Highlights

UNESCO World Heritage Site

The biggest archaeological site in Central Asia, Merv played an important part in the versatile Silk Road exchange for more than 2 000 years. Within the limits of the archaeological park, which is 1200 ha, a visitor can walk through all constituent parts of the “wandering city”. A series of adjacent cities, which can be roughly divided into the ancient (Erk Kala and Gyaur Kala), medieval (Sultan Kala with its suburbs), and post-medieval (Abdulla-Khan Kala and Bayram-Ali-Khan Kala), appeared in the course of time as a token of the natural progress of Merv from initial stages of its existence to more advanced levels. Besides remnants of the ancient city, is also famous for its VI-IX cc. AD forts of Big and Little Kyz-Kalas, excellent examples of the so-called corrugated Koshks; for the splendid XII c. mausoleums of Sultan Sanjar and Muhammed ibn-Zeyd, demonstrating exquisite Seljuk period brickwork and architectural décor.