One of the Ghazni Minarets as seen in 2001.
|Alternative name||Mas'ud III Minaret & Bahram Shah Minaret|
|Height||20 m (66 ft)|
|Builder||Masud III, Bahram-Shah of Ghazna|
Ghazni Minarets are two elaborately decorated minaret towers located in Ghazni city, central Afghanistan. They were built in middle of the twelfth century and are the only surviving elements of the mosque of Bahram Shah. The two minarets are 600 meters (1968 feet) apart and lie in an open plain, north-east of Ghazni city.
Both minarets of Ghazni are 20 metres (66 feet) tall and built of fired mud brick. The surface of the towers are decorated beautifully with intricate geometric patterns and Qurunic verses on elaborate terracotta tiles. In the 1960s, both towers were fitted with sheet metal roofs in a limited preservation effort.
The 12th century minarets are the most famous monuments of Ghazni city and are among the last surviving remnants of the great Ghaznavid Empire. The two minarets are called, Mas'ud III Minaret and Bahram Shah Minaret after the ruler who built them, Masud III (A.D. 1099-1115) and Bahram Shah (A.D. 1118-1157). The excavated palace of Mas'ud III lies nearby to the towers.
Ghazni Minarets are not well preserved or protected. Both towers are in danger from natural elements and the political instability in Afghanistan. There are no basic security measures in place to prevent vandalism and the towers are in need of new roofing to prevent water infiltration into the towers.
The towers' facade contains intricate geometric patterns and Quranic inscriptions which are deteriorating rapidly with exposure to rain and snow. They are further affected by the nearby road and the area is subject to periodic flooding.
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