YOU CAN EDIT THIS PAGE! Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing!

Konye Urgench

From Wikitravel
Revision as of 14:40, 17 February 2010 by Schlauer Adler (talk | contribs) (See)
Jump to: navigation, search
Konye Urgench

Default Banner.jpg

Konye Urgench is a city in Northern Turkmenistan.

Understand

The town was called Urgench from the 10th century AD onwards and is now called Konye Urgench (Old Urgench), as the inhabitants moved to modern Urgench in Uzbekistan in the 17th century.

Konye Urgench, the ancient Gurgandzh, was built on the crossing of two major caravan routes from the South to the Volga in the Northwest and from the West to China in the East. From the 1st century AD onwards Konye Urgench was an important trade center on the Northern Silk Road leading to the Caspian Sea and Russia. Around 1000 Emir Mahmum unified the country of Khwarezm [1] and made Konye Urgench its capital. In the 10th cent. Urgench was the capital of the powerful Khwarezm state which occupied the whole area of the Amu Darya delta in Northern Turkemnistan and Western Uzbekistan.

Konye Urgench became one of the centers of the Islamic world and was called "the capital of thousand wise men". Great scholars as Al Biruni (Abu Reikhan Biruni) [2] and Avicenna (Abu Ali Ibn Sina) [3] lived here. After its conquest by the Mongols in the 13th century, the city became an important trade center again. The famous Arabic traveller Ibn Batuta [4] described Konye Urgench as the 'biggest among the Turkish cities with broad streets and splendid bazaars'. The main part of the magnificient monuments in Konye Urgench were built during the reign of Kutlug Timur and his wife Tyurabek-khanym. In the 14th century the city was destroyed by the troups of Timur [5].

Konye Urgench was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

Get in

By plane

Turkmenistan Airlines operates several daily flights from Ashgabat to Dashoguz.

By bus or taxi

There are frequent buses and marschrutki from Ashgabat (US$4, 10 to 12 hours) and from Dashogus (US$ 0.50, 2 hours). Taxis from Ashgabat cost about US$6 per seat or US$ 24 for the whole car, from Dashogus US$ 0.75 per seat or US$ 3.50 for the whole car. The bus station is outside town, near the Gürgenc Hotel. From there you will need a taxi to the town center.

By car

Konye Urgench is about 100 km from Dashoguz and 480 km from Ashgabat.

Get around

There is no public transport in Konye Urgench. The sights of Konye Urgench are spread over the town. A taxi to the most distant monuments (Turabeg Khanym Mausoleum, Sultan Tekesh Mausoleum, Kyrk Molla and Il-Arslan Mausoleum) and back will cost about US$2 including waiting time.

See

  • Nedjameddin Kubra Mausoleum was built in the 14th century It is considered as the holiest place in Konye Urgench. Nedjameddin Kubra lived in the 12th/13th centuries. He was a famous religious teacher and founded an important Sufic order. He was killed by the Mongols. Please inquire locally if you are permitted to enter the mausoleum.
  • Konye Urgench Museum in the modern Dash mosque ( US$1, 8am to 1pm, 2pm to 4pm closed Tue). Some rooms contain ethnographic exhibits including a pottery workshop and carpet looms.

The most interesting monuments are on both sides the Ashgabat road about 1 km south of the town. Admission is US$ 1, camera US§ 0,70, open from 8 am to 6pm.

  • Turabeg Khanum Mausoleum is one of Central Asia's most beautiful buildings. It was built in the 14th cent by Kutlug Timur for his wife Turabeg Khanum. It's portal with a height of 21 meters high and a breadth of 14 meters is richly decorated with majolicas. The central building measuring about 100 square meters is also ornamented with colourful tiles. The interior of the dome (height: 20 meters) shows 365 stars symbolizing the days of the year, 12 open and 12 closed arches symbolize the hours of day and night, 12 bogger arches symbolize the 12 months and 4 big windows the four seasons.
  • Kutlug Timur Mínaret was begun in the 11th century and ginished in the 14th century unter Kutlug Timur. It was the minaret of the main mosque in Konye Urgench. With a height of 60 meters, it is the highest minaret in Central Asia.
  • Sultan Tekish Mausoleum is the mauseoleum of Sultan Tekish [6], shah of Khorezm in the 12th century, who conquered great parts of what is today northern Iran and northern Afghanistan. The dome was richly decorated with blue tiles and geometrical patterns.
  • Kerk Mollah (Hill of the 40 mullahs) is one of the best known places of pilgrimage in Turkmenistan.
  • Il-Arshan Mausoleum is Konye Urgench's oldest surviving monument. It contains the grave of Il Arslan [7], the father of Sultan Tekish. The dome in the form of a tente and the facade of the monument with a pattern of bricks are the firts of this type and were prototype for buildings in Samarkand.

Do

Buy

Eat

  • Bedev Cafe, Azadi köcesi, 21044. 7am to 9pm. US$ 3.


Drink

Sleep

  • Gürgench Hotel, Dashogus Köcesi (out of town). US$ 6. (,no running water, pit toilets outside)
  • Chapayev Guesthouse, (on the road between the town and the Uzbekistan border post, not signposted), no phone. US$ 2.50. (,only recommended if you have your own transport)

There is no comfortable hotel in Konye Urgench. Therefore it is better to stay overnight at Dashoguz.

Contact

Get out

By plane

Turkmenistan Airlines operates several daily flights from Dashoguz to Ashgabat.

By bus or taxi

The bus station is outside town, near the Gürgenc Hotel. You will need a taxi from the town center to the bus station.

There are frequent buses and marschrutki to Ashgabat (US$4, 10 to 12 hours) and to Dashoguz (US$ 0.50, 2 hours). Taxis to Ashgabat cost about US$6 per seat or US$ 24 for the whole car, to Dashoguz US$ 0.75 per seat or US$ 3.50 for the whole car.

Further information

  • Wikipedia article Konye Urgench [8]
This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!