| City nickname:|
("Gateway of Türkümänistan")
Location of Merv within Turkestan
|Äkim||NAME OF LEADER|
|Area||TOTAL AREA km²|
- Total (as of 2008)
| Time zone|
- summer (DST)
| Turkestan Time (UTC+5:00)|
Turkestan Summer Time (UTC+6:00)
Merv was an important trading city from ancient times. Formerly known as Margiana, it was briefly known as Alexandria Margiana after Alexander the Great conquered the area, then became an important Sassanid city.
In the V and VI Centuries, Merv became an important centre of Assyrian Christianity; it has also had significant Buddhist and Manesian activity in its long history. It was an important way-station for caravans on the ancient Silk Road, and was thus very important as both a trading city and as a centre for the propagation of a number of different religious groups.
It is claimed that Merv was the largest city in the world for a brief period in the XII Century; certainly it was one of the most significant Silk Road cities during that period.
Much of Merv's revenue comes from the natural gas drilling operations about 20 miles east of the city.
Merv is the most senior Assyrian Metropolitan See in all of Central Asia; its Metropolitan bishop is often considered a spokesman for the entire Assyrian Church in Turkestan, though the other Metropolitanates of Samarqand, Taraz and Buxara are nominally independent from the Merv Metropolitanate.
Merv is also home to a large Turcoman horse-breeding centre.
The Metropolitan of Merv (Mervi Küräpiskübi) is considered the senior Assyrian clergyman in Turkestan, and in fact, in all of Central Asia. Hence, the Metropolitan See is an important part of Merv's character. Many Mervi Metropolitans have gone on to become Catholicos; the citizens are justly proud of this.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Resurrection is only the centre of a large Assyrian religious complex, including a seminary, monasteries and convents, the largest library in Turkestan and an extensive administrative centre.
The Metropolitanate directly oversees the following bishoprics: