed - Uzboy, which flowed into the Caspian Sea, ran through Dehistan. The medieval Arab historian, Al-Makdisi, mentioned twenty-four Dehistan settlements ...

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Seyitjemaletdin mosque

A mosque in Anau that was erected, according to the interior and exterior inscriptions, in 1456, when Abu-l-Kasim Baber Bahadurkhan ruled in Khorasan (1446-1457). Construction of the mosque was financed by Bahadurkhan’s vizier, Muhammed Hudaidot, who...

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