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Attraction in Khiva


Djuma mosque is located in the center of Ichan-Kala and was constructed by Abdurakhman Mikhtar who was khan’s dignitary. The mosque is standing on the place sanctified by the traditions. The mosque was mentioned by Makdisi (al-Mukaddasi) an Arab geographer. The building plays a rare type of archaic multicolumn mosque in Central Asian.

The modern building of Djuma mosque was built in XVIII century. Poor lighting through ceiling hatches and three rows of carved wooden columns creates a special atmosphere. The amount of columns reaches the number of 212. Most columns were carved from tree trunks in the XVIII-XIX centuries. Others were made from the destroyed medieval buildings.

There is an interesting fact that five minarets of Khiva are on the same line at a distance of about 200 m from each other. The main minaret of Ichan-Kala, which is Djuma moscue, located in the center. Kalta Minor and minaret of the Sha-Kalandar-bobo complex are located to the west. Minaret of the Seyid-bij mosque and then Palvan-kari minaret are located to the east. The diameter of the Djuma mosque’s minaret is 6.2 m at the base and its high is 32,5 m. Its top is crowned with eight arch lantern with a stalactite cornice and a dome.


During the reign of Alla-Quli-khan (1825–1842), the center of the state, public and commercial life of Khiva moved to the eastern part of Ichan-Kala. A whole new complex of buildings such as new Khan's palace, madrasah, caravanserai and shopping center dome (tim) was built near the Palvan-darvaza gates and was linked with Alla-Quli-khan’s name.

Alla-Quli-khan’s palace, which was called Tash-Khovli (“Stone yard”), reminds a fortress with high walls topped with battlements, towers and fortified gates. Its architecture used traditions of Khorezm houses and country estates (“hauly” or “khovli”) with its closed courtyards, shady columned aivans and loggias.

Tash- Khovli palace consists of three parts, grouped around courtyards. Residential complex or the harem of khan is located in the northern part of the palace. Khan's ceremonial room for receptions (ishrat-hauly) adjoins the palace from southeast and place for trials (arzhana) from southwest. The connection between different parts of the palace is realized through the maze of unlit corridors and rooms. Tash- Khovli has its distinctive features of the décor such as elegant majolica wall covering, colored decorative painting ceilings, elaborated ornamental carved decoration of columns and doors.

Tash- Khovli family khan’s courtyard (harem or haram) is detached from the official part of the palace by continuous corridor. Its walls, ceilings and columns are covered with non-recurring ornamental patterns. Majolica panel of the walls are in the traditional dark blue-white-blue colors and ceilings are painted in red and brown colors. The windows are closed with copper openwork lattice.


Massive and short minaret stands at the main facade of Muhammad-Amin-khan madrasah. He intended to become the largest minaret in Central Asia if it had been completed. With the diameter of the base of 14.2 m, its height could have reached 70 meters.

Muhammad Amin Khan intended to complete the decoration of a large urban area at the western gates of Ichan-Kala with the construction of the minaret and madrasah. However, according to historian named Munis, the construction of Kalta Minor was interrupted due to the death of Muhammad Amin Khan in 1855. The upper area of the minaret was raised only to the height of 26 m.

Bright blue Kalta Minor minaret has no analogues in Central Asia thanks to its external decoration. This is the only minaret, which surface is entirely covered with colored glazed tiles.


Kunya Ark («the old citadel») is a Khan's inner citadel of Ichan-Kala. It was founded in XVII century by Khiva’s Mukhamed-Erenk Khan (1687–1688). By the end of the XVIII century Kunya Ark was already a "city within a city" separated from Ichan-Kala by the high wall. Khan's mosque, Khan’s residence, Supreme Court, Khan's reception-room (Khan’s kurinysh), powder factory, arsenal, mint, chancellery, harem, kitchens, stables, guardhouse and others were located here.

The south part of the kurinysh-hona is occupied by the throne room with two columned aivan. A yurt was set in the center of the hall, where Khan was sitting during the receptions. A niche for the Khan's throne is located at the southern wall of the throne room. Khan's treasury and repository of manuscripts were located at the western part of the Khan’s kurinysh. The doors which are leading to the throne room are decorated with carved ganch and the ceiling with the multicolor painting. The famous aivan of the kurinysh-hana is lined with dark blue-white-blue majolica with magnificent ornaments. Poems of the Khorezm historian and poet Ogahi are carved on the stone base of one of its columns.

In the north-west corner of the kurinysh-hana an exit through the corridor leading to the harem and the hill of Ak-Sheikh-bobo is made. This is the highest point of Kunya Ark, which was used as a patrol tower of the citadel.


This buried in the ground famous two-chamber architecture monument is located between Muhammad Amin Khan and Matniyaz Divan Begi madrasa. A small shrine with a unique majolica tomb was built in the first half of the XIV century. A spacious hall (zirathana) with a portal entrance was added to it from the west side in the XIX century. Tombstone in the gurhana is made according to Khorezm traditions of the XIV century.


The Kutlug Murad-inak madrasah is located on the east side of lchan-Kala, opposite to the Khodjamberdybiya madrasah. lt is one of the earliest of many madrasahs, which remain in Khiva. The madrasah was built by the uncle of the Allakuli-khan – Kutlug Murad-inak in 1804-1812.

 According to legend, the way to the . ancient trading city of Khazarasp ran through the madrasah, so the masters, 'participating in its building, were invited from there. The madrasah lav-out was constructed according to strict traditions. The facade with its high portal and two

circles of loggias is rather modestly decorated with a blue mosaic. The more well-known Khivan carved majolica art flowering was not used until several  decades later. There is a darskhona

(premise for study), and also a mosque, overlapped with a low cone-shaped dome inside. The square court yard is surrounded by an arch gallery of twostoreyed khudzhras. There are 81

madrasah and it was the first twostoreyed madrasah in Khiva. The towers- guldasta with raised lights. was positioned on the madrasah's four corners. They are decorated with glazed and terracotta tiles with a stamped drawing. The Kutlug Murad-inak madrasah is distinguishable from other similar constructions by its ornamental panel of impressive and unique terracotta and stalactites, on the facade of the arch apertures. Such decor did not appear on other structures until the beginning of the XIX century.


