At the beginning of the 1st century AD, Chinese sources mentioned the city of Yue-gan, which has been correlated with the city of Gurgench or Urgench. It relates to Khorezm according to ancient and medieval geographic conceptions. In the later period this city was written about in connection with the most important political events in the region. Kunya-Urgench was destroyed and rebuilt several times.
At last, the city was miraculously revived by the trade which has been united by the Golden Horde and by 1366 had become "the largest, greatest, most beautiful and most important city of the Turks", a city that "shakes under the weight of its population. Ibn Battuta described a city so busy that a man could not move in the throng. Arab and Persian historians, geographers and travelers wrote an enormous amount of information on Kunya-Urgench.
There are numerous archeological and architectural monuments, presenting considerable scientific and cultural value, on the territory of Kunya-Urgench:
- Mausoleum of Il-Arslan
- Mausoleum of Sultan Tekesh
- Minaret of Kutlug Timur
- Mausoleum of Turabek-Khanym.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee decided to include Kunya-Urgench in its list of world heritage sites at the 29th session held in Durban, South Africa.