Trip Planner:   Asia  /  Turkmenistan  /  Mary Province  /  Mary  /  Historic Sites  /  Ancient Merv
Ancient Merv, Mary
(3.9/5 based on 45+ reviews on the web)
Explore the mysterious ruins of the former Gate to Central Asia at Ancient Merv, the oldest and best preserved oasis city on the Silk Road, and a World Heritage Site. Spanning 4,000 years of human history, the archeological site has a walled area covering 20 ha (49 ac). Claimed to have been the largest city in the world in the 12th century, the ancient metropolis has layers of civilizations, including Persian, Hellenic, Arab, Seljuk, Mongol, and Khiva, with the most intriguing stone structure being the Zoroastrian "gawurgala," or infidel’s fortress. Located near the Murghab River some 30 km (19 mi) west of Mary, the site also features a well-preserved mausoleum of a Seljuk sultan. To get a greater sense of the history, hire a local guide, who'll help you make sense of these massive eroding pillars and abandoned stone structures. Add Ancient Merv to your Mary travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Mary vacation trip planner.
Create a full Mary itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Mary

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Ancient ruined city situated on the silk road dating from the 4th century, sacked by Genghis Khan in the 13th century and then abandoned. The ancient city is surrounded by a mud wall which surrounds a...  more »
  • Merv was in ancient times an important way station on the Great Silk Road between the 2nd and the 13th centuries, when it was sacked by the Mongols. These ancient ruins fascinating and well worth a vi...  more »
  • Merv is a long and bumpy ride from Mary but definitely worth it. I am a history buff and had read an amazing book about Central Asia and its contribution to medieval knowledge. Merv played a central r...  more »