The Muhammad Rakhim-Khan madrasah is one of the largest in Khiva and the most well known in Central Asia. lt is located to the east of the square in front of the Kunya-Ark citadel. The madrasah building was begun by the order of the Khoresm Khan Muharnmad Rakhim-khan Il (1s63-1910). The building construction was finished in 1876.

The madrasah consists of two court yards. The entrance from the street leads to a court yard, enclosed outside with a blank wall, and surrounded with one-storeyed khudzhras (cells) inside. The main two-storeyed building with the madrasah,s main facade has high portal towers in the court yard. The facade is mainly covered with white-blue majolica. The high towers-guldasta, are finished by domes, decorated with a green mosaic tower in the corners of the madrasah. The arches of loggias and avian overlapping over the main entrance are laid out by a figured bricklayng. The majolica is abundantly used on tympanums, ornamental border and columns on the facade.

There were darskhonas (educational audiences), a rich library winter and summer mosques in the madrasah. The internal four-ayvans court yard consists of 76 arch khudzhras. The madrasah khudzhras are blocked by domes - "balkhi" and there are compartments for domestic needs except for living room.


The construction of the Hodjamberdy-biy madrasah at the western gates of the Ichan-Kala is dated by 1688. This madrasah was cardinally rebuilt during the construction of the madrasah. Due to the strong levels difference it became as the base for the monumental platform of Allakuli-khan madrasah. The ramp rise divided Hodjamberdy-biy madrasah in two parts. And here starts its new name – Hurdjun madrasah (“double-throw bag”). Due to the narrowness of the site, the construction of Allakuli-khan madrassas demanded the destruction of a part of the city walls. South wing of the new madrasah approached to the arcades of the Northern trading dome of Palvan-Darvaza and north wing approached to the arch of Allakuli-khan team.


One of the best of the Khivan works of architecture - the Pakhlavan Mahmud mausoleum - was constructed in the traditions of the XVlll and XIX centurles. lt was constructed in honour of the well-known Khivan poet who had become famous for his herculean strength, Pakhlavan Mahmud (1247-1326).

Originally the mausoleum building was modest and small; but as it became a popular place of pilgrimage, khuzhras, khanaka and mosques, where pilgrims pray were. first of the Europeans, who estab|ished direct connection between Pakh|avan Mahmud and the authoi of the rubayats, traced on the mausoleum dome, was the Hungarian orientalist and trave||er - Arminy Vamberi; who visited Khiva in the second half of the XlX century as a wandering dervish. The poetry of Pakhlavan Mahmud' who was writing under the pseudonym of Piryar Vali, except for those that were written on the tomb walls, has unfortunately been lost.

The Khoresm citizen wandered a |ot; and the furrier's trade gave him the chance to earn a living. The athlete from Khiva, become famous for his herculean strength and being an lnvincible fighter, invariably beating contenders in Afghanistan, India, lran and lraq. Only once did he suffer defeat, when he learnt that his opponent was threatened with the death penalty in case of failure. Now, the relics, connected with Mahmud,s name, remain in many of these countries. Professiona| fighters in lran to this day, before they enter a duel with the contender, address with a prayer the fighters patron - sacred Pakhlavan Mahmud.

The athlete, according to research, developed morals and concepts, including courage and valour. He ls the one of the pillars of Su1 current "Zhavonmardlik" (“Courae of a youth”), the main principles of which are generosity of soul, mercy, nobleness, modesty and humility to the Creator.

According to |egend ,the poet was buried in a workshop near to his house.He began to be esteemed as a "pir" (saint) after his death - the sacred patron of Khiva, his modest tomb became a place of believers worship.


The Ak-mosque (the White-mosque) is located in the ensemble near the lchan-Kala east gate. lts foundation was placed in 1657, during the reign of the Anush-khan. The modern building, as the inscription on the doors specifies, was built up in 1838-1842. It is possible to read the names of Khivan woodcarving masters here: Nur Muhammad, the son of Adin Kalandar, and Kalandar, the son of Seyid Muhammad.

The mosque consists of a dome (the mosque winter building) and ayvan. The white spherical dome overlapped the premises used for prayers, which has the dimensions 6.33 x 6.35 m. The square basis of the dome leads to the building by an expressive stepped profile. The mosque's mikhrab is located in the centre of the southern wall. On the three sides of the winter premises are the ayvan with its wooden cglumns, which were not continuously carved, and only their end is finished by decorative capitals.

The walls in the construction are covered with a smooth gunch plaster. The asceticism of the forms is brightened up by the gunch openwork and the drawing of lattices at the mosque windows. The mosque doors are covered with epigraphic and ornamental carvings.


These gates are located in the western part of Ichan-Kala and considered as the main gates for the city entrance. There were 13 shopping malls and covered bazaar (Chorsu) inside the gates. Muhammed Amin Khan madrasah (1855) is located on the right side and Khan's Palace Ark (Kunya Ark) on the left side from the gates.


The northern gates of Ichan-Kala are a symmetrical structure in the wall, divided into rooms. The southern side, facing Ichan-Kala is less impressive. Unlike Tash-Darvaza, the stairs leading up, protrude from the southern corners of towers and located on its sides deep within the walls of Ichan-Kala. Its size according to plan: 18,0x16,0 m; height - 8.5 m.


The arch gate with its loopholes and lateral towers are actually on the intersection with the city wall. The through passage multi-dome trading gallery, in which merchants shops and the premises of a small bathhouse were located, is behind the entrance arch. The marble
slab with the historical inscriotion "Shakri Khiva" (city of Khiva) and construction date - 1221 on Hijrah (according to the lslamic calendar), that is 1806 CE, has remained over the gate at the entrance. lt is the oldest part of the building, which is connected to the Anush-khan bathhouse. The gate construction was finished byAllakuli-khan in 1835.

Besides the gate, there is the main water channel - aryk of the city, named after Palvan Mahmud - "Palvan-vab".

The Allakuli-khan caravanserai and Tim

The long gallery with the trading premises, overlapped with domes, was attached to the Palvan -Darvaza gate in 1 806. The trading life of the city was concentrated here at the times of the Allakuli-khan (1825-1842), Khiva needed new trading areas in the XIX century in connection with the expansion of economic relations with Bukhara, Persia and Russia. So, it was necessary to break the lchan-Kala wall near the Tash-Khauli palace, which had been erected by order of the Allakuli-khan in 1832-1833. The caravanserai was intended for the merchants' stopover, goods storage and trade. lt consisted of a huge court yard and a two-storeyed khudzhras building.

The caravanserai building was in the shape of a rectangle, and it extended from the south to the north. The caravanserai was constructed like a madrasah with i 05 rooms. The living rooms were praced on the second froor, and the warehouses and trading shipboards - on the first. This is a unique Khoresm caravanserai.

The multi-dome trading passage - Tim was attached to the main facade of the caravanseral later. lts western and east facades were put into the shape of the city gate, with a polished brick-face with figured belts adorning the corner towers. At present, the caravanserai and Tim look like a single construction.

Allakuli-khan Madrasah

The Allakuli-khan madrasah is located between the Tim (covered market) and east palvan-Darvaza gate. The Allakuli-khan madrasah building required that part of the city wall to be destroyed because of the narrowness of the site. The madrasah's southern wing could be approached through the shops of the northern Palvan- Darvaza mall, adjoinning the Allakuli-khan Tim arches'

The Allakuli-khan main facade remained in the Khodjamberdybiya madrasah court yard. The madrasah yard part consists of 99 two-storeyed khudzhras, built on the small domes of the Palvan -Darvaza gate and, partially, in the Tim arch pockets.

The larger premises of the madrasah - the halls of winter mosque and darskhona occupied the height of two floors. The city library, which was established by the Khan, was positioned on the ground floor in several khudzhras and it provided all the students of the Khivan madrasah with books. The library was maintained through the incomes of the Allakuli-khan caravanserai and Tim incomes.

The madrasah was built in a traditional style, but it is distinguished by a rich. The majolica of the Khoresm type in black-and-white and blue tones prevails in the main facade decoration. The majolica range of colours and ornamental motives are varied and dispersed throughout. Depending on the place to be decorated, the artists ceramicists carefully selected the scales and character of the drawing, pattern and colour saturation. The harmonious front part of the portal is impressive with a particularly bright and colourful majolica.


Tash Darvaza gates are the southern gates of Ichan-Kala. They were built in the 30-40's of the 19th century during the reign of Alla Kuli Khan. It’s a six-chamber construction with two domed passage along the central axis. Four domed rooms for customs and guard are located on both sides of the passage.
Gates were used by the caravans coming from the Caspian Sea. South main facade has two massive towers. Its size according to plan: 9,7х17 m; height - 9,3 m


There is a two-tier terrace (aivan) on a fortified mud wall secured with semi-towers which rises above the ancient Khiva’s Kunya Ark citadel. It’s known under “Akshi-bobo” poetic name which means “Elder in love”. Sometimes this strange construction is also called “Akshih bobo” (“The White Sheik”).
It's hard to say now what has become the basis for the name. It seems like there is an eremite retired from the world hides high behind the battlements. However, it is obviously that this house built on the tower was intended for patrol service and served as a bastion. Such buildings in Khorezm are called “chardara keshk”.

Kurnysh Khan Palace, built in 1806, is located near the Akshi-bobo bastion. This ruler's residence was designed for official receptions. Traditional oriental architecture and finery of numerous palace rooms, decorated with magnificent majolica carpet patterns, attracts tourists from all over the world.

Luxury of the khan’s palace and architectural austerity of Akshi-bobo towering over him, arguing with each other, and, at the same time complement each ot


The Nurullay palace is in the northwest part of Dishan-Kala. lt was constructed in 1906-1912 by the order of the Mohammad Rakhim-khan ll for his son - the future lsfandiyar-khan. The palace represents a mixture of Khivan and European architectural elements, the reception room of the lsfandiyar-khan, court premises, residential buildings and d madrasah united round the four court yards. More than 100 rooms, galleries, guards room, stables, rooms for servants and harem were also included. The entire complex is fenced by a high wall of more than 650 m with turrets - "guldasta", as in Khivan national mansions.

The palace walls were erected by the Khivan master-mason Usto Kuryaz Babadzhanov. Usto Khudoibergen Khadzhi, become famous as the builder of the lslam-khodja minaret, and decorated them with ornamental laying of the glazed brick. Usto Nurmat Masharipov and Ruzmet Masharioov and usto Babadzhan Kalandarov have executed carving and painting on gunch in the main interiors. Usto Ata Shikhov andlsmail Abdiniyazov created the carved wooden columns, supporting the overlapping ayvans and stone carved. German colonists from vicinities of Khiva participated in ceilings, frames, and parquet decoration. The ornamented tiles were manufactured in Petersburg at the lmperial porcelain factory.

The Khan's reception room design is especially interesting; it is covered with a carved gunch with gilding and colour painting. The Nurullabay palace colour essentially differs from the traditional with its usual restrained combination of dark blue, white and blue tones. The lsfandiyar-khan reception room consists of seven premises: a waiting room, reception room, throne hall, banquet hall and three living rooms. The Russian tsar Nikolay ll presented two chandeliers and small power station after the construction was finished. So, the fireplaces, faced with the ornamented tiles, the Venetian mirrors and gilt bronze chandeliers with crystal pendants finally appeared in the main halls. The parquet boards, covering the floor in the reception room, were delivered from S.-Petersburg.


