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July 04, 2011

The City of the Turquoise Mountain

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The Minaret of Jam is like something out of a Robert E. Howard story, "part of The City of the Turquoise Mountain, which is the lost Afghan capital of the Middle Ages - Firuzkuh (Firuz Koh)".

Built back in 1190s by the once great Ghorid empire, this enigmatic and intricately-ornamented ancient "skyscraper" stands like a missile pointing at the stars - a 65-meter high minaret, the second biggest religious monument of its kind in the world.

Adventure tourism: Dan Cruickshank travels to Qasr Zarafshan.

Inside, I found a stupendous, engineered construction, with two spiral staircases winding around each other to form a double helix. This strong construction, combined with the fine brickwork, has preserved the structure from earthquakes and neglect. But for how long?

Ancient tourism: "A caravansary, or khan, also known as caravansara or caravanserai in English (Persian: كاروانسرا kārvānsarā, Turkish: kervansaray) was a roadside inn where travelers could rest and recover from the day's journey." These days known as "motels".

Posted by Ghost of a flea at July 4, 2011 07:48 AM