Visit Guide to Mary Great Kyz Kala

Renowned for its massive scale and 15m tall corrugated walls, which tower over visitors, the Great Kyz Kala is not only the largest and best preserved example of this unique building type to survive into the modern era, it is also one of the largest mudbrick buildings standing anywhere in the world.

Getting There

The archaeological site is located aprox. 40km East from Mary.

What to Expect

The Greater Kyz Kala is the largest köshk (fortified building) in the Meryi Oasis, only a little smaller than the Palace in Shahriyar Ark. Although internally in a ruinous condition, its general form and many details of the architecture are still visible.

This two-story köshk, approximately aligned north-south, consists of a rectangular platform with sloping sides with corrugated walls above. The building was elite rural residence, probably constructed in the 8th or 9th centuries.


The Great Kyz Kala is a monumental mudbrick, fortified-building, one of a number of similar structures known as köshks, within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Meryi, Turkmenistan. 

The monument construction date is thought to have been built somewhere between the 6th and 8th century CE, in the late Sassanian or early Islamic period, and to have continued in use until the Mongol sack of Meryi in 1221 CE. 

Located just outside the city walls, it seems likely to have functioned as a fortified residence of an important official, perhaps even the governor of Meryi.

Facilities Available

  • Souvenir shop
  • Toilet