Khiva is one of the oldest Central Asian cities. It was founded in the 5th сentury BC. There are a lot of Khiva origin legends. According to one of them, the city was founded by Shem, the biblical Noah’s son. It says that after the Deluge Shem wandered about the desert, lay down to rest and dreamt about seeing 300 blazing torches.

He believed it had been an omen and built a city in the form of a ship - as to the arrangement of the torches in the dream. Then Shem dug a well called Kheyvak. That was what the name of the city originated from.

Another legend says that the merchants traveling along the Great Silk Road, which connected the East and the West centuries and ran through Central Asia, used to stop at the well where Khiva is now for rest. They would drink the crystal clear water of the well and exclaim Khey Vakh! (‘How wonderful!’). So the locals named the well Kheyvak, and the settlement built around it later was named the same. The well is still there, being carefully preserved in a snug yard at the northwestern Ichan-Kala wall. While the well was being repaired, they discovered the remains of a domed structure over it and some of the original brickwork.


Mausoleum is located near the western walls of Tash Khovli and constructed in memory of three saints. The huge hall of the mausoleum is covered with a dome with cell vault. There are a lot of graves in the mausoleum. The earliest date is 1561 and can be seen on the carved door panels. Abdullah Ibn Said, master’s name, is also written on the carved front door.

According to the inscriptions, the mausoleum was renovated in 1821-1822. The entrance portal was damaged by heavy rain in the early 80-ies of the 20th century. Besides that, columns of the mosque’s aivan were heavily corrupted. After restoration and reconstruction of the adjacent territory, the mausoleum has become a frequently visited place.


Yunus Khan is a mausoleum in Khiva located to the south from Khodja Maram madrasah. It is a mausoleum with two domed portal and the tomb. Two rooms are covered with conical domes. Yunus Khan was one of the forerunners of Khorezm Khan dynasty. He was buried in one of the rooms. It is still unknown who is buried in the second crypt.


It was constructed in 1688 in Ichan-Kala near the Palvan-Darvaza eastern gates in front of Allakuli Khan madrasah. In 1834 Sllskuli Khan built a new large mosque and partially destroyed and rebuilt the existing one. As a result, the two small courtyards separated from each other were formed. Madrasah was named Hurdjum because it was similar to a double-throw leather handbag (hurdjum).

There are 16 hudjras and a domed square room (darshona). Entrance doors are decorated with wood carvings.


The building of madrasah is adjacent to the southeastern corner of the Yar Muhammad Devon mosque. It was built on the money of Abdurasulbay, nephew of Muhammad Niyaz Mirzabashi (Kamil Khwarizmi), the great poet, composer and interpreter. The entrance is located between two courtyards and consists of two connected domed sections with a side facing the courtyard of madrasah. Two daughters of Abdurasulbay are buried in two hudjras.


Madrasah is located in the northern part of Ichan-Kala on Tashpulatov street. It was built in 1870 by Amir Tura, the son of Muhammad Rahim Khan I, brother of Said Muhammad Rahim Khan II. Amir Tura held a high position of Amirul Ulamo which means the head of Ulamo.

The building of madrasah is large, two-story from the front side and one story from the yard. The facade of the madrasah was not decorated due to Russian troops invasion in Khiva at those years. The building was renovated in 1983.


Madrasah is located to west from Muhammad Amin Inak madrasah. Initially, there was a small frame type madrasah built by famous woman of Khiva. Arab Muhammad Khan bought this madrasah with the neighboring lands from her and in 1616 a new one-storied madrasah made of bricks, in honor to the fact that Khiva became the capital of Khorezm instead of Kunya Urgench.

In 1838, when the building became dilapidated, during the reign of Alla Kuli Khan, it was rebuilt in accordance with Khiva’s typical standards for late madrasah. Currently, it is a symmetrical two-storied building with a strict portal and cylindrical towers at the corners.


Madrasah is located between Mazari Sharif madrasah and the Russian school. It was built in 1884 by Khiva’s prosperous landowner named Atajanbay. If you’ll look at it from above then the outlines of madrasah will look like a quadrilateral, elongated in the transverse direction from east to west and asymmetric towards to the entrance in the south wall.

Mazari Sharif madrasah is located next to the north-west wall and has an internal corridor between them. These two madrasas looks like one complex.


The madrasah was built on the money of Dost Alam, who was a lawyer at the court of Khiva’s khan Muhammad Rahimkhan II. Usually jurists and lawyers studied in madrassas. It is a small one-storied building and if you’ll see it from above, it looks like a rectangle with corner towers. Khudaybergen Khadji was monitoring the construction and Kolondar Kochim was the master.

Currently, a store with goods made of carved wood is located in madrasah. Monuments of medieval architecture can be seen next to madrasah.


Cult complex consisting of madrassas, mosques and minaret was formed on the ancient territory near the mausoleum of Shokalandar baba, who was respected among people. Mausoleum was a part of the complex. Legends tell that Shokalandar baba was a shah, who decided to give up rulin in favor of wandering. He chose the fate of a wandering dervish, which the word “Kalandar” means. He came to the city of Khiva in the company of two dervishes who took the decision to stay here together. After Shokalandar baba passed away over his final resting place the followers built mausoleum which has become a revered place.

According to historical data mausoleum was built in the XVI century. A madrassa, a mosque and a minaret were built near the mausoleum in 1894. The name of master usto Abul who’ve built the structure of complex is known in oral traditions of the old-timers.

The minaret is located in four meters from the portal, almost in the center of the main facade. The area to west in front of the mosque is occupied by outbuilding with flat-beamed ceiling. It was used as prayer hall not only for the student of madrasah but also for the inhabitants of a neighboring district. The barrel of the minaret is sharply reduced in diameter and makes about third of the base diameter at the top. The barrel of the minaret is covered with polished bricks and dissected by several decorative belts in the form of steam masonry rhombs with "ribbons". The upper part of the minaret is decorated with a 3-row "Sharafa" made of bricks. In town planning, this minaret himself opens a series of minarets, placed on the main street of ancient Khiva, running from west to east.

