Burana Tower, Kyrgyzstan

Set against the backdrop of lofty, snow-covered peaks of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too mountain range in northern Kyrgyzstan, stands a tall isolated minaret. A thousand years ago what is now a deserted valley was once the ancient city of Balasagun, founded by the Karakhanids in the 9th century, and the Burana tower was part of a mosque. Balasagun was a flourishing city of the Karakhanid Dynasty with a citadel, mausoleums, mosque, church, and a bath-house, until it was destroyed by the Mongols in 1218. The minaret is all that remains of Balasagun today.

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Photo: Thomas Depenbusch/Flickr

Source: amusingplanet.com

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