Open air museum city-Khiva was the first city in Central Asia to be listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage list. It is concidered that in Khiva museums are most densely located in the world.
Ichan Kala - surrounded by powerful walls of the historic inner city of Khiva in Uzbekistan. Erected over the centuries (the oldest architectural monuments belong to the XIV century), fortresses and palaces, mosques and madrasas, mausoleums and minarets, the caravanserai and a bath made Ichon-Kala the original city-monument.
According to legends, clay from these sites was used when the Prophet Muhammad built Medina , and the lake, which appeared later, generally regarded as saint ones. Another legend tells that the well Heyvak, water from which had an amazing flavor, was excavated by Shem, son of the biblical Noah.
Walls of Khiva
In Khiva, there is
traditional division of the city into two distinct parts of each
other: the inner city (shahristan) - Ichon-Kala (literally: the
inner circle of defense) and the outer city (rabad) - Dishan
Kala (outer defensive circle). Walls Ichon-Qala: 8-10 meters
tall, 6-8 feet thick and a length of 2250 meters along the outer
Ramparts of the external and internal "circles" were made of adobe (bricks, dried in the sun, the size 40h40h10 cm). After every 30 meters of the Ichon-Qala walls there were erected round defensive towers, projecting beyond the walls. At the top of the walls there are jagged railing with narrow embrasures for firing at the enemy during the siege.
The city gates were also part of the defense system. On the example of the remaining gate we see that they have a "shock" towers located on either side of the arched passage, and over the gate, there are also viewing the gallery.Directions for the arches in the direction of the gate was covered with an arched roof (Coy Darwaza), or, if the corridor is very long, several domes.
Monuments of Khiva
Ancient city is famous
for many historic buildings, most of which were built in the XIX
century and perfectly preserved until today. Visiting Khiva, one
can imagine, looked like other cities of Central Asia in the
You can get into city through four gate: Northern (Bagchi-Darwaza), Southern (Tash-Darwaza), Eastern (Pahlavan-Darwaza), and Western (Ata-Darwaza).
Inner City Ichon-Qala, covering an area less than a square kilometer, densely built up, so the attractions of Khiva are compact, small area, bounded by the walls.Most visitors enter the city via the Western Gate (Ata-Darwaza), which is located to the left of Kuna-Ark, the old citadel, some parts belong to the fifth century.
On the right of the gate is Madrasah Muhammad Amin Khan. The grandiose minaret Kalta Minar is a bit ahead. About 200 meters closer to the center of the city, located Madrassah of Muhammad Rahim Khan II.
Behind of it, near the east gate, Tash Hauli Palace (XIX century) is located and the madrasah of Alla-Kuli Khan. In a 5-minute walk south of downtown is the mausoleum of Said Allauddin and Mausoleum of Pahlavan Mahmud, madrassa Shergazi Khan, as well as a mosque and minaret Islam Khoja.
Kunya Ark (means "old castle") - the citadel, is located in the inner city of Khiva,Ichon-Kala in modern Uzbekistan. Old Ark served as one of Khan's residences. Existing at present complex Kunya Ark was reconstructed in the XIX century.
Kunya Ark connects the
western wall of Ichan-Kala from the abode of a hermit
Ak-Sheikh-bobo. Construction of Kunya Ark began in
1686-1688's by the son of Anoush Khan, Arango
Khan. At the end of the XVIII century Kunya Ark was a "city
within a city" and was separated from the Ichan-Kala high
wall. Once the fortress consisted of Khan's office, hall for
receptions, harem, winter and summer mosques, mint and
outbuildings: stables, warehouses, workshops, etc.
The area near the entrance to the Kunya Ark was used for military parades and training engagements. There was also a special place for the enforcement of sentences and the Zindon (prison), adjacent to the eastern walls of Kunya Ark. Entrance to the palace was guarded. Only a few buildings remained from the once densely built-up area of Kunya Ark: the eastern gate with rooms for guards; Ak-Sheikh Bobo cell; “Kurinishhona” - a room for the reception and registration of people, summer and winter mosques and harem.
Cell Ak-Sheikh Bobo , mentor of Sheikh Mukhtar Vali, was used as lookout towers, and here were stored gunpowder.
The first building – “Kurinishhona” was built in 1686-1688 years by Arango Khan and destroyed in the middle of the XVIII century, during the invasion of the Iranians.The modern building was erected in 1804-1806 years by Iltuzar Khan. Terrace of “Kurinishhona” was covered with majolica during the reign of Alla-Kuli Khan.Kurinishhona consists of several facilities including an outdoor courtyard, a terrace, a hall with a throne and lodges in the western part of the yard (treasury of Khan, room for storage of manuscripts, rooms for relaxation). In the middle of the courtyard there is a circular elevation, where there was a tent, in which Khan received ambassadors of nomadic neighbors. Throne of the Khan was located at the southern wall of the throne hall. Now this throne is in a museum in Moscow. It was made of wood and covered with plates of silver with a delicate carved ornamentation, done in 1816 by master Muhammad of Khiva.
The territory of the harem in Kunya Ark was built during the reign of Muhammad Rahim Khan II. Harem is situated in the northern part of the Kunya Ark. The yard is extended from east to west and single-line one or two-storey rooms were built in a single line. The total size of the harem: 33h62 m. Yard: 14.5h50 pm.
