On earth, there are many mystical traces of majestic settlements, the ruins of which are shrouded in legends still do not leave indifferent the human imagination.
These are the ruins of El Dorado in Brazil, the Japanese island of Hashima, resembling a warship, the Iraqi Ur – one of the oldest Sumerian city-states, the Peruvian Chan Chan – the world’s largest city of adobe brick buildings, the shost town in the Namib desert Kolmanskop, and many other socio-economic centers of the ancient world.
According to the oldest American newspaper New York Post, one of these points on Earth is ancient Merv, the capital of the Seljuk Empire, the great ancestors of the Turkmen nation.
The British statesman and traveller, at that time the future Viceroy of India, George Curzon, described Merv in his notes in 1888: “the spectacle of walls, towers, ramparts and domes, stretching in bewildering confusion to the horizon, reminds us that we are in the [center] of bygone greatness.”
One of the largest cities in the world with almost half a million population, the capital of the Great Silk Road, Merv was destroyed by the son of Genghis Khan in 1221 during a battle that carried away the lives of more than 700,000 people.
By some miracle, Merv or Maru-Shahu-Jahan (Queen of the world) was not completely wiped out. Keshks (castles) and citadels, which at the beginning of the 20th century amazed the British foreign minister, still serve as a fount of discoveries for archaeological science and fascinate the ordinary tourist with its timeless power.
Merv has had a significant influence on the culture of all of Central Asia and Iran for four millennia.
In 1999, the State Historical and Cultural Park “Ancient Merv” gained the status of a UNESCO World Heritage site.