Juma Mosque (center of the Old Town) is large structure with a roof supported by 218 wooden columns, some of them from the original 10th century structure (most of what you see dates to the 18th century). It is possible to climb the stairs inside Juma minaret for a view of the city. Other buildings in the area include the 20th century Matpana Bay Madrasah, the 17th century Arabhana Madrasah, the 19th century Dost Alyam Madrasah, the 18th century Abdulla Khan Madrasah, the Anusha baths and the small Aq Mosque (founded in 1657).

Juma (Jami) means “cathedral” or “Friday mosque,” a designation the implies that it can hold a lot of people for Friday prayers and big events where large numbers of Muslims gather to pray. The Juma Muslim is distinguished by a peculiar form of architecture and its volume. This monument resembles the ancient mosques of Khorezm. It occupies a rather large area with the size of 55×46 meters, and is lined up with many columns. The building is located along a large street connecting the eastern and western gates of Itchan Kala.

The Arab traveler al-Maqdisi (al-Mukaddasi), who was in the 10th century in Khorezm, first mentions the Juma mosque in Khiva. But according to the old residents of Khiva residents, the ancient mosque was destroyed and in its place in 1788, with some expansion of its area, the current mosque was built with an identical layout. The appearance of the mosque is somewhat simplified, the height of its walls is 4. 5 meters, the height of its minaret is 42 meters. The gates of the mosque face north to the front, the wind blowing from the north went out through two fairly large light openings arranged in the roof in the middle of the mosque. Under the apertures in the old days grew mulberry local varieties “Balkhi” that ensured the purification of the air inside the mosque at that time, that is, our fathers and grandfathers thus achieved a harmonious biosynthesis between nature and man. It should be noted that in the old days, in the courtyard of many buildings, mulberry trees of the “Balkhi here” variety were planted (or “Ak here” — white mulberry tree). According to experts, the mulberry tree requires very little water, because its roots themselves find water underground. Thus, our ancestors achieved the integrity and safety of architectural and residential buildings, because the mulberry tree, collecting moisture around itself, thereby helped to maintain a balance in the distribution of soil moisture within the territory and around the building.

The Juma Mosque is a one-story structure with a flat girder roof, which is supported by 213 columns, placed on a 3. 15x3. 15 square grid. Mihrab mosque is located in the center of the southern wall. On the sides of the mihrab, in the wall as usual, in order to highlight it, high niches are arranged, the ceiling of the mihrab part is built just above the general ceiling of the mosque. The Mihrab arched niche is painted with green paint, the pier walls are painted with black and red paints depicting trees, bushes, wild rose and iris, which were made at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 20th centuries. On marble slabs installed on both sides of the mihrab, inscriptions were carved, in one of them, dated 1203 AH (1788–1789), was written a vakufnaya letter, drawn up in connection with the donation of property and means to the mosque. It states that by order of Vizir Abdurakhman (Mikhtar) in 1203 Hijra in Kuyuktam villages (Goktam, now the village in Koshkupyr district of Khorezm region) and Bekabad, lands were allocated for the mosque, and income from these lands should be spent on charity and needs of the mosque. The second marble slab is slightly smaller, it displays a chronogram (tarich) showing the year 1080 Hijra (that is, 1666). Among the local population there are opinions that the mosque was restored at the end of the 18th century. This is confirmed by the inscriptions displayed on the carved doors of the southern facade of the mosque. They report that the mosque was restored in 1788–89 under the leadership of a person named Abdurakhman Mikhtar.

Of the ancient patterned carved columns in the mosque, only 15 columns are preserved, 8 columns are kept in the city of Tashkent, in the Museum of the History of the Peoples of Uzbekistan. According to the archeologist, historian Yahya Gulyamov, “some of these columns are the most ancient monuments of the art of woodcarving in all of Uzbekistan. ” On the most ancient columns, there are patterns in the form of large leaves, the upper part of the trunk with constant edges, in the middle of them, framed by a circle, are written ancient Arabic kufic inscriptions. Forms are processed with deep relief. And on the columns of the 14th century, the patterns are represented in the set, the inscriptions are given in the form of “Hatti naskh” (Arabic writing style)

We can familiarize ourselves with the carving of this style on wooden tiles installed next to the mihrab and on the casement doors. In the mosque there are several columns that are made in imitation of ancient columns. On one of them there is a date indicating the year 1510. No other inscriptions. Maybe they were installed at the same time with marble slabs located near the mihrab. Restoration of this unique monument was begun in 1979, designed by architect Sanochkin. The 108 columns of the Juma mosque, installed there later, were purchased from the local population in 1983. Among them were carved columns of the 18th — early 20th century, which were installed on the site of the dilapidated columns of the mosque.