Shokalandar baba was originally built in a 3-chamber execution with ziyarat-hona and two tombs behind. Only one ziyarat-hona in the form of a domed building with a protruding portal preserved till our time.

ISLAM KHODJA COMPLEX  (Minaret and Madrasah)

The Islam Khodja Minaret

The lslam Khodja ensemble, consisting of the smallest madrasah and the highest minaret of Khiva, goes back in form to the ancient minarets of the Xl and Xll centuries, and is located in the south-eastern part of the lchan-Kala. The builders wanted such a design to surpass
the Bukhara minaret Kalyan, using the most ancient tradition of minarets building in the form of narrow towers.

The height of the highest minaret in Khiva is 57 m (including the base). The ensemble was built in 1908-1910 by the order of lslam Khodja, the chief vizier of the Khivan khanate under Muhammad Rakhim-khan ll (1863-1910) and his son lsfandiyar-khan (1910- 1920).

The lslam Khodja minaret light and harmonious silhouette, surrounded with sparkling tapes of mosaic facings, became the most expressive symbol of lchan-Kala. The minaret's top platform at a height of 45 m is the highest point from which to obtain a panoramic view of Khiva. The trunk of the lslam Khodja minaret, having a diameter at its base of 9.5 m, is reduced as it climbs, The through light at its top has stalactite eaves and ceramic lattices-pandzhara.

The brick decor of the lslam Khodja minaret underlines its monumentality. The minaret is girded by sparkling strips of facings of glazed patterns, mainly of blue, dark blue, white and turquoise colours, the ornaments of which are unique. Regarding beauty and grace, only the Kalyan minaret in Bukhara can be compared to this minaret, which was conceived much earlier than the lslam Khodja minaret.

The best masters of their time – Balta Vaisov, lshmukhammad Khudaiberdiev, Kalandar Kuchum, Khudaibergen Khodzhi and others - took part in the construction of the minaret and its decorative ornamental PreParation.

The Islam Khodja madrasah

The asymmetric lslam Khodja madrasah occupies an important place in the lchan-Kala ensemble, serving as a background to the well-known lslam Khodja minaret with its adjoining main facade. lts small court yard was built with 42 single-storey khudzhras. The second floor covers only the entrancegroup and is decorated with a magnifigent majolica facade. Dark-blue-white majolica facings, tumpanums and glazed pattern strips are used in the decor of the madrasah's main facade. The madrasah's south-eastern part has an enormous low dome.

The lslam Khodja madrasah is a unique architectural construction, which reflects the influence of time and the national masters' spirit of creative inspiration. Masters Bolta Vaisov and Madiminov carried out the madrasah's glaze decoration based on lshmukhammad Khudaiberdiev's sketches. The architects' skills can be seen in the architectural forms which contrast the combinations, skilfully used on the limited space. The mikhrob (prayer niche in the mosque wall, facing Mecca) is finished with majolica and carved gunch.


During the Khan period, there were 64 madrassas that were functioning in the city of Khiva. The largest and most beautiful of them was the madrasah built by Khiva’s Khan Mohammad Amin, which has been well preserved to the present day. Madrasah is located in the western part of Ichan-kala, on the right side at the entrance from the main Ata-darvaza gates. This architectural structure was built large and luxurious in accordance with the peculiar methods of building skills of its period. Madrasah is made of burnt bricks, the thickness of its walls reaches 1.5 meters. Madrasah is erectected in 2 two floors, consists of 130 cells (hudjras), in which, according to the historical documents, 260 students were living and receiving education at the same time.

Muhammad Amin Khan madrasah Muhammad was restored and adapted as a hotel for inbound tourists in 1979. Now, tourists from all corners of the CIS and from abroad come here.


Madrasah is located at the crossing of Palvan Kari and Kariev streets. It was built by the wealthy Khiva’s tradesman named Palvan Kari, one of Muhammad Rahim Khan II’s confidant. He played a significant role in establishing trade relations with Russia, Bukhara and Turkey. Palvan Kari decided to build this complex from the trade’s profit. Madrasah consists of 17 hudjras, summer and winter mosques and a high minaret.

Decorative elements are concentrated only at the main facade. The top of the portal is laid out with ornament from green tiles, and the corner towers are decorated with small green domes.

The minaret is located in the eastern part of Dishan-Kala, near the complex of Seyid-biy, which includes a mosque, a minaret and a two-story madrasah. The construction is of interest, first of all, because it differs strikingly from the traditional type of Khiva minarets, which significantly narrows to the top.
Palvan-Kari minaret is a rare type of absolutely straight, cylindrical minaret. It is difficult to say what the reason for such architecture was. Perhaps new trends, because it was built in the late XIX, early XX centuries. It is noteworthy that the decor of the minaret is also unusual. Such modesty in decoration is not typical for eastern architecture. All its decoration is the belts of figured brickwork, ornamented with green glazed tiles in the form of "bows."


The construction was built by the rich Khiva’s tradesman named Seyid Niyaz Shalykarbay in 1842. Granddaughter of Seyid Niyaz Shalykarbay - Pashsha ana (grandmother), talking about her grandfather from the words of her father, Khudaybergen ata (grandfather) recalls the following: - "Our grandfather Seyid Niyaz Shalykar was called a fan of shala (dapmachi). His father was a rich merchant and after his death, all wealth passed to his inheritance Seyid Niyaz.

