Your browser should support Java to view this image

bukhara.jpg (3 KB)


Historical monuments

Minaret Kalian

kalian.jpg (7.2 KB)

          The Kalyan Minaret was erected in 1127 by Arslan-khan and is considered to be the symbol of the city. According to records of the time, the builders made an error in its construction, and it soon collapsed. When the remnants were cleared away, Arslan-khan ordered that a new minaret, stronger and more beautiful, the likes of which hadn’t been ever seen  in all of the Muslim East, be built. One of the legends says that the craftsman who laid the foundation of mortar and plaster  mixed with camel’s milk fled from the city  and didn’t return for more than two years. The craftsman resumed construction only after he was convinced that the mortar had hardened.

            The Kalian Minaret, built of  burnt brick and plaster mortar, rises to a height of forty-six meters above the ground. The minaret is decorated with 14 parallel bands none of which are repeated.

            During the repairs in 1924, the minaret was faced with glazed bricks where the frieze had been.

            At the present time, the lower part of the minaret has been restored and the layers of dirt accumulated over the ages cleaned off. The inside of of the minaret is hollow. It is possible to go  up the minaret via a special foot bridge. Throughout the eight centuries of its existence, it served as a watch tower and a lighthouse for trade caravans. The guard-post for observers to notify the city of approaching danger remains in place. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the minaret acquired an unsavory reputation and was known as a “tower of death”: the condemned were hurled to their deaths from this tower upon the Emir's order. Today this outstanding work of architecture, the perfect architectural forms of which have long served as an example for similar works in the Muslim East, still remains the tallest minaret in the Muslim East. 

kalian1.jpg (4.5 KB)

kalian2.jpg (6 KB)

return to the main page