Among historians and art historians, and the local population there are opinions that some of the columns were brought from the cities of Kunya Urgench, Izmuhshir (Zamakhshar is a village on the territory of Turkmenistan), ancient Kyat, destroyed by the Amu Darya, as well as from other places in Khiva. It is said that in the mosque there is also a column made from the trunk of an ancient guzapai tree (cotton). In fact, there is no such column in the mosque, and practically it cannot be. Because the trunk of a guzapai tree is loose, hollow, and unable to lift a heavy load. In the middle of the column under a miniature dome is a boiler made of calcium carbonate (limestone). After some time, after pouring water into the boiler, the water comes to a warm state. The secret of this miracle at that time was known only to a limited, definite part of the mosque’s attendants. This measure, carried out in order to surprise Muslim believers, was aimed at strengthening the position of Islam among the masses of the population.

Attention is drawn to the fact that the five minarets of Khiva are on the same line at a distance of about 200 meters from one another. In the center is the minaret of the main mosque of Itchan Kala — Juma mosque. To the west of it is Kalta Minor and then the minaret of the Sha-Calandar-bobo complex. To the east — the minaret of the mosque Seyid-biy, and then — the minaret of Palvan-kari. The diameter of the minaret of the Juma mosque at the base is 6. 2 meters, its height is 32. 5 meters. Its top is crowned with an eight-arch lantern with a stalactite cornice and a dome. In 1996-1997, the Juma mosque was restored and during the restoration many worn out columns were replaced again.

Kalta Minor: the Unfinished Minaret

Kalta Minor(Kalminor) is a minaret located on the territory of Itchan Kala — the inner city of ancient Khiva. Built in 1855. Kalta-Minor minaret (short) was conceived by Muhammad Amin-Khan as the largest in the Muslim East (base diameter: 14. 2 meters). According to the plan, the height of the minaret was to be 70-80 meters, and the diameter should have sharply decreased with height, which would make the minaret more durable. But construction stopped at an altitude of 29 meters.

According to the Khiva historian Agakhi, the construction was not completed, due to the death of Muhammad Amin Khan in 1855. And the legend tells that the emir of Bukhara, having learned about the construction of a unique minaret in Khiva, wanted to build the same in Bukhara, and agreed with the master that he would do it as soon as he finished his work in Khiva. Khiva Khan, having learned about it, gave the order to kill the master immediately after he completed the construction. This news reached the master and he escaped, leaving the minaret unfinished. The minaret is known for its incompleteness, as well as for its unique decor (Kalta Minar is the only minaret completely covered with glazed tiles and majolica).

Legend of Kalta Minaret

The Kalta Minaret is a famous landmark in Khiva. One old story related to it goes: Many years ago in Khiva lived a great Khan. He often fought with neighboring khanates, so he decided to build the biggest minaret in the world. Then, when he would climb to the top, he would be able to see approaching armies, as well as everything else that went on in the land. [Source: Dr. Oktyabr Dospanov, |~|]

One day he called a master builder, who was very famous. He told the builder that he wanted to have the tallest minaret in the world so he would be able to see approaching enemies, and prepare his defense. After the master builder began his work, the Khan thought to himself, "After he finishes the minaret, I will kill him. If the other Khans see how great it is, they will want one like it. " So he made his plans, and ordered his soldiers to guard the builder. |~|

One day a student of the builder heard about the plans of the Khan. He wrote everything he heard on a brick, and sent the brick to the builder. When the builder read about the plot, he wanted to escape from the city, but was unable to because he was heavily guarded. But then an idea came to him. He wrote his idea on a brick, and sent it to his student. The builder asked the student to make wings so he could fly away. The student did as he was asked, and when he finished making the wings, he glued them together with wax, and sent them to the builder. Before the minaret was finished, the builder tied the wings on his back and jumped from the minaret. He flew higher and higher until he reached the sun. But suddenly the heat of the sun melted the wax, and the wings fell apart. The poor unlucky builder fell to the earth and to his death. The minaret was never finished, and is known to this day in all of Central Asia as Kalta, the short minaret. |~|