The construction of the mosque was at the time of Khiva’s Allakuli Khan reign. The requirements set for the architect in the construction of the mosque were following: - it should be a covered room, where many people should be accommodated, on the inner side of the courtyard there should be cool places for Muslims to rest (during the hot season). It is exactly such conditions that now exist in the complex of the Seyid Shalykarbay mosque. The general complex of Seyid Shalykarbay consists of a mosque (winter and summer), a two-story madrasah, a minaret and two courtyards. The winter mosque is a monumental structure with nine domes, supported by four massive columns. There are three doors on three sides of the winter mosque, the main entrance to the mosque is from the door, installed in the wall of the aivan from the north side. There are three wooden columns in the aivan of the summer mosque on which the best traditions of the Khiva carving are displayed. There is a date of hidjra 1212 (1797) written in Arabic font on the columns of avian among the patterned coils. Aivan of the summer mosque is traditionally turned to the north. Patterned figured panels are made of the carved ganch on the aivan’s walls of the summer mosque. A madrasah is attached to the north-eastern side of the mosque. There are 5 hidjras on the first floor and 6 on the second of the two-story madrasah.

The minaret is rising to the top in the form of a vertical cone gives us an idea of the basic techniques of the town-planning art of Khiva. It is located to the left from the central entrance of the mosque, very peculiar and miniature, rich in Khiva’s designs. There is an arched mezana in the upper part of the minaret under the pattern of the "sharafa" cornice. A spiral staircase leads to the top of the minaret, which is visible from all points of the city, located inside it. The height of the minaret is 24 meters, its diameter is 4.5 meters.

Currently, the mosque carries out activities in the form of the cathedral (Jami) mosque of Khiva and the district. Department of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Uzbekistan is also located here.


Kazi-Kalyan madrasah was built in 1905 by the chief judge (kazi-kalyan) of Khiva named Salim Ahun. The shape of the madrasah and its dimensions are small, and do not differ from other modern madrassas. But the principle of education in this madrasah was differed from other spiritual educational institutions of that time. Here, along with other spiritual sciences, jurisprudence was studied, knowledge about the norms and regulations for levying various taxes and fees (zakat) were given.

At present, an exposition of the Museum of History of the “Khorezm Musical Art” is allocated in the premises of madrasah. The exposition area is 125 sq.m. There are 352 items in total which are displayed in the exposition, reflecting the history of music development in Khorezm from ancient times to the present day. Visitors can listen to the melodies of ancient Khorezmian maqom. Total dimensions of the madrasah are 32.5x23.4 m.


Rahimkulikhan had a son named Isa tury. For some time he was the hokim of the city of Tashauz (a city on the territory of Turkmenistan) and built a madrasah near the mausoleum of Pakhlavan Mahmud in his name, called "Mazari Sharif" ("Tomb of the Noble"). There is such a tradition among people. It is said that when Isa was making a pilgrimage to Mecca, he fell ill in Istanbul, and then he was seated in kajava (a kind of stretcher to carry the rulers and noble persons of the court) and in this form was taken to the hajj and brought back.

Upon his return to Khiva, he told about it to Khan. Muhammad Rahimkhan Sani (Feruz), who was sitting on the khan's throne at that time, told Isa tury, that "making a pilgrimage needs to suffer the difficulties of the path". After some time passed, Isa tury, following the advice of the khan, getting well prepared, gathered in pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca again. Returning from the pilgrimage Isa tury again fell ill, but this time in the city of Mazari Sharif (a city on the territory of Northern Afghanistan). Arriving to Khiva after the recovery, the prince has built a small madrasah for his relatives, called "Mazari Sharif" in honor of this city.


Madrasah is located to the north of the Djuma mosque. This madrasah was built by one of the wealthy tradesman of the Matpanabay Khanate in 1905. The construction of the madrasah was carried out by the chief masters of Khiva, Khudaybergen khodja and Kalandar Kochum. Madrasas’ portal is facing the east side and the corridor for entering the madrasah is located on the south side.

There are more than ten hudjras for students and darshana in the madrasah, and a domed mosque in the southern part. The descendants of Matpanabay live in the city of Tashauz in Turkmenistan.

In 2001, the exposition of the Museum of the history of "Avesta", dedicated to the 2700th anniversary of the creation of this famous book of ancient Khorezmians was opened in the madrasah’ premises.


The madrasah is located in the center of Ichan-Kala, next to Yusuf Yasulbashi madrasah. It was built in 1841 by Musa Tura, the son of Rahmankuli Inak, who was the grandson of Muhammad Rahim Khan I and the nephew of Allakuli-khan. The word Tura was added to the names of the descendants of the khan’s dynasty. In 1855, Musa Tura was killed in a battle with the Turkmen yomuds (Balkan) and buried in a madrasah.

If you will look at the madrasah from above, it has a shape of trapezium. The madrasah consists of two courtyards, a two-domed lobby, a hudjra, a mosque and a darshan. The building has been restored and now is used as a shop for craftsmen's products.


The madrasah was built in 1785 by Mohammed Amin inak, who laid the foundation of the Kungrat khans' family tree. According to legend, there is a burial of Mohammed Amin himself or his youngest son Kutlug Murad bala khan in one of the madrasah premises. In 1935, some of the ancient monuments in Khiva came to the ruined state. According to the story of the old residents who worked at that time on the restoration of monuments, two tombs inside the madrasah were found.

Madrasah of Fazilbiy was built in front of this madrasah in 1799. Its central façade was turned to the madrasah of Mohammad Amin inak, which composed in conjunction with it a type of kosh-madrasah, traditional in the East. (Fazilbiy served as Amir al-Umaro, the commander-in-chief of the Khiva’s Khanate during the reign of Muhammad Amin inak. His annual salary was 500 tilles - gold coins.) The building of madrasah was destroyed in 1945 - 1955.

In the late 1980s, the madrasah of Mohammad Amin inak was restored. Its interior, after overlaping of the courtyard with the adaptation to the wedding home of Khiva’s townspeople, was colorfully decorated with Khiva's ganch tracery. The interior of the building is magnificent and unique.


This madrasah is located opposite to the gates of Kunya-Ark and was built by the decree of Seyid Mohammad Rahimkhan II in 1871. With its wide size and majesty, it differs from other madrasas of Khiva. One-story cells, built long before the construction of the madrasah forms a small courtyard in front of the main facade of the madrasah. Trading rows with high aivans are adjoins to the hudjras from the square’s side.

