The soaring Mil-e Gonbad tower is the unmissable attraction of what is otherwise a faceless, forgettable urban sprawl famous for Turkmen horse racing and a nationally prominent volleyball team.
A millennium ago, when the tower was built, this was the thriving city of Jorjan. It was utterly obliterated by the 13th-century rampages of the Mongols, though, and the only other remains of ancient Jorjan visible today are lumpy excavations behind the huge, ornate Imamzadeh-ye Yahya, 4km southwest of central Gonbad-e Kavus.
A Unesco World Heritage site since 2012, this 53m tower in Gonbad's centre looks like a buttressed-brick spaceship with the cross-section of a 10-pointed star. Built in 1006, it's so remarkably well pmore