Misrian

Misrian

The city of Misrian was protected by a double row of walls, punctuated by semicircular towers. Within these walls, only a few monuments survive. One of the most attractive comprises the two sides of the portal of the Mosque of the Khorezmshah Mohammed. These twin columns, reaching a height of 18m, are beautifully decorated with brickwork and turquoise glaze in fine geometrical and floral designs, with calligraphic work identifying the names of the architects and the Khorezmshah, who ruled at the start of the 13th century. The area around the mosque has been excavated and restored, presenting numerous fired-brick column bases both in the mosque and surrounding the courtyard in front. A somewhat incongruous sight in the center of the courtyard is the presence of three evergreen trees, surrounded by a metal fence. An inscription reports that the trees were planted in 1993 on the instruction of the president. In the corner of the courtyard stands the remains of a minaret, now reaching a height of around 20m, and with a diameter of 7m at the base. This minaret appears something of an ugly duckling when compared with the Abu-Jafar Ahmed Minaret, which stands about 120m away, and is preserved to a similar height. This minaret features two rings of Arabic inscriptions, a third, higher, ring offering pleasant geometric designs, and a spiral staircase snaking up inside the structure. The inscriptions confirm that this minaret is considerably older than that of the Mosque of the Khorezmshah Mohammed, and was built at the start of the 11th century on the design of an architect named Abu Bini Ziyad. A trench dug by archaeologists nearby has uncovered a fired-brick well. A ghoulishly large quantity of bones protrudes from the trench walls. Archaeological excavations have also uncovered the foundations of several caravansaries, testimony to the importance of the trade routes on which Misrian stood.

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