|Cities of Uzbekistan
Mystical town Khiva
But Khiva is an upstart; although it looks like medieval Bukhara. The object of some of the most intrepid overland kpeditions of the XVIII and XIX centuries, Khiva was then the most remote and is now the most complete of the old Silk Route's oasis cities. Its walls are intact. The Tash Khauli palace has the finest painted ceilings in Central Asia. The Friday mosque is the strangest and most alluring in Uzbekistan. Yet Khiva is still probably more famous than it deserves. It is merely the last in a 2000-year line of Khorezmian capitals, most of them dissolved by the continually shifting Amu Darya, some still tantalizing sun-frazzled archaeologists with their gaunt hilltop ruins. The greatest of these cities was Kunya Urgench, the centre of the Muslim world before the Mongol invasion, when Khiva was nothing. Even in the XVIII century Khiva was 'hardly more than a nest of caravan-robbers hidden behind the formidable barriers of the desert'. The world knew little about it, so excitable travellers' tales built it into a fearsome power. And it behaved like one, knowing little of the rest of the world. Khiva prospered, like her predecessors, as the last great oasis on the northern caravan route to Russia. In particular she thrived on trade in Russian slaves and on their labour. But her wealth was translated into the fabric of a city only in the XIX century-and this is Khiva's fascination. The real miracle here is one of inertia, not preservation. The general appearance of Central Asian cities hardly changed in the 400 years before the Russians came, and there is no more impressive monument to this extraordinary stasis than Khiva.
History of Khiva
A long time ago, when men were men and gods took a practical interest in their affairs, Shem, son of Noah, was roaming the Kara-Kum desert with his tribe. He dreamed he saw a thousand soldiers marching over the dunes bearing torches, and told his people to build a hill of sand to mark where he had dreamed. His people became thirsty. Being a full day's walk from the river they dug a hole, and struck water, and the water was sweet. Khei-vakh! they cried. 'What wonderful water is in the well!' Th е city that grew up round the Kheivak Well was named 'Khiva' after it; the well itself can be found at 107, Ulitsa Abdullah a-Baltal, in the north- West corner of the old town. Rarely do myth and reality merge so happily. Siyavush, the runaway city-founder usually associated with Bukhara, is also mentioned in connection with Khiva. The Arab historian Al-Biruni said he turned up here around 1200 B.C., but there is no archaeological evidence that old, of the man or the place. Elsewhere in Khorezm, archaeologists tell a different story. Nowadays the Amu IW delta shows up on satellite photos as a lonely green smudge in an ocean of brown 1 4000 B.C.it was a much larger smudge. The river did not reach the Aral Sea, running out instead into a vast marshland dotted with sandy islets on which man lived in big oval shelters in extended families of up to 200. The Soviet archaeologist assigned exclusively to this area reckoned the Amu Darya brok through to the Aral Sea (till then fed only by the Syr Darya) around 2000 B.C. The marsh- land shrank, and the people of the new delta came to depend on irrigation they built hemselves. Another expert, Edgar Knobloch, says these irrigation systems 'shrank and expanded in a way curiously connected with historical events, with the wealth of the country, the growth and decline of the population, the flow of world trade, internal and external security, and other phenomena'-which is reassuring, giving hope that the irrigation systems which have destroyed the Aral Sea might now shrink like the Soviet empire that built them.
Historical and architectural monuments of Khiva
Mystical city Khiva succeeded to keeping its exotically shape of eastern city in the ancient parts of Ichan-Kala, where disposed numerous of architectural monuments.
- Ichan-Kala: The Mosque and Madrassah of Said-bay (end of XVIII -beginning of XIX centuries),
- It's around the gate of Polvan Darboza,
- Madrassah of Allakulihan (1834 - 1835),
- Madrassah of Kutlug-Murad-Inak (1804 - 1812),
- Bridge and Caravansary of Allakulihan (19th century),
- Madrassah of Abdulla Han (1865),
- The Mosque and Palace of Anush Han (1657),
- Tosh-Hayli (the stone lot)(of Allakulihan) (1830 - 1836),
- Ok mechet (the white mosque) (1832 - 1842),
- The Mosque and Minaret of Juma (1788 - 1889),
- Mausoleum of Said Alauddin (XIV century),
- Madrassah of Muhammad Amin Han (1851 - 1852),
- Minaret of Kalta Minor (1855),
- Kun'ya-Ark (1868 - 18 88),
- Minaret of Tura-Murat-Tur (1888),
- Madrassah of Muhammad Amin Han (1871),
- Madrassah of Shirgaziz han (1718 - 1720),
- The Mosque of Boglandi (XIX century),
- Madrassah of Arabhan (1838).
Bazaars in Old Khiva
Juma Mosque (X c.)
Kunya-Ark Castle (XVI – XVII c.c.)
Tash-Hovli Palace (XIX c.)