Sultan Palace Merv

The town of Merv, Abdullah Khan Kala 15th century

In 1409, Timurid ruler Shah Rukh (1408-1447) built a new city, some 3 km to the south of Sultan Sanjar's mausoleum. This moated and walled city is much smaller than earlier cities, occupying 1 square km. The reduced size of Timurid Merv show the relative decline of the oasis at this time, reflecting both its loss of status to centres such as Samarkand and Herat and the effects on overland trade of the increased maritime routes. Timurid Merv was regularly planned and square in form. It was quartered by the principal arteries, which ran to the four gates. The streets were laid out on the grid pattern; there was a mosque and madrasah in the north of the city, and a citadel with palace and caravanserai in the north-east corner. This was the fair typical plan for 15th century town in Khurasan.