Gaur Kala: the ancient fortress of adherents of the cult of fire

If translated the name of the ancient fortification means “fortress of the infidels.” Estimates suggest that this settlement was built around the fourth century B.C. The walls of the fortress, the height of which exceeds ten meters, are surrounded by the preserved till our days a few strongholds. Today it is impossible to say for sure what kind of buildings they were. For example, some historians believe that the ruins could belong to the palace buildings of various types, or to entire churches.


The fortress that still causes many disputes


Some members of the scientific community, engaged in a detailed study of the structure, say that some citadels, which were located here, could be used as an important security element, or even a temple. In part, this assumption is confirmed by the ancient texts found here, recognized as one of the most ancient. Perhaps, Zarathustra himself was involved in the creation of these texts.


Other sources say that the second fortress was a royal palace. This version is supported by the spacious patio, a great many buildings of economic purpose, as well as houses that were luxuriously decorated. It shouldn’t be forgotten that on the site of the second tower archaeological expedition managed to find:

1. Numerous household items;

2. Women’s jewelry;

3. Luxuriously embroidered cloth;

4. Decorative elements of the throne, and so on.


Today, it cannot be completely proved the ownership of the second tower, but there is still one fact that is recognized on both sides of the dispute -this tower could belong only to the representatives of the upper class, who had considerable power and financial possibilities.


A place for the fortress was not chosen by chance


It was decided to build a fortress of Gyaur-Kala at the crossroads of the major trade routes. For example, in the immediate vicinity of the fortress caravans on well-known at that time the Silk Road. This fact determined not only the active development of the settlement, but also its long-term prosperity. It should be understood that most of the other ancient settlements quickly fell into disrepair due to a lack of permanent economic component.


The fortress got the modern name only in the first third of the eighth century, when there was an active Arab conquest. The courage of the people of this ancient city, who managed to repel all the attacks of the Arabs for almost a century, became almost legendary for Arab conquerors. That is why they called the Fortress of Guyar-Kala, which means “fortress of infidels.”


The courage of the locals, who were able to repel the attacks of the Arabs, did not help them to resist the onslaught of the Mongolian nomads. In 1220 one of the sons of Genghis Khan ordered to wipe this settlement off the face of the earth. And this order was carried out to the letter. The surviving residents decided to found a new settlement, which is situated near the ruins of the once mighty fortress of Guar-Kala.