Dashoguz: Minaret of Kutlug Timur


The main sights of the city of renowned master builders, painters and decorators are in the archaeological park Kunyaurgench monuments which are listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. This vast area of historic landscape is famous with authentic jewels of medieval East.
 
Among them - looking to the blue of the sky is minaret of Kutlug Timur (XI-XII centuries) the highest in Central Asia. Its dimensions are impressive, even at a distance. Once well at its foot, you will experience such an unusual experience that you feel as if time and space in this place form a kind of twist, and you can travel back to another era, in another dimension at any moment.

Once it was the flourishing capital of a huge empire. A lot of great and tragic pages in the history of time has left the city surviving triumph and decline, brilliant and dramatic period in its life, the resurrection from the ashes after the raids of the troops of Genghis Khan and no less cruel Tamerlane, but which could not survive the destructive power of his last fifth crusade.
 
Kutlug Timur and his wife Torebeg Hanum played a special role in the development of the city in the first half of the XIV century. Under their patronage restoration surviving monuments of pre-Mongol period was conducted, minaret which has become famous throughout the world was also restored.
 
Kutlug Timur minared lacks the rich decoration of the Central Asian minarets, but exceeds them with daring structure: height and harmony of proportions. It is a 62 meters high gigantic conical tower. Wooden beam apertures survived at the top of the minaret, which once was mounted facing in all directions, lantern, topped with a decorative cornice. Muezzin called the worshipper to prayer from here.

145 steps of spiral staircase inside lead to the top of the minaret. It starts at a height of about 7 meters from the ground level, which probably corresponded to the level of the flat roof of the mosque, which was not preserved. The conical surface of the minaret (diameter at the base - about 11 meters, at the level of the lamp - 4 meters) over the entire height is divided by seventeen wide belts of ornamental masonry twin bricks separated in a checkerboard pattern carved with figural ornaments. On the entrance level minaret covered with a broad relief Kufic inscription made of polished bricks. Overhead it is surrounded by three belts with poorly preserved inscriptions. Upper part of the minaret is inclined to the west for half meters. But this “defect” only gives a mystical shade to the structure.

The minaret reached our days in a relatively unbroken form, only its upper part undergone deformation. It turned to be in the focus of attencions of architects-restorers in 2000 that completed almost jewelry work to strengthen masonry at 60 meters high, exfoliated in the result of centuries of weathering mortar between the bricks.