Ancient Merv

Ancient Merv is one of the famous sites in Turkmenistan, which was the capital of several empires and kingdoms. It has history of more than 4,000-year-long.

Merv was coveted geographic prize for Persians, Arabs, Turks, and Greeks, including Alexander the Great, who ancient Roman author Pliny the Elder demanded actually first originated the city. Merv was ultimately distorted from a humble retreat town into the administrative, commercial, and religious connection for political dynasties straddling from modern-day Turkey to Central Asia, the Persian Gulf, and elsewhere.

Merv’s population was about 500,000 people in 12th and 13th centuries and made it the third-largest city in the world at that period of time. It was until Tolui Khan, who was the fourth son of the infamous defeater Genghis Khan, and his Mongol army cross the threshold the city in 1221.

Tolui ordered his soldiers to kill every single one of Merv’s inhabitants, except 400 comparatively fortunate handicrafts worker who were taken convict. The Mongol destruction of Merv left-hand between 700,000 and 1 million people dead as well as several hundred thousand expatriates, looking for housing neighboring and were brushed up in the bloodshed. It ended of Merv’s supremacy as a major Silk Road interchange pole and award-winning capital city.

Today Ancient Merv is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.

For visiting Merv, it will take one hour (40km) from Ashgabat city. The site cannot be reached by public transport. The use of car rent is available.

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