Your complete guide to places to go and things to do in Khiva, including top sightseeing places in Khiva, as well as restaurants in Khiva, hints on shopping in Khiva, tourist attractions in Khiva, sports, parks and more.
It was now near midnight and the silent, sleeping city lay bathed in a flood of glorious moonlight. The palace was transformed. The flat mud roofs had turned into marble; the tall slender minarets rose dim and indistinct, like sceptre sentinels watching over the city… It was no longer a real city, but a leaf torn from the enchanted pages of the Arabian Nights.
For many centuries the name Khiva has excited the imagination with the images of camel caravans loaded with exotic silk and spices, stirring bazaars, glittering madrasahs, tyrannical Khans and the largest slave market in Central Asia. Brave explorers of the nineteenth century enticed European society with tales of this mysterious and perilous desert in the Khorezm Oasis.
Today, tourists flock to see Khiva - the most homogeneous example of Islamic architecture in the world, which is full of stunning mosques and madrasahs. Tts historic center – Itchan Kala has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Almost all of the sightseeing places in Khiva are located in the Itchan Kala, which is the inner town (protected by brick walls some 10 m high) of the Khiva and was the last resting-place of caravans before crossing the desert to Iran. Although few very old monuments still remain, it is a coherent and well-preserved example of the Muslim architecture of Central Asia. There are several outstanding structures such as the Djuma Mosque, the mausoleums and the madrasas and the two magnificent palaces built at the beginning of the 19th century by Alla-Kulli-Khan.