Konye Urgench

Konye Urgench is a city in Dashoguz Province, Turkmenistan.

Understand

The Tekesh Mausoleum

The town was called Gurgandzh 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 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 centre on the Northern branch of the Silk Road leading to the Caspian Sea and Russia. Around 1000 Emir Mamun unified the country of Khwarezm 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 Turkmenistan and Western Uzbekistan.

Konye Urgench became one of the centres of the Islamic world and was called "the heart of Islam" and "the capital of thousand wise men". Great scholars as Al Biruni (Abu Reikhan Biruni) and Avicenna (Abu Ali Ibn Sina) lived here. After its conquest by the Mongols in the 13th century, the city became an important trade centre again. The Arabic traveller of the 1300s, Ibn Batuta, described Konye Urgench as the 'biggest among the Turkish cities with broad streets and splendid bazaars'. The main part of the magnificent 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 troops of Timur.

Konye Urgench was declared a 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 centre.

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

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 08:00 to 18:00.

Eat

Sleep

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

Go next

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 centre 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.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 12, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.