Gyaur Kala Fortress
Perched atop a hill west of Mizdakhan lies the crumbling fortress of Gyaur Kala, its massive foundation walls hinting at its former scale and grandeur. Dating back to the 4th century BCE, Gyaur Kala stood along the Silk Road trade routes even in those ancient times. Archaeological evidence suggests this site was an early center for Zoroastrianism, the ancient Persian religion that would eventually spread far and wide.
The fortress earned the name Gyaur Kala, meaning "Fortress of the Infidels," in the 8th century when Arab armies encountered fierce resistance from the Zoroastrian population here. In time the two religions mixed, though Zoroastrian practices endured until the Mongol hordes later swept through and razed the fortress to the ground. Walking these ruins today requires imagination to reconstruct its past splendor, though portions of the enormously tall walls still stand as testament to the scale of the original fortress. Scattered shards of pottery and other artifacts offer glimpses into the rich history of conflict and culture here and the lost glory of an ancient crossroads.
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In the western portion of Uzbekistan, not far from the town of Nukus and 7 km from the border of Turkmenistan.
The Fortress was originally built in the 4th century B.C. and stood for more than 1,500 years until it’s destruction by the Mongols in the 1200’s.
A fortress for the defense of the region and the people, the heart of the Khorezm Empire.
It lies nearly forgotten on a lonely border road towards Turkmenistan. Few visitors make it out now, and anyone is free to explore.