Tajikistan: Istaravshan – Mugtepe Fortress

Istaravshan is one of the oldest cities in the Central Asia, having celebrated its 2500 year anniversary in 2002. At the crossroads of history, the town had a fortress for nearly two millennia – it was stormed by Alexander the Great in 329 BC and Cyrus the Great in 772 AD. Not much has originally survived of the hilltop fortress, but it was recently restored (more like fully rebuilt and restoration went a bit over the top in their restorative freedoms). It looks quite imposing and impressive, but one is left to wander whether it looked anything like this in the ancient times.