City

Mary

Ceramic Mural in Mary
D-Stanley

Mary Region β€’ Turkmenistan β€’ 220 m

Mary is the third largest city in Turkmenistan, situated in the Karakum desert. It was an important centre on the Silk Road and the capital of a prosperous Margiana region. The city's name changed several times - Margush Maru, Margiane, Margao and Merv.

During the reign of the Turkmen Seljuk dynasty, Muslim architecture reached its apogee. At that time, the city of Merv was in an exceptional position, as an intellectual and cultural centre, a heritage from previous eras that played an important role.

Excavations at Sultan Kala bear witness to the high standard of urban life. The city is surrounded by the walls of the ancient fortress, in marvellous harmony with the mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar.

After the Mongol invasion, Merv was razed to the ground. Its ruins became sacred, and was given the name of ancient Merv.

Amir Timur's son Shahrukh rebuilt the city and in place of the old Merv, palaces, fortresses and squares were erected.

The most interesting monuments in Merv are the mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar Dar al-Ahira, the Shazriar Arch citadel, the ruins of the Abdullakhan Kala wall (15th century), the ruins of the Bayramalihan-Kala fortress and towers, the ruins of the Kiz-Kala fortress (6th-7th centuries BC), the mausoleums of the Sultans of Merv and Amir Timur and the ruins of the Kiz-Kala fortress (6th-7th centuries AD). ), the mausoleums of al-Hakim ibn Amir al-Jaafari and Buraydah ibn al-Husayn al-Islami (15th century, a place of pilgrimage), the mausoleum of Muhammad ibn Zayd (12th century), the Talhatan Baba complex with the Talhatan Baba mausoleums, the ruins of a Beni Makhan mosque ("Friday mosque", 7th-12th centuries. ), the mausoleum of Kiz-Bibi and numerous remains of baths, palaces, ceremonial halls and other facilities.

Today, Merv is included on UNESCO's World Heritage List as the best-preserved ancient centre on the Great Silk Road.