Khiva - The city MuseumKhiva is known as a museum city under the open sky. It existed as a town for about 900 years, but was developed into the settlement as it is seen today only by the 19th century, when it was the last oasis on the northern Russian slave trade rout. Important spiritual and cultural values came form the large scientific centers of astronomy, mathematics, and medicine that existed in this area centuries ago.
One can wander through the narrow streets of Khiva, peeking into the small courtyards through the wooden carved doors. The life inside the gardens assures the visitor that it is not just a museum, but also a living city.
Today, Ichan Kala is the city museum under open sky build, which was restored in the way it looked several centuries ago. The inner town is surrounded by high clayed walls with four gates pointing out the four sides of the Universe.
The most considerable architectural monuments are well preserved. You can start your tour from the Western gates Ata-Darbaza. They were destroyed in 1920 and reconstructed during in 1975. The most ancient part of the city is the fortress Kunya Arch. The wall around the fortress was built in 17th century. It separates the fortress from the housing estates. Inside the fortress were mainly located the palace, arsenal, offices, the mint, and mosques.
The madrassah of Muhammad Amin Khan (1851-1852) is the largest madrassah in Khiva. It includes the auditorium, cells, winter and summer mosques and a library. The architectural works have been carried out in national Uzbek traditions. It has the five cupola entrance and the square yard surrounded by cells located in two storeys. The brick mosaic was used in the decoration of the facade. The wood carving of the entrance door, balconies, and windows are natural attraction for tourists.
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