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Kunya-Urgench is situated in north-western Turkmenistan, on the left bank of the Amu Daria River. Urgench was the capital of the Khorezm region, part of the Achaemenid Empire. The old town contains a series of monuments mainly from the 11th to 16th centuries, including a mosque, the gates of a caravanserai, fortresses, mausoleums and a 60-m high minaret.

The mausoleum of Sultan Tekesh (1172 - 1200)in the foreground stands near the Fakhr al-Din al-Razi mausoleum and Kutlug Timur minaret, in Kunya Urgench (or Gurganj), the dynastic capital of the Khwarazm Shahs (1077 - 1231). Also referred to as the Gokgumbaz (blue cupola) or the Sheikh Sherip Baba mausoleum by the local populace, this mausoleum's construction date and patron have not been established. An elaborate specimen of Khwarazm's pyramidal-roof-atop-brick-cube funerary typology, the structure draws influences from both the Seljuk tomb tower and domed square mausoleum typologies.

The Minaret of Kutlug Timur is the tallest minaret in Central Asia. Its height is 62 m, and is decorated with bands of brick and a few remaning turquoise tiles. This is one of the more impressive points of Kunya-Urgench.
It has been supposed that its construction began in the 11th century, during the rule of Khoresm Shah Аbu-Abbas Mamun. For unknown reasons, construction was interrupted for a very long time, and was completed only in 1321-1336, in the time of Kutlug-Timur (the vice-regent of the Golden Horde).

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Additional Photos by Attila Szili (atus) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2069 W: 207 N: 4541] (15878)
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