The city of Khiva is an ancient city, which lies just 10 km from the border with Turkmenistan. This city was formerly one of the most picturesque settlements of Khorezm khanate, he is able to offer a huge number of attractions, monuments of culture and architecture. Many of these plants are among the sites protected by UNESCO and considered world heritage.
Exactly Khiva rightly bears the title of the city-Museum, as any tourist will find interesting and has a rich history and cultural monuments of the ancient Muslim, ancient architectural ensembles, which were built here in different periods of existence of the city.
In the Old town, which is also called the Inner, the number of attractions is just phenomenal — it’s impossible to walk two steps not to stumble on a new one. They all have amazing history, and a refined and luxurious exterior design. But we cannot say that the outside city is uninteresting — it also many places that are well worth a visit. However, if the Outer city remained not too good, the Interior appears to us almost in its original form.
According to ancient legend, the city of Khiva was built around the well dug by one of the descendants of the biblical Noah. According to legend, this well was unusually pure and tasty water. It’s in the town and now is one of the monuments of antiquity. The basis of Khiva occurred more than 2.5 centuries ago, after which he became one of the richest and most prosperous settlements of Khorezm. At the beginning of its existence the city was followed by a dynasty of rulers, it was repeatedly captured the warring tribes, and in the beginning of the XIII century, the armies of Genghis Khan almost destroyed the city.
At the end of the XVI century the city became the center of the Khiva khanate, and received a second period of development and prosperity, becoming one of the most important and largest centers of Islam in the East. The city is full of magnificent sights, among which you can see the buildings both secular and religious purposes. In the early twentieth century, Khiva has received a new development stage in the Russian Empire.
The old town, or itchan Kala is protected by a thick wall of military fortifications and is the main attraction of Khiva. Structures to protect the city were built decades and centuries, so you can find the designs which have been installed in the XIV century or at other times. Here are the ancient ramparts, tombs, palaces and mosques, houses and bathing establishments. Ichan-Kala is a city within a city, because live a unique culture, preserving ancient traditions. According to legends the fortress was built of clay of the same species as the Medina built by the prophet Mohammed.
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What to see in Khiva
A large part of the architectural monuments of Khiva is located in the Central part, called Ichan-Kala. It is surrounded by huge walls, equipped with 4 gates — North, South, East and West. The East gate is connected with the Western by major trunk roads, along which stretches the architectural masterpieces. This monumental complex is under protection of UNESCO.
Admire the beauty of the Ichan-Kala can be climbed to the observation tower of the AK-Sheikh-Bobo. With its height the whole town is visible, like the palm. Striking in its splendor, gracefulness and unusual appearance , the minaret Kalta-Minar. The building looks like it was cut exactly in the middle. The base of the structure is surrounded by patterns of glazed bricks of different widths. The minaret was supposed to be the tall, elegant and striking building in the city. But the Governor, who conceived a massive construction site, unfortunately, did not live to see its completion, and after his death, the work arose. The minaret was never completed, and gave him a succinct title Kalta, translated as «short».
Close to this masterpiece of the building is the madrasah of Muhammad Amin Khan. It is the largest building, the walls of which taught theology, have survived to the present. The most notable element of the building are paired hujra. The so-called cells, in which the students live. Outside of the unique magnificence and solidity give the structure of the belt of colored bricks and cladding of majolica.
Another attraction of interest to tourists, is an old fortress Kunya-ark. Within its walls lies an architectural structure — the Palace of Muhammad Rahim Khan. It is famous for its extraordinary, astounding interior decor. The walls on the inner side is decorated with magnificent carvings ganch and top coated with a specialized dye composition. Near the Palace is another notable building height of 2 storeys. It’s a harem. On its territory there is a great variety of richly decorated and well-appointed rooms and picturesque houses.
Will not leave you indifferent the most beautiful building of the Juma mosque, which was built in the 18th century. At the entrance of the building you can see a sign that informs that this architectural monument was built in the period from 1778 through 1782. Interesting this mosque is the fact that it is composed of 210 columns. And they were built much earlier, in the period from the 13th to the 15th century. Each column has its own history. They were brought from different places, so completely different in appearance. However, each column is a model of harmony and beauty.
The gates of Palvan-Darvaza is significant because next to them is the whole complex of monuments. Of great interest is the Palace Tasch-Hauli. It’s kind of the residence of the Khiva khans. The construction attracts the views, admire the rich and unusual decor and a stunning interior. In one place are connected and the cladding of majolica, and figural cartouches, and a unique thread with amazing ornaments, and much more.
Here, nearby located Kurnysh-Khan. This Palace with its interesting architectural features as a basic goal in its carved walls arranged luxury receptions. In the old days one of the best decoration of the throne room there was a throne, made of wood and decorated with silver, which is majestically and richly looked on a red background. This Palace is famous for its beautiful ayvan with columns and unique carved ornaments of the walls.
Another popular attraction is the memorial Pahlavan-Mahmud. This complex was erected in honor of the famous local poet, who after his death was canonized and named the patron Saint of Khiva.
Near the minaret of Islam Khoja. The height of the building is 45 meters. It is noteworthy that at the very top is the see-through lantern crowned by a dome.
But interesting for the travelers will not only be internal but also external part of Khiva is called Dishan-Kala, which is not less rich in historic sights.
Where to go in Khiva
Interesting places in Khiva
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Where to stay in Khiva
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