Kunya-Urgench (2005)
Turkmenistan

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Turkmenistan 2001. Two stamps, vertically se-tenant, showing images of Urgench and Kunya-Urgench.

Kunya-Urgench is situated in northwestern Turkmenistan, on the south side 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 minaret. 

The monuments testify to outstanding achievements in architecture and craftsmanship whose influence reached Iran and Afghanistan, and later the architecture of the Mogul Empire of 16th-century India. 

In its justification for inscription the UNESCO states that the tradition of architecture expressed in the design and craftsmanship of Kunya-Urgench has been influential in the wider region to the south and southwest i.e. in Iran and Afghanistan, and later in the architecture of the Mogul Empire (India, 16th century).

Kunya-Urgench provides an exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition (the Islamic culture of the Khorezm) and is unique in its state of preservation. The society that created this centre has disappeared; however we note that most of visitors are in fact pilgrims from the region. 

Sources and links:

Many thanks to Mr. Leonards Naglis (Latvia) for all help and support. 

Other World Heritage Sites in Turkmenistan. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Turkmenistan, for further information about the individual properties.  

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Revised 21 jul 2006  
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