40 Sights of Khiva worth seeing – TripPlanet.ru

Sights of Khiva

Kunya Ark Citadel Minaret Kalta Minor Old fortress Kunya Ark Ak Mosque Tash-Khauli Palace Bani Anush-Khan Minaret Kalta Minor Tim and Caravanserai Allakulikhan

This site contains the sights of Khiva – photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to questions: what to see in Khiva, where to go and where are the popular and interesting places of Khiva.

Kunya Ark Citadel

Kunya Ark Citadel (photo)

Kun-Arc Citadel is located in Uzbekistan, on the territory of Ichan-Kala, the ancient inner city of modern Khiva. Until 1920 Kunya-Ark was a khan’s residence. The citadel was built in the late 17th century by Arang Khan. By the end of the XVIII century there was a separation of the citadel from Itchan-Kala fortress wall, as a result it became a “city within a city.

The citadel had a harem, a hall for receptions, khan’s chancellery, two mosques, a mint, auxiliary premises.The square at the entrance to the citadel served as a place for parades and military trainings. Only a few structures of the once densely built-up area of Kunya Ark have survived to this day.

The mint and mosque buildings were built simultaneously by the order of Muhammad Rahim-khan I.

The harem building on the territory of the citadel was built during the time of Muhammad Rahim-khan II and has also survived to this day. The harem covers an area of 2000 square meters.

Coordinates: 41.38363500,60.35971800

Kalta Minor Minaret

Kalta Minor Minaret (photo)

The Kalta-Minor Minaret is located in Khiva in the western part of Uzbekistan. This monument of Eastern architecture has become one of the main symbols of the city. Its design contrasts sharply with neighboring urban buildings.

Minaret tower with a diameter of 14.5 meters rises up to the height of 29 meters. Such unusual proportions are due to the incompleteness of this unique construction. Its height has reached only on third the height planned by architects.

The minaret was stopped after the assassination of Mohammad Amin-khan, the ruler of Khiva. It was supposed that the wide basement would enable the tower to resist the outer loads, and the deep foundation which went under the ground to the depth of 15 meters would be the reliable base of the construction. The glazed tiles of the exterior finish are as striking today as they were in the mid 19th century, when the construction of the minaret stopped.

Coordinates: 41.37836600,60.35801200

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Old Kunya Ark Fortress

The old fortress of Kunya Ark (photo)

The Kunya Ark architectural complex was erected in the late 17th century. This is the oldest preserved residence of Khiva khans.

It was separated from Ichan-Kala (a historical inner city in Khiva) by perfectly preserved mighty fortress walls. In the territory of the citadel Kunya-Ark there were the Khan’s palace, winter and summer mosques, powder factory, mint, court, workshops, warehouses and other buildings.

The citadel’s buildings are now a few: both mosques, the mint, the harem building, and the guardhouse at the east gate. The doors and balconies of the buildings are decorated with elaborate wood carvings.

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From the Khan’s palace remained only kurinish-khona (room for receiving visitors), consisting of the Throne room and premises for the archive of rare manuscripts and the Khan’s treasury. The Throne room attracts attention with its wooden columns on a carved marble base and majolica panels on the ceiling. In the summer mosque there is also a unique painted ceiling and majolica in relief on the walls. The mint has been reconstructed at present with mannequins of 19th century mint, coins, silk and paper money exhibition. In the two-story harem building, tourists will be interested in the luxurious decoration of the interior and living rooms.

Kunya Ark Citadel is presumably built on the ruins of earlier structures. During archaeological excavations coins and fragments of ceramics from the earlier historical period were found here.

Coordinates: 41.37772800,60.35774100

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Ak Mosque

Ak-Mosque (photo)

The Ak Mosque, or White Mosque, is located at the eastern gate of the inner city of Khiva, Ichan Kala. It is a small building, a so-called “neighborhood” mosque (a type of mosque built for the inhabitants of one city district to visit). The foundation of the building was laid in the 17th century under Anush Khan, and the current building was built in 1838-1842.

The main prayer room is in the winter building of the mosque, topped with a white dome. The mosque has interestingly carved doors, open-work window lattices, wooden columns with carved bases. The Ak-Mosque is one of the samples of the Central Asian architecture. In the carvings on the doors of the mosque can read the names of the masters.

