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Medieval Saraishyk will be re-created

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By Anastassiya Pastoukhova

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“Medieval Saraishyk" project is ready for re-creation. The ancient settlement Saraidzhuk, founded in the 13th century, will not be re-built, but its "copy" will be re-created within one and a half kilometers from the old settlement.


To recall, “Ak Zhaik" newspaper proposed this idea in 2013 after our correspondent visited the artificial ancient city “Sarai-Batu" located on the territory of Selitrennoe village in Astrakhan region (see "Rescue of the Horde"). Our publication didn't go unnoticed by the Administration of business management and industrial and innovative development of Atyrau Oblast. Soon after that the experts from our local government visited Astrakhan region for detailed studying of that tourist facility that was once built as the decoration for the historical movie "The Horde".

Exchange of experience was very successful, however our Atyrau artists, decorators and historians, although have adopted some ideas from their Astrakhan colleagues, as the basis of the project used the items that primordially belonged to our history according to reliable sources.


"The New Old" city will be built away from the river coast to save it from the fate of the ancient Saraishyk that disappears due to flood waters. The old Saraishyk itself is located at the distance of 1,3 km from the new site.

– … After we visited Sarai-Batu located in Astrakhan region, the opinions of our experts were divided, – says the head of the department of tourism of business administration of Atyrau Oblast Karlygash Bekbaeva. – Some of the experts wanted to make the ancient city look like Sarai-Batu - with fake houses, dungeons with doors and windows behind which there is nothing. Others suggested to build the buildings so that they are functional – the tourist could enter the house, for example, of the handicraftsman and study the furniture inside. In other buildings he could see museum items, and in workshops he could see real people: potters, jewelers, metal craftsmen. The craftsmen could show and teach the trades of our ancestors.

After long and hot debates, it was decided to select the second option. Of course, it would be much more expensive, but it would be more interesting to tourists. Besides the estimated area of future Saraishyk is 8 hectares that would allow to construct in such extensive territory everything that distinguishes simple decorations to the movie from real informative touristic facilities that would enjoy popularity with the citizens and the guests of our region.


What is planned to be constructed in Saraishyke-2? Firstly, the city that has the form of the wrong triangle will be surrounded with fortress walls.

According to historical data, ancient Saraidzhuk was the city of craftsmen, trading and political center on caravan route and for certain period - the capital of Nogai Horde. Therefore in Saraishyke-2 there will be craft and residential quarters, as well as the palace of the governor. The palace will not be a full-fledged facility, but you could visit only one room that should demonstrate the atmosphere of those times and how khans lived in the 13th century, -, say the authors of the project.

It is envisaged that the old city will have a mosque with minaret, madrasah and hanaka (sufi monastery). Let's not forget that it was a rich center that served big caravans that went in both directions – so, the project envisages both a market and a caravan-sarai. There also will be felt houses- yurtas, a sardoba (storage for water), zindan (underground prison), as well as the bath-house and barracks … But I was especially touched by a tiny element – the boat that you would not notice among all these boxes. According to a well-known legend on the territory of the ancient city it is planned to build an artificial lake – “Sugar lake" where on the "gold" boat - beautiful daughter of Zhanibek-khan used to sail.

Experts involved in this project were not only from Atyrau, but also from the capital city. For example, the director of Astana branch of Institute of archeology named after A. Margulana - Zeinolla Samashev was the scientific consultant of the project.


What material will be used for the construction? In Sarai-Batu they used clay and straw, and simple wooden boxes were used as the basis. Our specialists are planning to build a sold city, i.e. they are planning to use modern materials: reinforced concrete, silicate brick, shell bricks. And for face work they will use clay, straw, ceramic tiles, plaster products which will give to buildings an ancient look.

At this stage for the Medieval Saraishyk the architectural model has been prepared, as well as scientific justification. This work was approved by the commission that consisted of representatives of government bodies, research associates of local Dosmoukhmedov Uni and historians. However the dates of construction start has not been determined yet. Currently the administration is engaged in searching of investors who would implement the project. There is hope that they will find them. After all, at least within the framework of celebration of the 550 anniversary of the Kazakh khanate and it is high time to remember that our region is rich not only with oil, but also with history.

Photo take by the author

October 15 2015, 10:02

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