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The Kalyan minaret, also known as the Grand Minaret, is the majestic centrepiece of the Poi Kalan complex, which also includes mosques and madrasahs.
The soaring 46-metre-high minaret dominates the historical heart of Buhkara, one of Uzbekistan's great Silk Road cities, and can be seen from all over the city. Built in 1127 to summon Muslims to prayer, the minaret survived the invasion of Genghis Khan as he was so impressed with its beauty he ordered it to be saved while everything around was destroyed.
The minaret is made of brick and narrows from nine metres diameter at the base to six metres at the top. A spiral staircase leads to the magnificent sixteen-arched rotunda near the top. It is also known as the Tower of Death because for centuries criminals were executed by being thrown from the top.
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