Mohammed Amin Khan Madrasah

Mohammed Amin Khan Madrasah (near the West Gate) was built in the 1850s and was transformed into the Hotel Khiva in Soviet era. It features a large courtyard surrounded by two stories of cells. Outside is the turquoise-tile-covered Kalta Minor minaret. During the Khan period, 64 madrassas operated in the city of Khiva, the largest and most beautiful of them was considered to be a Madrasah built by the Khiva khan Mohammed Amin, which is well preserved to the present. The Madrasah is located in the western part of Itchan Kala, on the right side at the entrance from the main gate Ata-Darvaz. This architectural structure is built large and luxurious in accordance with the peculiar techniques of construction skill of its period. Madrasah Mohammed Aminkhana was restored in 1979 and turned into a hotel.

In 1851, a competition was announced for the construction of the Madrasah Mohammed Aminkhana and the project drawn by the chief master of Khiva (ustabashi) Abdullah “gin” liked the khan. Madrasah was built over three years. Satisfied Khan commanded Bekniyazu Divanbegi to prepare everything necessary for holding large celebrations and feasts. The brothers and close relatives of the khan who came to the feast were gifted with gold-woven robes and fast horses. None of those who took part in the celebrations was left without a gift. Contemporary poets, singing the Madrasah building in verses with an encrypted chronogram, were also gifted by the khan. Next to the Madrasah, the construction of such a magnificent minaret was begun, that the poets chanted its still unfinished construction with the words “Like a pillar supporting the dome of the heavens”

On the construction of the madrasah and a minaret, one historian wrote: — “In the fourth year of the reign (Khanate) Madaminkhan in the side of the Cybols (conventionally south in Khiva) opposite the Arch began building a Madrasah and a minaret. Bekniyaz divbegi has commanded its construction. When Bekniyaz began construction, Mohammed Karim placed a sofa overseeing him. Mohammed Karim found the famous masters of Khorezm, took up business (for construction). By order of the Khan in Angarik (village) at the foot of the desert, the construction of a country-house and garden was started, and Ismail’s sofa ibn Adina’s sofa was appointed to head him from Abdullah Qushbegi.”

The madrasah has two floors, with 130 cells (hujras). In each hujra of the Madrasah, 2–3 students lived, the doors of all hujras went out to the Madrasah’s courtyard, and in each hujra there was a fireplace. Religious and secular sciences were taught in the Madrasah, at the same time entertainment games and singing of songs were banned. The term of study in the Madrasah was unlimited, some students studied in the same course for 3-4 years, even 8-10 years. Training in the Madrasah was carried out on 3 steps. 1) The initial “adno”; 2) Medium Avsat; 3) Higher “alo” groups.

In the initial stage, Arabic grammar, logic, Sharia law, religious rites, and literature in Arabic and Persian were taught. During the remaining two stages, students diligently studied “tahsib” (logic), ilochioat (theology), law and other sciences. In the Madrasah, the son of every Muslim who has reached the age of 15 years was accepted, given his literacy and abilities. The students were called mullah or Talibul ilm. Then poets, historians, calligraphers, scholars, and educated people came out from among the students who graduated from madrassas. A large library and the headquarters of the High Qazi court were located in the Madrasah.

Architecture of Mohammed Amin Khan Madrasah

Mohammed Amin Khan Madrasah is made of baked bricks; its wall thickness reaches 1.5 meters.The madrasah has two floors, with 130 cells (hujras), in which, according to historical documents, 260 students lived and received education at the same time. The architectural structure is similar to other buildings similar to it. It is built symmetrically, in two floors, rectangular in plan with a spacious courtyard of the same shape. Madrasah in the four corners decorated corner turrets-guldasta. Especially noteworthy are the turrets, located on both sides of the central portal of the Madrasah.

Behind the main facade of the Madrasah there is a five-dome Monsaray, a winter mosque, an auditorium and utility rooms. The cells of the first floor served as housing and utility rooms, on the second floor the living rooms are provided with arched loggias open to one side, which made the building attractive. The courtyard is decorated with four small portals, the front part of which is decorated with majolica with Khiva patterns, among which are woven Sulse-style calligraphic inscriptions of Arabic. In the window openings of the Madrasah, ganch (Uzbek-style stucco) patterned grids of pandjar are installed. At the bottom of the walls, a waterproofing layer of mountain stones is laid on the basement of the Madrasah (its height is 68 centimeters).