Coordinates: 41.37787100,60.36184200

Tash-Khauli Palace

Tash-Khauli palace (photo)

Tash-Khauli Palace is a whole architectural complex consisting of three parts: the family courtyard, where Khan lived and housed his harem, Ishrat-Khauli (mashmon-khona – a ceremonial room where receptions and ceremonies took place) and Arz-Khauli (arz-khona – a place for legal proceedings). Surrounded by high walls and built entirely of burnt brick, the palace resembles an impregnable fortress, but the decor of all the rooms inside these walls is striking in its richness and elegance.

The scale of Tash-Hauli is impressive. According to contemporary accounts, the Khan of Khiva, Allah Kuli Khan, wished the palace to be built in two years. When the architects refused to complete it in such a short time, the Khan ordered their execution. The construction of the palace has occupied 8 years (1830-1838). The Tash-Khauli is a true masterpiece of the Khiva architects. In total in the palace – more than 160 rooms of various sizes, almost all of them luxuriously decorated. The walls of the rooms are decorated with white and blue majolica. The painted ceilings and filigree carving of wooden columns were not damaged by the time.

Now in some rooms of the palace you can see exhibitions dedicated to the history and art of ancient Khorezm.

Coordinates: 41.37812900,60.36137000

Anush-Khan Baths

Baths of Anush-Khan (photo)

On the territory of the old city of Khiva (Ichan Qala), which is a unique monument of history and architecture, there is an interesting structure – the Baths of Anush Khan. According to historians, they were built approximately in 1657-1664 by Abdulgazi-Khan in honor of his son Anush-Khan.

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Eastern bathhouses of the Middle Ages (including the bathhouses of Anush Khan) usually consisted of a vestibule, rooms for undressing and rooms for washing. The bathhouses of Anush-Khan had a semi-subterranean heating system, which helped to retain heat, and a heating and sewage system unique for its time. Up to now in Ichan-Kala you can see this submerged structure, the existence of which is indicated only by the domes rising above the ground.

Coordinates: 41.37573800,60.36047400

Kalta Minor Minaret

Kalta Minor Minaret (photo)

Kalta Minor is a low minaret that stands at the main facade of the Muhammad Amin Khan Madrasah. The name “Kalta” suggests that the minaret is “short.” He was supposed to be the highest minaret in Central Asia, reaching a height of 70 meters, but after the death of Mohammed Amin-khan construction of the minaret was interrupted, stopping at a height of only 26 meters. Later the minaret was never completed for lack of money and the townspeople had to get used to its bizarre shape.

Externally bright blue minaret has no analogues in Central Asia and is the only minaret, the surface of which is completely covered with color glazed tiles. The middle of the minaret is crossed by three wide ornamental belts. The decoration pattern of the tower is chosen so that it seems complete.

Coordinates: 41.37832200,60.35777100

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Tim and Allakulikhan caravanserai

Tim and Allakulikhan caravanserai (photo)

Khiva is a unique city in Uzbekistan. It feels like the 21st century is not here. The old town of Ichan-Kala keeps the color of the Middle Ages. When you come here, you step into the past forever. There is another course of time, another way of life and other values here. Ichan-Kaly, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a concentration of monuments. One of them is the tim (covered market) and the caravanserai of Alla Kuli Khan, which nowadays look like a single structure.

In the 19th century, due to the expansion of trade with neighboring cities and countries, Khiva needed new trading areas. The main bazaars were located near the Palvan-Darvaza Gate, so in the 1930s Alla-Kuli-khan built a huge caravanserai near the Tash-Khuli Palace. It served as a hotel for merchants and a place of wholesale trade. A little later, a multi-domed roofed market – tim – was attached to its main facade. Its western and eastern facades were decorated in the form of a city gate and faced with polished bricks. Here one could buy not only local goods, but also Russian or English fabrics, silk shawls, Bukhara boots, crockery from China, etc.

Coordinates : 41.22390000,60.21430000

The most popular attractions in Khiva with descriptions and photos for all tastes. Choose the best places to visit famous places of Khiva on our website.

