Turkestan is an ancient city, one of the oldest cities in the world, as well as a sacred place, a place of worship and pilgrimage for Muslims. In 2000, Turkestan celebrated its 1500th anniversary. A huge amount of ancient monuments, more than 800, remained there. Turkestan used to be one of the most significant trade and political centers of the whole Central Asian region for many centures. Until the 18th century, Turkestan, or Yasi, as it used to be called, was the capital of the Kazakh Khanate formed in the 15 century. Many ancient monuments are retained in the city; striking architecture of the city surprisingly passed through a millennium with practically unchanged appearance.

The ancient buildings of Yasi introduce the lifestyle of people of the city. Turkestan as a city set on a trade route, certainly had big advantage over other cities in the sense that it naturally attracted labor, funds, advanced technology, famous scientists and philosophers to itself. Turkestan was also a center of education: there were large libraries in the city. The humanist and the great preacher, Ahmed Yassaui based a theological school there. Fame came to Turkestan when the sermon famous Sufi Hoja Ahmed Yassaui was reading here. It is in honor of him the most famous from Timurids raised unsurpassed temple, a masterpiece of medieval architecture, mausoleum, consisting of a complex of palaces and temples. Fine furnishings and interior decorations of walls, roofs and ceilings will impress anyone. It is believed that triple visiting this mausoleum is equivalent to a small hajj to Mecca. For long time and even now, scientists and architects have been struggling finding out an unusual structure, which was built in the late 14 century under the leadership of the great Tamerlane. The fact that the basis of the building of the mausoleum is the clay foundation impresses as the quality of it is inferior to the quality of other more durable materials, known at that time. In addition, it is hardly believable that a short-lived building was built under control of such person as Tamerlane.

A mystery about location of the mausoleum has remained untill recent time. According to the rules of Islam a religious center should always focus on Mecca. A main entrance to the mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassaui does not meet this condition. As a result of much thought and research scientists have discovered that a special prayer in the wall of the mausoleum is oriented on Mecca, and this is sufficient enough to meet the laws of Islam.

Even by modern standards, the building of the mausoleum is considered as very large (40 meters in height); it has several domes. Central dome of the mausoleum, Kazanlak, unifies more than 35 different rooms. The cauldron was a symbol of unity and hospitality for the turks. Therefore, esspecial significance was attached to its size and appearance. Turkestan cauldron, being two tons in weigh and 2.45m in diameter, is made of an alloy of seven metals, and has no suchlikes.

From historical places, Ordabasy natural boundary is particularly interesting. It was recently awarded the status of the Historic Reserve. It is here where former scattered numerous Kazakh tribes united, transcending all differences, to confront the powerful and dangerous invader, Dzungaria. There are famous places around Turkestan such as Hanaka, the tomb of the Kazakh khans Esimhana, Ablai Khan Abulhairhana, the burial place of Kazybek, one of the founders of the first set of Kazakh laws "Zhety Zhargy".


Author: Visitkazakhstan.kz

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