The general dimensions of the Madrasah are 71.7-x-60 meters; the inner courtyard of the Madrasah is 38-x38 meters. The Winter Mosque is 9.4-x-8.4 meters; Audience -5.6-x-5.5 meters; summer mosque — 5.6-x-5.6 meters; The height of the portal is 25 meters. According to the description of the traveler A. Vamberi who arrived in Khiva in 1863, the Muhammad Aminkhan Madrasah (in Madaminkhan dialect) was built like a caravanserai, the minaret located near the Madrasah was left unfinished due to the tragic death of the khan. 130 cells (hudzhr) Madrasahs were designed for 260 students, for the Madrasahs, vacant lands in certain sizes were set aside. The area of these lands was 32525 tanap, the crop grown and harvested from them was distributed between the students (students) and the servants of the Madrasahs.

Unfinished Minaret of Mohammed Aminkhana

Unfinished Minaret of Mohammed Aminkhan (part of Mohammed Amin Khan Madrasah) is one of the most famous minarets built in Khiva is As is known, the construction of minarets was associated with the spread of the Islamic religion in the province. The minarets were necessarily built around each mosque or Madrasah, they were used to call on Muslims to pray. Later, they also began to be built as a decoration of the city and a demonstration of the power and might of the ruling sovereigns. Therefore, the ancient monuments of eastern cities can not be imagined without minarets. If the minarets were removed from the chain of dozens of Khiva’s architectural structures known to the whole world, the city’s image would become poor and inconspicuous. According to historical sources, a minaret towered near each mosque and Madrasah.

The form of the minaret is a truncated cone, which, although in an unfinished state, looks very impressive. If we proceed from the dynamic narrowing of the minaret, after its completion, reaching a height of about 70 — 80 meters, it should have been the largest and highest minaret in Central Asia. If we observe insolation (refraction of rays falling on the majolica surface of the minaret) of the sun rays falling on the minaret, then it can be seen that the color of the majolica does not change. Because the sunbeam, acting on any object, changes its color, that is, the initial color of the object becomes white or becomes less juicy. This circumstance at the minaret imperceptibly.

Despite the fact that quite a lot of time has passed since the day of its construction, the minaret looks completely like a newly built one. In architecture, blue, green, blue colors are characterized as “cold colors”. Although white coloring is mostly applied here, it looks as if it was designed and used from “warm” colors. Reddish tones are used in majolica, but this is almost imperceptible to the eyes. Here integrity and color harmony are preserved. In the minaret’s decorations, geometric patterns (girikh) were used in large quantities in large quantities. The staircase leads to the top of the minaret from the level of the second floor, that is, you can climb the minaret along wooden spiral-shaped staircases leading to the top. These steps have been restored from time to time. The minaret was started by construction in 1853 by Mohammed Aminkhan and in 1855 after the killing of the khan during the military campaign against Northern Iran and the construction of the throne of Abdullahan, construction work was suspended.

Missing inscriptions in Arabic in Farsi, on majolica, disappeared with time from the top of the minaret were restored in 1997, on the eve of the 2500th anniversary of Khiva. Restoration of these inscriptions on majolica was made by master restorers of the joint stock company “Hayot”. The inscriptions on Farsi with the verses of Agehi were restored in their original form. The restoration of the letters on majolica was carried out by the master restorer of majolica art Rustam Tahirov. The content of their text is approximately as follows: “A high minaret has been erected, bringing delight to the human soul. Like him he had not seen the eyes of heaven. His fame reached the emirs of the land. His sides lack guilt and flaws. If you look at them with the eyes of justice, the cypress tree in front of it will be like a shallow straw. It is better than the tree Tubo pacifies the heart. His beautiful appearance changed the face of earth and heaven like heaven. He became such a pillar of heaven that it cannot be understood by the mind. For this reason, Agehi wrote the year of its construction “The Infinite Pillar of Heaven”, built in the year of the Hijra 1271 (1855) ”.

