The Kyrk Kyz (40 girls) fortress is a medieval castle just outside of Termez.
Throughout Central Asia legends based around a shadowy ’40 girls’ are endemic. Whether describing the 40 Amazonian daughters of a local Mongol warlord, the 40 nubile young serving girls holding men captive, or even the original 40 girls held responsible for the progeneration of the entire Kyrgyz race, the kernel of truth at the core of the legend of the 40 girls, or Kyrk Kyz, has long since passed into popular imagination and been lost.
Subsequently, clues to the origins of the Kyrk Kyz fortress are easier to find in the region’s local name, the Shakhri Saman or Town of the Samanids. For it is now believed that this fascinating, self-contained bastion of 50 rooms was the country residence of the ruling Samanid dynasty in the 9th and 10th centuries. The fortress is a typical example of the type of kushk, or castle, that came to dominate the Sogdian and post-Sogdian feudal periods as a fusion of both pre- and post-Islamic architectural styles.
The 55-meter long square walls of the fortified castle rise out of the dusty ground like bleached bones and envelop a maze of twisting hallways, arched corridors and individually shaped rooms. The rooms included bedrooms, storage rooms and a large six-domed guest room or mosque, all arranged on two floors around the food and water of a central domed courtyard.
The 2 floors have melted into one in places, and the roof has long since disappeared, but in general the dwelling has survived in excellent condition and offers a unique chance to wander around the inside of a Central Asian feudal castle.
- On the map: OSM / GMaps
- Minibus 14 passes nearby. Sultan Saodat and Kokildor Khanaka are within walking distance.
- Entrance is free
Other sights nearby: