chapter  6
26 Pages

MERV: AN OASIS CAPITAL IN THE ANCIENT PARADISE

ByM. Ebru Zeren

Introduction ........................................................................................... 124 Historical Background .......................................................................... 126 Tourist Attractions in Merv ................................................................... 131 Conclusion ............................................................................................ 146 Keywords .............................................................................................. 146 References ............................................................................................. 146

INTRODUCTION

A thousand years ago, in the days when Muslim geographers roamed over Asia, imagine yourself in a caravan, on a camel, on the legendary eastwest road from Nishapur to Bukhara... After fighting with sand storms in the Karakum Desert and just when your food is about to expire, you arrive at an oasis, which you thought was just a mirage. Such a city that when you go inside the castle walls; once you have inhaled the sweet smell of melons rising from the bazaar and feasted your eyes with colorful silk fabrics and carpets, all you want to do is to see the city’s palaces and mosques, and run to the libraries for the unique books and manuscripts that you can find only in this city. Because, the place that you arrived is none other than Merv, at those times the eastern capital of Islam and the next most important Muslim city after Baghdad; of whose observatories were visited by the likes of Omer Hayyam, of whose libraries had welcomed scientists like Yakut Al-Hamawi, and who had deserved to be named “Marvelousness.”