More places of interest in Khiva

Qalta Minar Tower, Khiva, Uzbekistan Akshi Bobo Bastion, Khiva, Uzbekistan Murad-Tura Minaret, Khiva, Uzbekistan Al-Khwarizmi and Beruni Museum of Khorezm History, Khiva, Uzbekistan Muhammad Amin-Khan Madrasah, Khiva, Uzbekistan Sayed Alauddin Mausoleum, Khiva, Uzbekistan

The 10 Best Sights of Khiva

The 10 Best Sights of Khiva

Khiva is a real gem in the desert part of Uzbekistan. Fans of fairy-tale adventures will be able to plunge into the world of oriental architecture, because the historical part of the city is located inside the fortress Ichan-Kala, where a lot of visual elements from the XIX century have been preserved. It is necessary to remove electric wires, hide phones and other electronics from Khiva, and you can fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere of bygone centuries.

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But even with modern technology, the sights of Khiva stir your imagination and images of people who lived here hundreds of years ago appear before your eyes. On this page you can see the list of top 10 places of interest in Khiva, which are a must see after such a long journey through the deserts of Uzbekistan.

1. Kalta Minor Minaret.

The 10 Best Sights of Khiva

This magnificent massive landmark on the central street inside the fortress is the hallmark of Khiva. Today Kalta Minor looks like a beautifully decorated barrel 26 meters high, but once upon a time long ago it was predicted to be the tallest minaret in Central Asia. There were plans to build a minaret over 70 meters high, but the ruler of Khiva died and construction stopped. Although Kalta Minor was not the highest, but it owns another record – it is the only minaret fully covered with majolica. If a tourist does not take a photo in front of Kalta-Minor minaret, no one will believe that he was in Khiva.

2. The Madrasah of Muhammad Amin Khan.

The 10 Best Sights of Khiva

Near Kalta-Minor is one of the largest madrassahs in Central Asia, which was built by the order of Muhammad Amin-khan. It was this ruler who ordered the construction of Kalta-Minor when the madrasah was almost finished. In the past, more than 250 students studied religion, history and other sciences here. And today anyone can stay overnight in this madrasah in small stylized rooms with thick brick walls or more expensive suites with small balconies from where you can see all the patterns of the Kalta Minor. Muhammad Amin-Khan Madrassah was included in the list of the best places of interest in Khiva.

The Minaret of Islam-Khoja.

The 10 Best Sights of Khiva

The highest minaret of Uzbekistan which towers above Khiva at a height of 57 meters. Despite the fact that Islam-Khoja Minaret was built at the beginning of the XX century it fits perfectly into the architecture of the old city and is visible from almost anywhere in it. But the most interesting thing is that anyone can climb up to it and look at Khiva from the bird’s eye view. Although it should be noted that the ascent is labor-intensive and takes more than 10 minutes, which will pass through a narrow spiral staircase, almost in complete darkness. In any case, the minaret of Islam-Khoja will make a strong impression on visitors of Khiva.

4. Juma Mosque .

The 10 Best Sights of Khiva

This sight is unique not only for Khiva, but also for Uzbekistan and even for the whole Central Asia. A large rectangular one story building has a roof with rows of pillars made of 213 wooden columns and in the center of the unusual hall there are two small light windows in the ceiling. Upon entering the Juma Mosque, guests will walk past the carved columns, and gradually the semi-darkness will be replaced by soft sunlight. The simplicity of the architecture, the soft transitions from shadow to light, and the geometric harmony of the columns create an almost mystical atmosphere in which silence reigns. Juma Mosque deservedly takes its place in the list of 10 best sights of Khiva. Besides it is very easy to find – there is 33 meters high minaret and it is situated in the center of Ichan-Kala fortress.

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5. The walls of the fortress of Ichan-Kala

The 10 Best Sights of Khiva

Today, the fortress of Ichan-Kala can no longer withstand the siege, as several sections of the wall were demolished, but most of the perimeter still rises to a height of 10 meters, and there are still powerful gates oriented to the sides of the world: Ata-darwaza, Bagcha-darwaza, Palvan-darwaza and Tash-darwaza. To climb the wall of the fortress Ichan-Kala there are two options: you can go to the southern gate, but it is better to go up to the northern gate. Once you’re on top, you can walk about 400 meters in each direction and look at Khiva and its minarets, or watch the neighborhood through the battlements, as the guards of the fortress did hundreds of years ago. Walking along the fortress walls at sunrise and sunset will be especially beautiful.

