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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 unknown true function of this structure provides a wonder and awe only found here in Kunya-Urgench.

Turkmenistan is one of Central Asia’s most mysterious and unexplored areas, and the Caravanserai Gate fits right into this description. With the purpose of this structure unknown, it is said to have been the entrance to a caravanserai, which is defined as an inn with a central courtyard. It is also thought to potentially have been a part of a larger structure, such as a palace or madrassah.

Excavations have uncovered column footings regularly placed parallel to the gate entrance, 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.