Dying Over the Unfinished Minaret of Mohammed Aminkhana

On the construction of the minaret Mulla Alim Makhdum Haji in his work “The History of Turkestan” writes the following “After the construction of the Madrasah was completed, at the command of the khan, a decree was issued on the construction of the highest minaret near the Madrasah. During the continuation of the construction of the minaret (1855), Mohammed Aminkhan makes a campaign against Iran and dies as a martyr (shahid), as a result the minaret, which he began to build, remains unfinished. In fact, the story of this event is as follows: Muhammad Aminkhan in Hijra in 1271 on the second day of the week, Dushanba (now considered Monday) of the month of Jumadul Oir was killed in the area of Kanlitepa, which is subordinate to Sarakhs. He was about thirty-five years old when the Turkmen killed him, cut off his head, which, along with the headdress (kulah), the crown and other things, was taken to Tehran on the fifteenth day of this month, to the palace of the Shah.

But, Nasriddinshah did not like this act of the Turkmen. Because, the ruler of Khivak and the son of the Khan of Khorezm, starting with his fathers and grandfathers, like the Shah of Iran faithfully served Allah and observed the foundations of Mr. Mawlai Hanif Ahmad, in the interests of the Prophet Muhammad, to build in Tehran, near the central gate of the state, a mausoleum with a high dome, in which, together with the head of the Khan, all his belongings and accessories were buried, a memorial prayer from the Quran was read and to pacify his spirits, donations were made to the poor and destitute.

The essence of the history of events in Kanlitepe is such that Mohammed Aminkhan made a military campaign (chapovul) every year to punish the Turkmen Merv and Serakhs, who did not obey him, also against the Iranians. In one of these campaigns in the battle at the place of Kanlitepa, a face named Niyazkhan ibn Urazkhan Serakhsi cut off Khan’s head, seized his belongings and accessories. Of the viziers and commanders, 14 people who were cousins after the father, and only 32 people died in the battle. Among them are Khorezm Qaziy, Bekchan Divanbegi, Khudayarbiy, Abdulla makhram, Davlatyarbiy, Bekchan Sardar, Niyazkuli Mingbashi, Allaқuli yuzbashi, Khaknazar Mingbashi, Davlatniyaz yuzbashi, who led 1000 equestrian riders. Bekmurad and Mohammed Sheikh arbabs with 2000 horse riders always made a military raid (chapovul) on Khorasan. Of these, 70 people died. Jafar Okay, who was the ruler and Mirahmed Jamshidi, who was the vizier, they were both seriously injured. ”

Legends on the Unfinished Minaret of Mohammed Aminkhana

There are also some legends about this minaret among the people — “It is said that the Khan of Khiva ordered to build a very large and high minaret in the city. He instructed, “That from its top one would see the ancient Bukhara”. Having heard about this, the Emir of Bukhara concluded a secret contract with the architect building the minaret, according to which, immediately after the minaret was completed, he had to build the minaret even higher than Khiva. As a reward, the emir promised him a very large amount of till (gold coins). Having learned about this, the Khan decided to kill the master immediately after the construction of the minaret. Hearing about the intention of Khan, the master disappeared, leaving the minaret in an unfinished state. For this reason, among the people there are poems about this — “Madaminkhan Madrasah is completed, and the minaret is unfinished, Madaminhan has not been granted its desire”. Despite this, the minaret even in this state looks stately and beautiful. It is decorated with majolica tiles of different colors. At the beginning of our century, the people, praising him, nicknamed “Ulli Minar” (“Great Minaret”). “Kok Minar” (“Blue Minaret”).

Contemporaries described Mohammed Aminkhan in this way. Arriving from the Shah of Iran, Ambassador Mirza Rizakulikhan Shirazi Lalabash in his book of travels tells the following: “In this vilayat of battles, quarrels, thefts, there is no refusal to return money borrowed. Nobody quarrels with each other, even the voice does not raise. Of the subjects, no matter what class he is, higher or lower, if he has anything to say, he will be able to go to his highness Khan Mohammed Aminkhan without any obstacles and express his request (complaint) to him. If this is a secular business, he makes a decision himself, if this is a Sharia case, he entrusts it to Qazi Kalyan. Charging only zakat, for the rest does not claim to other people’s property.

