Idea #614 – Visiting the old streets of Istaravchan in Tajikistan
Named Kir by the Parthians, Cyropol by Alexander the Great, and Oura-Tiubé by the Russians and the Soviets, Istaravchan has one of the best-preserved Old Towns in Tajikistan. According to legend, the city was founded by Cirius in the 6th century BC The old fortress of the city, Mug Tepe, built on a grassy hill northeast of the center, was attacked by Alexander the Great in 329 BC. AD and then by the Arabs in 772
. In the thirteenth century, Genghis Khan razes the city from top to bottom. Today, only a few remains of the walls, too restored, remain, largely restored in 2002 with the construction of a brick entrance door surmounted by a blue dome, built to celebrate the 2500th anniversary of Istaravchan.The old town, Shahr-e-kuhna, consists of a fascinating maze of narrow streets, lined with beautiful houses often hidden behind walls covered with straw and wickerwork.
The Khazrati Shoh ensemble consists of a madrasa, the tomb of the brother of Kusam ibn Abbas, a cousin of Muhammad, the mausoleum of Khudayar Valami, and the Namozgoh mosque of the 19th century. There is also the Kok Gumbaz, a “blue dome”, a small 15th century complex built by Abdul Latif Sultan, including a mosque and a madrasa, probably the most emblematic monument of Istaravshan.
Where is it ?