HomeDo You Know?What’s the mystery surrounding Towers of Ingushetia?

What’s the mystery surrounding Towers of Ingushetia?

Towers of Ingushetia are built by Ingush, Vainakh and Chechen people in Russia. They are also known as Vainakh towers. Ingush, Vainakh and Chechen towers differed in architecture, but not much.  The oldest remains of buildings with the characteristics of Vainakh towers date from the 1st century AD. Remember, these towers were built during the period when concrete and steel were not heard of. They are also called Mysterious Towers. Do you know why they are so called?

The Vainakh tower architecture is a characteristic feature of ancient and medieval architecture of Chechnya and Ingushetia. Some towers were used as dwellings, others had a military purpose; some combined both functions. However, looking at their design they can be distinguished into residential and military types.

Typical Vainakh towers were built on a square base, ranging from 6 to 12 m wide and 10 to 25 m high, depending on the function. The walls were built of stone blocks, possibly with lime, clay-lime, or lime-sand mortar. The walls were inclined inwards and their thickness decreased on higher floors. The towers were built on hard rock. The tower builders did not need any scaffolding an assumption which has been concurred by researchers too.

There were some mysteries about the rules about the construction of the towers though the exact reasons behind such rules are not known. An important rule about the towers was that the construction was to be completed within 365 days. Further, it was mandatory for every well-to-do family to have one such tower in the village.

The Ingush people have built towers since the beginning of ancient times, however during the 13th century the construction of towers intensified due to the passage of the Silk Road through the mountainous territories of Ingushetia, the control over which allowed the local population to fund constructions. As the passage of caravans decreased during the 14th and 15th centuries, mass construction of towered structures began to decline, although the construction of single towers continued until the beginning of the 19th century.

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