"The Fortress of Infidels" – this is how the name of this ancient settlement is translated. This fortress was built approximately in the 4th century BC. Its ten-metre walls impress with the power. They surround ruins of two citadels that presumably could be a temple and palace constructions.
One of citadels could serve as a protective construction and a temple. It is not surprising, as this district is considered the native land of the most ancient texts of Avesta - Gathas, written by Zarathustra. The numerous ruins of the centres are the evidence that inhabitants Gjaur-Kaly were Zoroastrians who worshipped the fire.
Other citadel, apparently, was the governor’s palace surrounded by a large courtyard and residential buildings, decorated with paintings and carvings on clay. Archeologists found here other relics of luxury goods: various ornaments, the fabrics decorated with gold sewing, and many other things, bearing the evidence that representatives of the higher estate lived here.
Gyaur-Kala fortress stood on the crossing of trade ways. The northern branch of the Great Silk Road laid not far away, and it to a large extend contributed to longer existence of this ancient settlement in comparison with other fortresses of Ancient Khorezm.
The fortress received its name from Arabs who conquered it in the beginning of 8th century. Townsmen had been furnishing a fierce resistance to conquerors for over half a century. Arabs named fortress Gyaur-Kala – "the Fortress of Infidels" as inhabitants were Zoroastrians, i.e. worshipped the fire.
The fortress continued to function up to arrival the Mongols to the Central Asia in 1220. Genghis Khan’s elder son Temujin ordered to ruin the city to the ground. Subsequently townsmen moved and established a new settlement near to Gyaur-kala remains.
Of all the fortresses in the region, this one is the worst preserved. Almost nothing is left of the inner walls, everything turned into sagging boulders of gigantic proportions, only by looking at the thickness and height of the outer walls can we judge about the previous greatness of Guyar-kala or ‘fortress of the infidels’.
According to historical records, it was erected in the IV century BC and dates back to the pre-Islamic era, the time when the people here still worshiped fire. Khorezm and its environs are considered the center of the origin of Zoroastrian texts, the birthplace of the Avesta. Gyaur-kala is located on a steep and highest hill in the region, so the towers of the citadel had a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding territories for many kilometers around.
Gyaur-kala is separated from the ancient necropolis of Mizdahkan by a salt marsh lowland, which is filled with water in the spring time and briefly turns into a lake. The main arch of Gyaur-kala is also turned in the direction of Mizdahkan, the gigantic ruins of which have been partially preserved to the present day. At the entrance to the citadel an intricate labyrinth was discovered.