Remarkable Sights of Khiva
Khiva city, one of the largest cities in Khorezm state in the past, has a rich heritage and history. Not young, but flourishing city is located on the present territory of the Republic of Karakalpakstan.
Due to its location bordering with Turkmenistan, Khiva was one of the central cities of the Great Silk Road. Over the long history, Khiva had been the capital of the eponymous khanate, as well as the capital of the Timurid dynasty.
According to a local legend, the Kheivak well, which is still located on the territory of the inner city Ichan-Kala, initiated the formation of the settlement around itself and further around the city in order to attract tourists from around the world. In the light of this perspective, this well is the striking example of Khiva city’s sightseeing.
Many remarkable sights of Khiva was built in XVIII - early XX century, which register flowering of construction, some of which we can see today. Ichan-Kala has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. However, this is not the only reason to visit this city, since there is another outer part of the city: (residential area) Dishan-Kala. In this area visitors can observe not only archaeological, but also anthropological values which are cherished and guarded by the people in present days. These values are well developed crafts, customs and traditions of the nation, which beauty is especially vivid during national holidays.
In Eastern culture the gates of the buildings mark the importance of the city, the house or the person. In the past the gates of the Khiva city were also used for its defense.
Construction of Kalta Minor Tower, which is located in front of the Muhammad Amin Khan Madrasa, started in 1851. According to the famous Khiva historian Munis, it was to become the highest tower in Central Asia.
The western gates lead to the first castle of the city, Kunya Arch. It was built by the Khiva Khan Muhammad Erenk Khan in the 17 century. By the end of the 18 century Kunya Arch was separated from Ichan Kala and became a city.
The Muhammad Rahim Khan Madrasa, one of the biggest mosques in Khiva, was in front of the castle Kunya Arch. It was built by Sayyid Muhammad Rahim Khan (Madraim Khan II) in 1876.
The Juma mosque was built in the 10 century. It was re-built by Abdurahman Mihtar, a Khan high official, in the end of the 18 century. The mosque, which had 212 columns, offered the Friday prayer to the city.