The Mint was built during the reign of Muhammad Rahim Khan, I. It was built in conjunction with summer and winter mosque. Dimensions: overall: 34h23 m. Yard: 16h13 m old mosque: 7.4h13 m, winter: 12.5 x 12, 5 m; Mint: 14h17 pm
Muhammad Amin Khan Madrasah
Madrasah Muhammad Amin
Khan is an architectural monument built between 1851-1854 by
Muhammad Amin Khan which is located in Ichan-Kala fortress of
Muhammad Amin Khan Madrassa is the largest not only in Khiva (260 students), but throughout Central Asia. “This beautiful building will forever stand in the joy of future generations”. So thought the Khan of Khiva, having decided to surpass in size and comfort of all the religious schools in Khiva.
In addition to religious school here was located the Administrative Office of Muslims.
Amazing and exeptional parts of architecture of the madrassas are that there are the first in Khiva residential two room hujras, located on the first floor.Hujras, located on the second floor have balconies with access to the facade of the building. Madrasah facade is decorated with ornaments of glazed brick. Currently, in this building there are a hotel, travel agency, currency exchange, ticket office and café.
Kalta Minar Minaret
Kalta Minar minaret (short) was planned to be the largest in the East (base diameter - 14.2 m). The planned height of the minaret was 70-80 meters and the diameter was to decrease sharply with altitude, which would make it more durable minaret. But construction has stopped at a height of 29 m.
Kalta Minar Minaret is located in Ichan-Kala - inner city of ancient Khiva and was built in 1855.
According to the historian of Khiva Munis, the building was not finished because of the death of Khan in 1855. According to legend the emir of Bukhara, learning about the unique construction of the minaret in Khiva, wanted to build the same in Bukhara, and agreed with the master that he would do it as soon as it is finished in Khiva. Having known of this agreement Khan of Khiva ordered to kill the master as soon as he finishes the construction.Master fled leaving the minaret unfinished after learning the plans of Khiva Khan.
The minaret is known precisely because of its incompleteness, as well as its unique décor.Kalta Minar - the only minaret, entirely covered with glazed tiles and majolica.
Madrassah of Muhammad Rahim Khan II
Madrassag is located on
the east site of the Kun-Ark. It was built by Muhammad Rahim
Khan whose full name was Saeed Khan Muhammad Rahim Bahadur Khan
(people called him Madrim Khan II). He wrote poems under the pen
name Feruz. Construction of madrassas, which was begun by his
order, was completed in 1876. Madrassah of Muhammad Rahim Khan
is one of the largest in Khiva and most well-known in Central
Asia. The construction of a large madrassah with 76 hudjras is a
logical continuation of the activity of Muhammad Rahim Khan in
the field of education. Madrasah consists of two court yards. In
the inner courtyard there are one story
building with hudjras, behind it a two-storey building with a
high portal of the main facade of madrassah. In the main
courtyard the there are a number of arched hujras. Madrasah
consists of “darshona”(lesson room), libraries, summer and
winter mosques. Majolica is abundantly used on tambourines,
ornamental edging and columns on the facade.
Madrasah Allah Kuli Khan
Madrasah Allah Kuli Khan located between Tim (Covered Bazaar) and the eastern gate-Pahlavan Darwaza. Its main facade faces to the courtyard of madrasa Hodzham Berdybaya. City library was housed on the ground floor in several hujras of Allah Kuli Khan Madrassa. The libriary was founded by Allah Kuli Khan, and provide with books all students of Khiva Madrassahs. The library was contained thanks to the yield from the caravanserai, and Tim Allakuli Khan.
Although the architecture of the madrasas is nothing special, it's a very impressive building. In the design of the main facade dominates Khorezm type majolica in black and white and blue colors.
Mausoleum of Pahlavan Mahmud
Mausoleum of Pahlavan Mahmud is one of the best works of architects from Khiva in the middle of XIX century.
Pahlavan Mahmud was a local poet and unbeaten wrestler of simple artisans. Pahlavan Mahmud was also known for heroic strength and the ability to heal people. His tomb is located in the cemetery behind the Juma mosque. Local oral tradition describes the many details associated with the life and exploits of Pahlavan Mahmud. Since ancient times, Pahlavon Mahmud is revered as the patron saint of the city.
The original building of
the mausoleum has been modest, but since this place has become a
popular piligrimage place soon there were built mosques and
khanaka where pilgrims also prayed, and, besides, there were
houses and other premises for the device necessary living
conditions. Gradually Masoleum of Pahlavan Mahmud turned into a
magnificent structure, with the largest dome in Khiva, covered
with blue glazed tiles with a sparkling gold-plated tip. During
the reign of Alla-Kuli Khan, the building was decorated with
Early mausoleum of Pahlavan-Mahmud was rebuilt in 1810 by Muhammad Rahim Khan I (1806-1825). The new mausoleum included the old vault and hanaka with high double dome, a silhouette that became one of the main symbols of Khiva. At the entrance of mausoleum a memorial courtyard was constructed and the gates of the old cemetery became the entrance portal of the memorial Pahlavan-Mahmud. At the beginning of the XX century two-storey korihona on the west side of the courtyard and on the east side summer mosque with terrace were built by the order of Asfendiyar Khan (1910-1920). In majolica cladding of the memorial a lot of cartouches with religious sayings, poems of Pahlavan Mahmud, and the names of the masters are included.