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Khiva

The history of Khoresm falls into such an antiquity that can only be compared with a few civilizations. Long before the Great Silk Road was discover, ancient Khoresm had been linked by waterways and land with Europe and the East with Siberia and southern civilizations. It is a cradle of the three civilizations existing in Uzbekistan. The world civilization such as the Black Sea region, Krito-Miken (Ellyn), India, Northern Afghanistan, South-Eastern Iran and Chinese were transferred here and merge into one.

The interactions of these cultures befell, along with discovery of the Great Silk Road.

Before the 6th c. BC – The parallel or by-turn existence of Kelteminar, Sujurgan and Mirabad periods.
6th c. BC. – Ahemenid khan defeated Khoresm.
6th c. BC. – The appearance of Khoresm writing. It originates from the Arashey one. Khoresm is supposed to be the birthplace of Zoroastrism.
328 BC – The friendly meeting of Khoresm ambassador and Alexander the Great. One and half century later Khoresm played a leading role in the liberation movement against the foreign invaders.
3rd c BC - 1st c. AD – the heyday for the ancient Khoresm civilization.
250-140 BC – the Greek-Baktrian government.
2nd-1st c. BC
– the antikushanian period. The enormous state of Kanguy was formed. It comprised Shakhrisabz, Tashkent, Bukhara, Urgench, Soghdiana.
The end of 1st c. AC - The Kushan region was separated by Kanguy.
78-123 BC – The Kushan Empire almost absorbed Khoresm.
4th c. – Khoresm reestimated its influence and pretended to the role of a world power.
4th c. BC – Sasanids’ expansion crashed in Central Asia.
4th-6th cc. – In the period of Eftalit Empire Ant Turkic Koganate Khoresm was the only state in Uzbekistan that retained its sovereignty.
7th c. – A civil war launched in Khoresm.
8th c. – Khoresm was conquered by the Arabs with Kuteyba ibn Muslim as a leader. Khoresm turned into ruins.
9th-10th cc. – Khoresm was included into the state of the Tahirids, Tosafarids, Samanids.
The beginning of the 11th c. – Khoresm was a part of Gaznevids’s state.
The 1st half of the 12th c. – After Gaznevids’s defeat Khoresm was included in the state of Seljukids.
1172-1200 – Khoresm was conquered by Kara-Chineses
1200-1220 - Freed from Kara-Chineses by Muhammad ibn Tepesh.
1220 – the invasion of the Mongols.
13th-14th c. – The ruling of Uzbek-khans. Urgench, reestablished in a new place, grew to the biggest city of the Golden Horde.
15th c. – The Timurids were ruling in Khoresm.
16th c. – Khoresm was under the power of the Sheibanids. This way a heyday for architecture in Khiva.
16th – the beginning of the 17th c. – The Khiva khanate was formed.
18th c. – Khiva was undergoing economical crisis.
The end of the 19th c. – Russia made Khiva its vassal.

Sights of Khiva

Khiva absorbed the best in architecture and monumental painting. The architecture of Khiva reflects the nature of the late feudal yourselves in Khiva, you will suwive all the events of past centuries.


The Ichan-Kala fortification walls
Built upon earlier settlements the clay walls of XVIII century are 10-meters high. Defense towers are placed every 30 meters along the wall and water moat provided additional protection.

Kunya-Ark (Old fortress), 17-19 centuries
The Ichan Kala citadel consisting of numerous courtyards, among which Kurinish-Khana (1804-1806) and the coint Mint (1806-1825) are today most famous. Kunya Ark is an architectural museum displaying folk art master’s genius.

Kurinish-Khana
Kurinish-Khana is a complex structure of audience rooms and reception halls from where the Khan held court. The throne hall is remarkable, decorated with painted carved alabaster (ganch) and a throne niche. Made by the Khiva masters, the throne was taken to St. Petersburg where it can be admired at the Hermitage. The high aivan rests on two woodcarved pillars with marble base engraved with poems of Khiva’s poet and historian Agehi. The center of the closed courtyard holds a brick pedestal upon which rests a yurt, where in earlier times nomadic noblemen were received.

Alla-Kuli-Khan ensemble, XVII-XIX
Including Caravanserai, Plavan-Darbaza gate, Alla-Kuli Khan trading dome (Tim) and Khodja –Berdybi Madrassah (17th –19th cc.).

Pahlavan-Darvaza gate (knight’s gate), XIX
The big Bazaar with trading passages, a public bath, Tim and Caravanserai. The architects had to take into account the strictly functional purpose, so simple, tried and tested construction of burnt brick as well as spacious cupola ceilings, providing a cool shelter even in the blister heat of summer were applied.

Pakhlavon-Makhmud complex, 1247-1325
Built in honor of the famous Khiva poet and undefeated professional wrestler, the city’s pir (patron saint) and healer Pakhlavon Makhmud.Originally the mausoleum was modest, but it rapidly grew into a pilgrim site with a great number of hujras, khanaka and mosques. In XIX century the remains of ancient Khiva rulers were brought here and the complex became the official necropolis for the khiva khans. In 1825 the interior was completed with majolica works in typical Khiva fashion and the best Khiva masters covered the cupolas with turquoise tiles.

Tash-Hauli Palace, XIX
One of the most remarkable buildings for civil use in Khiva. The most famous architects of that time usto Abdulla Jin and usto Nurmukhammad Tadjikhan were contracted for this work, and their combination of marvelously carved pillars, painted ceilings and walls with the richest majolica finishing remain unsurpassed.

Nurullabay Palace. The country summer residence, 1906-1912
Situated in the Dishan-Kala this complex contains both residential and impressive courtrooms. Both local and foreign (Russian and German) engineers were commissioned to create a harmonious ensemble, integrating trees, greenery and a hauz. The tiles were made in St. Petersburg at the Tsar’s ceramic plant. Alabaster work and wood carving, painting and gildin round off this clever architectural masterpiece.

Islam Khodja Madrassah and Minaret, early XX
Khiva can’t be imagined without these landmarks. The minaret is the highest in Khiva (45 meters) and its colors melt in the blue sky.

Juma mosque
The Friday mosque of Khiva is beyond comparison. Over 200 woodcarved pillars of every area, dating back as far as 1000 years ago are lit up by the intruding sun rays, providing a truly unforgettable moment.

Chodra hauli, XVII
The Khan’s country palace. The unique sample of the lost type of mono-chamber construction with the tower made from clay blocks. The stable and storage rooms are on the first floor, on the 2nd and 3rd floors lay living quarters, each with their own aivans, partitioned off the lady’s quarters on the 4th floor.

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