In terms of the area’s size, this madrasah is on one of the first places in Khiva. There are rooms of summer and winter mosque, classrooms (darshana), as well as a library and residential hudjras for students and teachers located in madrasah. General architectural structure of the madrasah is slightly different from the generally accepted norms. Some kind of supernatural appearance, expressed in large volumes of the building feels in here. The courtyard of the madrasah is surrounded by 76 one-storey cells, designed for 152 students. On the outside of the roof, hujras are restricted by an obstacle in the form of a low wall (parapet), which adjoins to the two-storeyed central facade of the madrasah. There is a five-arched gallery located on both sides of the slender portal. Vestibule group consists of eight domes it is the largest number in the Central Asian madrasah. The internal plan of the building is also differs from other madrassas. Patterned ornaments, laid out from glazed bricks on the facial part of the walls, repeats the usual shapes. Yard’s structure leaves another impression on the visitors. A number of single-storeyed hudjra of the courtyard, high decorative portals, an outer blank wall, along with beautiful towers-guldasta in the corners are a wonderful picture.


Muhammad Rasul Mirzabashi has built his madrasah opposite the end part of the karihana, located to the south-west of Pakhlavan Mahmud mausoleum. Madrasah is built in the usual traditional form, without any decorations, its low portal is looking to the north with the facial portal. Due to its small size and modest appearance, in the literature his building is included in a number of structures that make up the complex of Pakhlavan Mahmud mausoleum.

Madrasah is simple in structure with trapezoid shape. The entrance lobby of the madrasah consists of one room. Entrance to the inner yard of the madrasah is through the opening in the form of a direct quadrilateral. There is a grave on the left at the entrance in the room (apparently with the burial of Muhammed Rasul Mirzo). There are three cells of different sizes in the madrasah. There is a small mosque in the south-west corner of the courtyard in the form of a quadrangle. Currently, a new aivan is built here.


Madrasah was built by the penman (Mirza) and the close person of the Khiva’s Khan Mohammed Rahimkhan II and his vizier Islam Khodja Talib Mahdum in 1910 on the territory, which adjacent to Islam Khodja madrasah. "Mahdum" (in translation from Arabic language means - the person to whom they serve) - lakab (nickname), which is given to pir (spiritual guides) and ustoz (teachers).

Talib Mahsum's madrasah was mainly used to prepare writers-calligraphers. Besides that, secular sciences were also studied here. Madrasas building was constructed by Khiva’s masters – Khudaybergen haji and Kalandar Kochum. In its structure, madrasah has the shape of a direct quadrangle (18.8 x 16.55 m) and one-story hudjras of the same form are located around the courtyard of the madrasah. Glazed bricks of green tones are lined in two rows on the top of the low portal. There is a passage to the courtyard through the small domed mionsaray (darvazahana). Darshana (classroom) and mosque are located on the both sides of the mionsaray. In the rooms, that are located in the corner parts of the courtyard (10.7 x 8.0 m), the doorways are not made.

Hudjras, surrounding the courtyard of the madrasah, are covered with "balkh" arches; the front parts of the hudjras are framed by shallow arches. Entrance to the hudjras is through the doors installed under these arches. The date of Hidjra construction 1328 (1910) is written on the portal part of the madrasah on the patterned beam above the door. Reconstruction and restoration works were carried out in 1977 and 2006 in the madrassh of Talib Mahsum.


Hodja Maram madrasah is located at the western wall of the Djuma mosque and was built in 1839 by one of the Allakuli-khan advisers. This is a small, one-storey, asymmetric building with a serving classroom (darshona) at the northeast corner. There are twelve hudjras along the ring of the madrasas courtyard; there are winter and summer mosques.


Sha-Kalandar-Bobo complex consists of a one-story madrasah and a minaret. It was built in the late 19th century near the burial place of Sheikh Kalandar-Bobo. According to the legends, Shakalandar Bobo or Sheikh Kalandar Bobo was a Sufi Sheikh and arrived in Khiva in search of faith along with his two brothers, dervishes.

And here they have stayed, not wanting to part with the city they loved. The city and the people, whom he taught Sufism, thanked him, having built this beautiful Complex in his honor - the mausoleum of Sha-Kalandar-Bobo. Shakalandar Bobo mausoleum is built in the center of the cemetery, which has the same name and is located to the south-west of Bikanjan Bika madrasah.

The complex was restored in 1997, has a single-dome portal and a burial vault. There was a three-chamber mausoleum of the 16th century with two tombs; a memorial dome building with a portal from it was preserved. There is a ridge of residential hudjras, domed halls of the mosque and the classroom on the perimeter of the courtyard of the madrasah. Portal at the main facade of the madrasah has a minaret of 18m high and 6m in diameter at the base.


The madrasah was built in front of the Pahlavan Mahmud mausoleum complex. There are several chronograms (tarikh) about its construction, which were cut out on marble slabs and installed on the front of the madrasas portal. The four inscriptions on the marble slabs have survived to this day in their original form. From the inscriptions on the marble slabs installed near the entrance door of the madrasah, verses in Persian, consisting of 32 lines, we learn that Shergazikhan has built this madrasah from the flower garden of the world with his mind and generosity, about the lands allocated to the madrassas as a vacuf (a very large crop of wheat, rice and jugars was received each year from10,000 tanaps of the land in the villages of Sherabad, Hayrabad, Pirnauhast, Palvanbaba), what is the monthly salary of mutevelli, mudarris, imam, muezzin, librarian, farrasha (cleaner) and other students living here.
Currently there are expositions dedicated to the life and work of the great poet of the Turkmen people Makhtumkuli and the famous poet of the Karakalpaks Adjiniyaz Kosibay oglu in the madrasah. The exposition was created in 1990. The author of the thematic-exposition’s plan is U.Satymov. There are 225 exhibits displayed in total. The last re-exposure was carried out in 2012. The exhibition area is 125 sq.m.


