Ancient Town Khulbuk, Tajikistan
Palace of the governor of Khulbuk.
Lonely Planet: Hulbuk Fortress
Destroyed by the Mongols, the sparse remnants of this fortified palace have been undergoing excavation since 1951 and now a fine reconstruction of the palace walls, complete with minaret and battlements, has been completed. Seen from the main road driving east, it seems to loom out of nowhere (8km west of Vose) and is an impressive sight.
Between the 9th and 11th centuries, Hulbuk Palace was at the centre of one of the four biggest cities of Central Asia and the seat of the Shah of Khatlon. The palace guarded a giant salt hill which was of great value at the time as the source of one of three precious resources (together with gold and horses) traded along the silk routes.