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While the exact purpose of the Caravanserai Gate remains unclear, viewing it now, visitors can appreciate same stunning architecture that would have impressed the merchants of the Silk Road.
Photo by Konevi /

Caravanserai Gate

The mystery around the function of this gate adds to the sense of awe found in Kunya-Urgench.

Turkmenistan is one of Central Asia’s most mysterious and unexplored areas, and the Caravanserai Gate fits right into this description. The purpose of the structure is unknown these days, with experts just left to guess about what it was used for. Perhaps it was the entrance to a caravanserai? Or perhaps it was part of a larger structure, such as a palace or madrassah?

Excavations have uncovered column footings that were placed parallel to the gate entrance at regular intervals, suggesting the presence of a courtyard. The glazed majolica tiles on the structure remain in relatively good condition. Design techniques used to place these mosaic decorative pieces suggest that the time period of construction may have been in the 14th century, but the true dates are unknown.