6. Tash-Khovli Palace.

The 10 Best Sights of Khiva

This landmark of Khiva is an excellent example of the royal life of the past. The Tash-Khovli Palace has three parts: the guest courtyard, the courtroom, and the harem. But if you think that in the harem of Khiva khan there were several dozens of wives, then we want to point out that according to Sharia law it was allowed to have no more than 4 wives. The Tash-Khovli palace was built by the order of Allakuli Khan in 8 years, although he demanded that the construction was to be completed in 2 years. Today Tash-Khovli is considered one of the most picturesque places in the list of 10 best places of interest in Khiva: it is decorated with colorful frescos, patterned columns, fine lattices on the windows, as well as a harmonious composition of corridors, rooms and courtyards.

7. Pahlavan Mahmud Mausoleum

The 10 Best Sights of Khiva

In XIII-XIV centuries in Khiva lived a man of unprecedented strength and uncommon talents, and his name was Pakhlavan Mahmud. He did a lot for the people of Khiva, and that is why after his death in 1326 pilgrims began to come to his grave. Pahlavan Mahmud became the patron of Khiva and a modest mausoleum with his tomb was visited by more and more people. At the beginning of the 18th century the construction of the whole complex began and the central dome of the new mausoleum became the largest dome in Khiva and one of the recognizable symbols of the city. Pahlavan Mahmud Mausoleum even today is a popular place of pilgrimage. And tourists are attracted by the unusual architecture and the delightful interior decoration of the complex.

8. The watchtower of the Kunya Ark Citadel

The 10 Best Sights of Khiva

The Kunya Ark Citadel, commonly referred to as the “city within a city,” is one of the largest sites in Ichan Qala in Khiva. The fortress was first built in the 12th century, although the architecture we see today mostly dates back to the early 19th century. There are buildings of harem, mosque, throne room, but the main and most visited part of Kunya Ark is the watchtower, which offers a magnificent view of the old city, the minarets of Kalta Minor, Islam Khoja, as well as the battlements of Ichan-Kala fortress. Perhaps this is the best place for memorable photos against the backdrop of Khiva.

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9. Silk carpet workshop

The 10 Best Sights of Khiva

If you get tired of the stunning architectural sights, tall minarets, historical facts and names of Khiva’s rulers, look towards the craft workshops, and especially the silk carpet workshop. This place was created with the support of UNESCO to provide employment for local women and revive a long tradition of carpet weaving. Here you can see and compare carpets from Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, and notice that floral motifs dominate in Khiva carpets. The guide will tell about the methods of carpet weaving, and the guests can try to sit at the weaving loom. At the same time, the workshop is conveniently located inside the fortress and can be included in the tour of Khiva.

10. Allakuli Khan Madrassah

The 10 Best Sights of Khiva

One of the largest religious schools of Khiva was built in 1835 by order of Allakuli Khan, the same one who ordered to build the Tash-Khovli palace. The madrasah of Allakuli-khan is no worse: its architectural forms represent an ideal of the oriental architecture, and the exquisite design of the central portal is not inferior in beauty to the guest halls of the palace. By the way, there is only 75 meters between the palace gates and the madrasah. Now there are no more students in the madrasah, but a small exposition of the museum of medicine will open before anyone who dares to enter there. Allakuli Khan Madrassah is impossible to miss for another reason: just next door there are numerous shops with silk scarves, astrakhan hats and a variety of souvenirs.

Our list of the top 10 places of interest in Khiva would not be complete without mentioning a few more iconic places in and around the city: – Ak-Mosque: The structure can’t help but attract attention with its unusual in its simplicity architecture. The Ak Mosque was built in several stages and is a small square building surrounded on three sides by small pads. The walls of the mosque are white and they gave it its name: Ak-Mosque is translated from the Uzbek language as “White Mosque”. – Khiva Puppet Theater: One of the best ways to continue learning about the culture of Khorezm, but at the same time to relax is the puppet theater performances in Khiva. The professional troupe will present the audience with a light and carefree spectacle filled with good humor and eastern wisdom. – Nurullabai Palace: This summer residence of Khiva khans outside the fortress of Ichan-Kala was built in the late 19th century and completed in the early 20th century. The palace features a unique style of blending European and Oriental architecture, and each room has its own unusual interior. And since the palace is located away from the main group of attractions in Khiva, there is a chance to be the only visitors to the royal chambers.

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