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Balasagun


Balasagun was an ancient Soghdian city in modern-day Kyrgyzstan, located in the Chuy Valley between Bishkek and Issyk-Kul Lake

Balasagun was founded by Soghdians, a people of Iranian origin and the Soghdian language was still in use in this town until the 11th century

It was the capital of the Kara-Khanid Khanate from the 10th century until it was taken by the Kara-Khitan Khanate in 1134 It was then captured by the Mongols in 1218 The Mongols called it Gobalik "pretty city" It should not be confused with the city of Karabalghasun in Mongolia which was the capital of the Uyghur Khaganate

Founded by the Kara-Khanid Khanate in the 9th century, Balasagun soon supplanted Suyab as the main political and economical centre of the Chuy Valley; its prosperity declined after the Mongol conquest The poet Yusuf Has Hajib, known for writing the Kutadgu Bilig, is thought to have been born in Balasagun in the 11th century The city also had a sizable Nestorian Christian population; one graveyard was still in use in the 14th century Since the 14th century, Balasagun is a village with plenty of ruins, 12 km southeast of Tokmok

The Burana zone, located at the edge of Tokmok and 6 km from the present village of Balasagun, was the west end of the ancient city It includes the Burana Tower and a field of stone petroglyphs, the bal-bals The Burana Tower is a minaret built in the 11th century on the ruins of the ancient city Balasagun It is 24 m 79 ft in height, though when it was first built it topped 46 m 138 ft Several earthquakes through the centuries caused much damage, and the current building represents a major renovation carried out in the 1970s

References

  1. ^ Barthold, W "Balāsāg̲h̲ūn or Balāsaḳūn" Encyclopaedia of Islam Edited by: P Bearman , Th Bianquis , CE Bosworth , E van Donzel and WP Heinrichs Brill, 2008 Brill Online UNIVERSITEITSBIBLIOTHEEK LEIDEN 11 March 2008 <http://wwwbrillonlinenl/subscriber/entryentry=islam_SIM-1131>
  2. ^ Klein W Das nestorianische Christentum an den Handelswegen durch Kyrgyzstan bis zum 14 Jh, Silk Road Studies III, Brepolis, 2000


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