In the ancient complex of Ichan-Kala, to the west of the mausoleum of the cult archeological monument of Pahlavan Mahmud, in front of Musa madrasah, there is Yusuf Yasulbashi madrasah. It is considered as one of the iconic architectural monuments of Ichan-Kala (inner city). Madrasah was named in honor of the head of the Khan’s police Yusuf Yasulbashi, on whose money it was built by the master Kalandar Kochim in 1906.

At the beginning of the 20th century, during the conquest of Uzbek khanates by Russian Empire, Yusuf Yasulbashi controlled the prisons and was responsible for the security of Khiva’s Khan. He accompanied secret documents and directed the military units consisting of mercenaries of nomadic tribes. The office of Yasulbashi was located on the territory of Tash-Khovli palace - the main palace of Khiva’s khans. Building of Yusuf Yasulbashi madrasah has a typical for madrasas rectangular shape, with low towers in the corners. It is all laid out with masonry. The entrance to the madrasah is decorated with a three-level portal. The vestibule group ends with a domed room leading to the courtyard through the arched doorway. The windows and entrances are also decorated with an arch. There is a small domed mosque in the northeast corner of the madrasah.

Currently, there is a mahalla committee located on the territory of madrasah - an organizing committee of citizens living in the area, called to provide support to the population.


Khiva’s ancient complex "Ichan-Kala" has located many archaeological monuments of the XIV-XX centuries. You can feel the connection of different times and peoples after getting here. Like in a fairy tale about Aladdin, ancient mausoleums and madrasas are located in the streets of this ancient city, flowing from one to another.

Yakubbay Hodja madrasah is one of such archaeological architectural, which is located to the west of the ancient cult Pahlavan Mahmud mausoleum. It was erected in 1873 by the prosperous Khiva’s merchant Yakubbay Hodja. Madrasah looks like a rectangle stretched along the west-east longitudinal axis if you will look at it from above. The vestibule group ends with a traditional for Muslim architecture domed room, leading to the courtyard through an arched doorway. There is a small domed mosque lined with brickwork in the northeast corner of the madrasah. Wooden doors are decorated with rich tiles of Khiva masters.


Bagbanli mosque is located in the south-eastern part of Ichan-Kala. According to the inscription in the verses on the stone plate at the entrance, the mosque was built in 1809 (1224 according to Hijrah), the name of the master Pahlavan-kuli, who designed the building, is also here. Name of other master, wood carver, Ruz Muhammad, son of Adin Muhammad, who made a carved door which leads to the zariyat-hana of Muhtar-Vali Sheikh mausoleum in Astana village of Yangiaryk district is said on the door.

The legend says that the mosque was built on money donated by two brothers-gardeners. The mosque has a rectangular shape, a double-column aivan and a domed winter room. The carved wooden columns of aivan are of artistic value and resemble the ornament of the columns of the Juma mosque.


The mosque of Khasan Murad Kushbegi (named after the head of the khan's guard) was built in the late 18th century. It is a small structure of a quadrangular shape, divided into living quarters. There is a narrow courtyard, a summer aivan and a winter mosque in its northern part. A minaret built inside the structure stands in the northeast corner.


The mosque of Yar Muhammad Devon (Sayidata) was built in the 18th century. It is located behind the mausoleum of Said Allauddin, and borders with Abdurasulbay madrasah by its eastern wall. The structural composition of the mosque combines a domed hall and a high flat aivan. On the plan, the mosque looks like a displaced rectangle, its two sides are sharpens toward the west; probably because later extensions to the main building of the cubic form were made.


The city walls are a rare example of medieval fortification, preserved until our time. The city of Khiva was surrounded by two rows of walls - Ichan-Kala (inner city) and Dishan-Kala (outer city). The walls of Ichan-Kala were erected between the 5th and 4th centuries BC, they are higher than the walls of the Dishan-Kala, possibly thanks to the natural relief (according to legend the city was built on a sandy hill).

The city walls are built of adobe bricks (40x40x10 cm) and have been rebuilt several times over the centuries. The walls of Ichan-Kala are 8-10 meters in height, 6-8 meters in width and 2250 meters in length. Every 30 meters there are round defensive towers that extend beyond the walls of Ichan-Kala. There are jagged banisters with narrow embrasures for repelling attacks by enemies during the siege on the top of the walls and towers.

There were moats filled with water in the system of defensive fortifications; even now it can be seen from the relief in the southern part, and in the north and west the asphalt has covered the ancient moats.

The walls of Dishan-Kala were built by Allakuli-khan in 1842. I wonder where it was taken so much clay to build walls. Studies have shown that clay was mined two kilometers to north of the city, in a territory called Govuk-kul; Now there is a big lake there. And today, as before, the local clay of excellent quality is used by modern potters. The legend says that when the prophet Mohammed built Medina, clay was used from these places, and the lake, which appeared later, is considered to be a saint.

The city gates were also part of the defense system. They have special adaptations used by guards guarding the city: there are "shock" towers on both sides of the arched passage, and there is an observation gallery above the gates. The passage is covered with an arched roof (Koy-Darvaza) or, if the corridor is very long, with several domes.


The trading house is located opposite to the eastern walls, built in 1905 by the Khiva’s merchant Palvan Kari. Palvan Kari Trading House specialized in selling fabrics and perfumes from Russian markets - Orenburg, Astrakhan and Nizhny Novgorod. By 1913, the network Trading House services had expanded; they began to sell and repair sewing machines.

Now the building is restored and "Khorezm during the years of independence" stationary exhibition is located there. Total exhibited items in the exposition are 315. The exhibition was created in 2011 to mark the 20th anniversary of Uzbekistan's independence. The author of the thematic-exposition plan is the doctor of historical sciences K.Khudaibergenov. The exhibition displays photographs of the culture development, way of life, education, sport, agriculture and industry of Khorezm during the 20 years of independence. Products of Khorezm folk masters, medals and cups, won by Khorezm athletes in the championships of Asia and the Republic are exhibited here. The useful area is 110 sq.m.