Getting acquainted with the historical monuments of Taraz

28.02.2017 4816

Taraz is the oldest city in Kazakhstan

Taraz is the oldest city in Kazakhstan. In written sources, it is mentioned from the VI century, although, hypothetically, history of the city dates back to the V century BC. 

Since ancient times, Taraz is known as the city of merchants and was the center of the steppe part of the Great Silk Road. Until now, the land of Taraz preserved numerous traces of life and culture of the ancient inhabitants of the city: adobe huts of commoners, caravanserais, handicraft workshops, traces of citadels, duval (adobe fences) and others. All these historical monuments are the cultural heritage of the country and attract a great deal of interest not only in Kazakhstan but also tourists from around the world. So we will go to the places with the most famous architectural monuments of Taraz.

The Aisha Bibi Mausoleum, XI-XII centuries

The Aisha-Bibi mausoleum is unique in its architecture, which is located in the village with the same name in Taraz. It can be definitely called a masterpiece of medieval architecture: all exterior walls entirely covered with carved terracotta tiles with a rich pattern. This is the only architectural structure in Central Asia, having such a trim. From time immemorial up to the present time in the mausoleum preserved only the western part of the facade and some fragments of the other parts of the construction. The Aisha Bibi, as we can see now, is the result of painstaking restoration of specialists. We know about the person buried here only from the legends. According to a legend, the beautiful Ayesha was the beloved of the ruler of Taraz, Karahan. She died in the prime of life from a snake bite during one of her trips. Karahan ordered to build the construction of the mausoleum over her grave.

The Babaji Khatun Mausoleum, XI-XII centuries

It is a place in Zhambyl region also visited not only by tourists but also pilgrims, because in the Muslim world, the mausoleum is considered holy, because it was built over the grave. In this case, over the burial of Babaji-Khatun. According to the construction, the mausoleum is simple. It was constructed with burnt bricks, without any decoration of walls. But it became famous thanks to its unusual for these places conical dome of 16-sided shapes. The inscriptions in Arabic were preserved on the facade of the building, in the translation it sounds like “This is a magnificent tomb called Babaji-Khatun. Its builder is  ....” Unfortunately, the master’s name was not preserved. Babaji Khatun was beautiful Aisha’s favorite nurse.

The Karahan Mausoleum (Aulie-Ata), XI-XII centuries

It is located in the heart of the city. It is believed that the mausoleum was erected over the grave of one of the rulers of the dynasty Karakhanids, Shah Mahmoud Karahan. The mausoleum itself has not been preserved to the present day. It was fully erected by local people in 1906 on the site of the former. But at the same time, the mausoleum lost its trim and some other architectural features. And we can judge about the original form of the mausoleum by the only surviving photograph in 1902. The inscription above the entrance to the mausoleum says (translated from Arabic): “There is no god except Allah; Muhammad is the prophet of Allah....”

The Tekturmas architectural complex, X-XIV centuries

This is one of the most iconic historical sites, located on the banks of the Talas. The Tekturmas mausoleum was erected on a hilltop, and near there are burials of Muslims, Zoroastrians, Christians. At the foothill ancient subterranean passage has been partially preserved. The construction of Tekturmas is a copy of the mausoleum, which was built in the X-XIV centuries. But in the 30s of the last century, because of the atheistic sentiments the mausoleum was completely destroyed. It was restored in 2002 by surviving photographs (80s of the XIX century) and archaeological research.

The Akyrtas palace complex VIII-XIX centuries

This is an amazing monument of antiquity. Now we can only contemplate the ruins of huge stone blocks. The excavations on the territory of the complex are being carried out so far. It has not known yet, what the Akyrtas represented in antiquity. But, nevertheless, the researchers suggest that the ruins were once a medieval city like Kasribas.

The Kali-Yunus Hammam, the end of the VII century

This is the new construction of all the above. This hammam was erected by the resident of Aulie-Ata on the principle of medieval hammams. It is noteworthy, that before the 50s of the last century, the hammam was operating. Now it is renovated architectural monument.

The Merke village, IX-X centuries

The monuments of sanctuary Merke spread on 250 square kilometers: stone walls and statues, mounds and steles. Since that time petroglyphs on the rocks were also preserved. On this place, the ancient inhabitants organized staged rituals of worship deities. Now the Merke sanctuary called “healing earth”. Pilgrims from all over the world come to get rid of the disease or to have offspring.

The Zhaisan Sanctuary, VIII century

Another sanctuary is located on the territory of the valley Zhaisan; it represents numerous funerary and ritual structures, generic characters and rock carvings. The total area of these monuments of antiquity occupies more than 77 000 hectares.