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Gyaur Kala, Mary

Explore the mysterious ruins of the former Gate to Central Asia at Gyaur Kala, the oldest and best preserved oasis city on the Silk Road, and a World Heritage Site. Spanning 4,000 years of human history, the archeological site has a walled area covering 20 ha (49 ac). Claimed to have been the largest city in the world in the 12th century, the ancient metropolis has layers of civilizations, including Persian, Hellenic, Arab, Seljuk, Mongol, and Khiva, with the most intriguing stone structure being the Zoroastrian "gawurgala," or infidel’s fortress. Located near the Murghab River some 30 km (19 mi) west of Mary, the site also features a well-preserved mausoleum of a Seljuk sultan. To get a greater sense of the history, hire a local guide, who'll help you make sense of these massive eroding pillars and abandoned stone structures. Use our Mary online trip itinerary builder to arrange your visit to Gyaur Kala and other attractions in Mary.
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  • One of the important centers of the early Islamic high culture! Absolutely worth seeing, even if the former splendour can only be guessed. Some imagination in demand!
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  • Merw must have been a huge oasis city in the past. Many things are still very well preserved, others are very well restored. It is important to take two to three hours to visit the Old Merv.
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