Kirk Kiz fortress in Termez
Getting acquainted with the centuries-old history of the most southern city of Uzbekistan - Termez, you cannot help noticing the presence of two main landmarks there: - Buddhist and Islamic. Each of them is represented by unique monuments of antiquity that has survived through centuries, wars and natural cataclysms.
History "meets" tourists from the very first kilometers. On the roadside of a broad highway, here and there are interesting constructions of centuries old, and often the ruins of ancient buildings, which, alas, have not survived to our days.
In the Termez district, in the village of Namuna (3 km from the city of Termez) is the fortress Kirk Kiz.
The image and architecture of the fortress Kirk Kiz
The fortress Kirk Kiz (40 girls) is a very interesting architectural and historical monument. This building is square in shape with brick walls of 54 meters in length. From all sides the construction was protected by powerful towers. The building is crossed crosswise in two passes and divides it into four equal parts. In the middle of the structure is a small inner courtyard (11.5x11.5 m), which according to some scientists was covered with a dome. According to other scientists it was open.
When you examine the ruins of the fortress, you are involuntarily surprised at the diversity of the masonry of arches, domes, and the complex architectural design of walls, interiors, friezes, niches, and fissures. Scientists consider the complex Kirk Kiz a museum that tells about the search of architects of the early Middle Ages, their peculiar style and unsurpassed skill.
Time did not spare the structure open to all the elements, it did not preserve the names of the architects who managed to create from the usual clay a beautiful song to human talent. The plaster has fallen from the walls, but there are still traces of intricate painting on the arches of the ceilings. Despite this, even the ruins and the rest of the former magnificence amaze the imagination of our contemporaries with its uniqueness and beauty of architecture.
According to medieval chroniclers, Kirk Kiz could be the ancestral castle of the Samanid dynasty (I X-X centuries).
What was happening inside this building remained a mystery. It was just known that forty girls lived and worked here. This is confirmed by the research of the famous scientist S. Khmelnitsky, who, having thoroughly studied the internal architecture of the building, concluded that it was built especially for girls.
It can be assumed that Kirk Kiz was an educational institution for girls (like a female gymnasium), which under the guidance of their mentor - Ruhaida binti Varrok, studied algebra, astronomy and the Koran.
Ruhaida binti Varrok was very educated. This is evidenced by her medical treatise "Tabobati zanon" (Treatment of women). The glory of a woman-scientist spread throughout the East. Akhmad Usturlobi admires the example in his book "Ilmi Nujum". Having heard much good about Ruhaida, the Arab Caliph himself proposed to her to marry him. But, not accepting any violence and bloodshed, the preceptor was not afraid to deny the man under whose authority half of the Asian continent was. In her response letter she expressed everything that she thought about the caliph. Without superfluous epithets, Ruhaida condemned the Arab ruler as a supporter of exceptional rigidity in state affairs. She compared him to the wild boar, who destroys everything in his path. And herself - with the moon that brings light to the world. By this light she meant knowledge. A rather crude refusal was infuriated by the caliph. He sent a message, telling that he would destroy the town. It is not clear how this story ended. It is only known that after the caliph’s threats, Ruhaida binti Varrok, who decided not to jeopardize the life of the apprentices, allowed them to go homes. The gymnasium was closed. Probably, the gymnasium was destroyed.
Legends about the Fortress Kirk Kiz of Termez
There are also many legends about this monument. They are mainly associated with the name of Gul-ayim. According to one of them, the women who lived in the fortress Kirk Kiz made a great contribution to the development of culture and science.
These women were loyal patriots of their land, boldly repulsed the enemy attacks.
In those days along with warriors-men women fought. They rallied in detachments of forty women, at the head of which was usually a brave, experienced combat tactics experienced warrior. The girls in such detachments had excellent weapons, were familiar with the combat technique, reconnaissance and guard duty. If one of the girls got married, another one took her place.
One of such invincible women's groups, led by the beautiful Gul-ayim, the queen, who owned many sciences and languages, settled in the castle Kirk Kiz.
Once upon the possession was attacked by foreign tribes. Many of the soldiers laid their heads on the battle field, the survivors of the conquerors were taken prisoner. Then the leader was assembled by a new army, consisting of forty girlfriends, as brave and beautiful as she was. Having worn battle armor and armed with swords, the Termez Amazons rushed into battle on quick horses. They managed to repel enemy pressure, but not for long. Because of the disparity of forces, the detachment began to suffer defeat from numerous enemy troops, and then, on the orders of Gul-ayim, the girls hid from the chase in an impregnable castle Kirk Kiz.
And, as the legend says, at the moment when the enraged enemies began to destroy the castle, all the girls turned to pigeons and fled the castle. People nicknamed the castle Kirk Kiz (Forty Girls).
Such is the beautiful legend about the palace Kirk Kiz of Termez.
However, there is another very interesting version regarding the Termez fortress Kirk Kiz. According to the folk legend, once Termez was a big and noisy city, and was governed by a padishah, who had forty daughters. He lived, not knowing the worries, but once the sage allegedly came to the city from distant lands. He debated with the mullahs of the padishah and defeated them. And then the mullahs decided to take revenge on the stranger. They complained of the stranger, saying that a sage is defeating faith and that he must be killed. The padishah did not sort out, and ordered the sage to be burned, and the ashes to be thrown into the Amu Darya. But the river carried the ashes to the place where the forty daughters of the padishah bathed. They drank water from the river and swallowed the ashes of the sage. All the girls became pregnant. The padishah was very angry. He built a large fortress and imprisoned all the daughters. The fortress was called Kirk Kiz. Subsequently, in this fortress, forty Amazon girls led by the beautiful Gulaim bravely defended themselves from the conquerors.
The poetic name of the fortress “Kirk Kiz”, could not but excite the minds of the romantics of the time, because it was about the Woman. There were also other legends about the fortress, where women dominate.
If this legend carries you away, we suggest you to make a trip through the Uzbek lands. After all, during the Uzbek tours you will learn many new Uzbek stories and legends.