Erected during centuries (the most ancient monuments relates to 14th century) defensive buildings and palaces, mosques and madrassas, mausoleums and minarets, caravan sarays and bathes turn Ichan Kala into unique city-monument, city – reserve, it become in 1968. Ichan-Kala become object of world hearitage by UNESCO.
Construction of fortress
In 1598, when Amudarya river changed its course, leaving with no water ancient capital of Khorezm Gurganj, the capital of Khorezm was moved to one of the old cities of Khorezm oasis – Khiva. According to archeological information, Khiva already existed in V-VI centuries like oasis or stop over place, with well Heyvak (Khiva – Kheyva — Kheyvak) on the ancient road from Merv to Gurganj. That’s why archeologists think that as foundation of city walls of Ichan Kala partly used the remains of fortified buildings across Ichan Kala, dated from 5th century.
The well Kheyvak even now located at north-west walls of Ichan Kala. During reconstruction of well, it was found the marks of very ancient stone masonry and remains of dome construction, covered by ground. The clay was taken from so called Govuk Kul, 2km away from city, now there is a big lake. Even today like in past times, local clay is of perfect quality and used by modern potters.
Legend says, that when prophet Muhammad build Medina, the clay of this place was used, and the lake which appeared later, used to consider as a holy. Another legend says that that well Kjeyvak, with very amazing taste of water was dig by Sim, son of biblical Noah.
Ancient city is famous with many historical buildings, which were build in 19th century and perfectly remained up to now. Visiting Khiva, possible imagine the appearance of other cities of Central Asia in the past.
Can enter the city through gates: North (Bagcha Darvaza), South (Tash Darvaza), East (Palvan Darvaza) and west (Ata Darvaza)
The inner city Ichan Kala, located in less the 1km square is densely build up, that is why sights of Khiva located compactly, at not large area limited with city walls. Most visitors enter the city through west gates (Ata Darvaza), to the left of which located Kunya Ark, old citadel, some parts of it dated by 5th century.
To the right hand located Mederesse Muhammad Amin Khan. Grandiose minaret Kalta MInar stands bit further. In approximately 200 m closer to city center, located medresse of Muhammad Rahum Khan II. Passing it closer to east gates located Tash Hauli palace (19 century) and medresse of Allah Kuli Khan. In walking distance of 5 minutes to the south from city center, located mausoleum of Said Alauddin and admirable mausoleum of Pahlavan Mahmood, medresse Shrgazi – Khan as well as minaret and mosque of Islam Khodja.
Majolica facing of Khiva
Majolica facing of Khiva, has its own style, in general made in soften colors from dark blue to blue and white, sometimes with strokes of brown. Only one from traditional geometric pattern of Samarkand and Bukhara – five pointed stars in pentagon, used in Khiva. In Khiva design mostly appear vegetation motifs – twining grapes willow and leafs.
Woodcarving is one of Khorezm arts. You can see everywhere amazing wood columns and gates decorated with carving