Merke is the ancient sanctuary, which was the summer residence of Turkic khans, a monument of natural and historical heritage and - a riddle for tourists

For the first time the settlement Merke located at the bottom of the Kyrgyz Ala Tau, which is mentioned in compositions of the Arab geographers in the IX-X centuries. But then it carried the name "Mirki". It was considered as the city of average size and it was well strengthened and had a citadel. According to the version of modern scientists, the city was formed in the VII century, in the farce language the name meant "center". Kurgans - funeral constructions, together with ritual temples with statues of ancestors are located in the most beautiful mountain places of a merke’s landscape.
Monuments of an ancient sanctuary were stretched on 250 square kilometers and are presented by a large number of complexes of barrows, stone fencings and the stone sculptures having a cultural originality.
Nowdays, it is possible to see the steles which situated everywhere in merke’s mountains, them is more than 80. They are located one by one in a fencing or with groups in the center of barrows, beyond their limits and behind fencings. It is possible to tell that in this place all stages of history of Turkic peoples are presented.
Also in mountain’s gorges Merke remained Petroglyphs on rocks and stone sculptures. The majority of them have a woman's face. It is an exceptional case in Turkic art.
Man's and female’s stone sculptures are established on barrows with vessels in hands at the level of a stomach. They were intended for carrying out rituals of worship to the highest deities of a Turkic pantheon - Tengri (sky), Zher-su (earth -water), Umay (to a female deity, the protectress of a home) and to their terrestrial embodiments - the idolized ancestors. Some researchers consider that at production of female statues, it’s quite likely that meant defined died women, which turned into protectress of a family or a clan.
The Merke’s sanctuary calls "Healing earth". Here arrived to ancient times for healing from illnesses and talents of posterity. People came to touch the Holy Land and a water source. Therefore we got traditional ritual - visit of sacred places (auly a zher) from ancient ancestors.
Zhetysu's Turkic peoples made this land a place of worship and carrying out ceremonies, ceremonial actions and the rituals connected with various socially significant events of tribe collective.
In the Byzantine chronicles is told: "Istemi-kagan usually met overseas ambassadors in the ancient city of Taraz. However then кagan led guests to mountains, he gave a warm welcome in marquees and exposed one’s riches on carts". So that merke’s mountains served in the ancient time as the summer residence of the khans,who were escaping in cool mountains from a summer exhausting heat and at the same time treated in curative sources.
Today there are radonic sources with healing water, where on the edge is the sacred willow covered with rags. In the merke’s foothills built the sanatorium
"Merke", which is known for the medical radonic mineral bathtubs ( homepage of sanatorium "Merke" is www.

There is no virtual tour of this attraction yet


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