When zakat charges one part of forty, in monetary relations does not oppress. In this country everything is cheap, there are many fruits and they are very tasty and their melons are excellent, the fruits of mulberry (mulberry) are tastier than in Shamran, and the Ingira are better than in Mazandaran. Khan of Khiva assumed the provision of water and land for his subjects. Each of them is given a plot of land, one tanapu, which goes on a journey (trekking), one horse is given out, and two camels to load cargo on a journey. Therefore, not knowing about it (the enemies) his ten thousand soldiers will seem like thirty thousand, instilling fear in the hearts of others. The territory around the palace (Urda) they dig. If someone’s horse or camel dies during a hike, the owner is reimbursed for the loss of its value with money, each one returned from the hike is given five fogs. The salary of each person does not exceed fifty tumans. The salary of each person does not exceed fifty fogs. For this reason, the vilayat is landscaped and its treasury is never empty, ”he concludes his description of the behavior and morals of the local population.

Muhammad Rahimhan Madrasah

Mohammed Rahim Khan Madrasah (facing the Kunya Ark) was built by decree of Seyid Mohammed Rahimkhan II in 1871. By its wide size, majesty, it differs from other Madrasahs of Khiva. Single-story cells, built long before the construction of the Madrasah, form a small courtyard in front of the main facade of the Madrasah. On the side of the square, the shopping arcade with high aivans adjoins the hudjram.

Mohammed Rahim Khan Madrasah is one the largest madrsahs in Khiva. It covers 62-×-50 meters, with the inner courtyard measuring 28-×-29 meters and the courtyard in front of the madrasah measuring 20-×-42 meters. In the Madrasah there are premises of the summer and winter mosques, the audience (darskhana), as well as a library and residential hujras for students and teachers. The general architectural structure of the Madrasah is slightly different from the generally accepted norms. Some kind of supernaturalness is felt, expressed in large volumes of the building. The yard of the Madrasah is surrounded by 76 one-story cells, designed for 152 students. From the outside of the roof, the hujras are limited by an obstacle in the form of a low wall (parapet), which adjoins the two-story central facade of the Madrasah. On both sides of the slender portal there is a five-arched gallery. The lobby group consists of eight domes — this is the largest number in the Central Asian Madrasah. The internal plan of the building also differs from other Madrasahs. Patterned ornaments, laid out of glazed bricks on the front of the walls, repeat the usual forms. The visitor of the courtyard leaves a different impression. A number of single-storey hujr courtyards, high ornamental portals, an external blank wall, along with beautiful turrets-guldasta in the corners provide a wonderful picture.

A land area of 2,941 tanaps (2. 5 tanapes — 1 hectare) was allocated as a waqf for Madrasahs by the khan (source of income, ensuring the operation of Madrasahs). In the celebrations of the opening of the Madrasah, decorated with exquisite majolica tiles, the poets and scholars of that time composing laudable chronograms and singing the power and generosity of the khan in the Qasids (odes) were generously awarded by the khan. In addition to the cost of gifts to their courtiers, relatives, craftsmen and artisans who worked on the building, 118 tills (gold coins) were handed out personally by the khan himself at this feast.

Art and Literature in Muhammad Rahimhan Madrasah

The following words are written on the portal of Madrasahs in Arabic, which in translation give the following content: “This blessed building was erected by the decree of the Sultan of his time and the Khakan of the world, the Caliph and the shadow of Allah, the master of victories and glories, the ruler of invincible power conquering the country Seyid Mohammed Rahim Bahadurkhan, date 1289 AH (1872).”

A chronogram in the form of verses in Farsi, written by the famous poet Kamil (Khorezmi), is carved out of the marble slab above the door on the marble slab by the master Pakhlavan Niyaz Khorezmi.
Shah having glory like heaven
In the state, his word has sharpness and power.
When his steps reached the throne of the state,
From his blessed steps, Khorezm became a paradise.
This structure, which is the abode of good deeds,
He erects his generosity, for scientists with high knowledge.

The four portraits of the inner courtyard of the Madrasah contain two chronograms each in the form of poems composed by Khiva poets Mohammed Reza Agehi and Kamil Khorezmi. They glorify that the country became well-planned thanks to the mercy of Khan, its justice spread throughout the world, that scientists received degrees, achieved their goals, the Khan himself taking care of scientists and enlightened (people) received the title of patron of knowledge and science. In the very early years of our independence in 1994, the Madrasah was restored, and as a wedding gift to celebrations to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mohammed Rahimkhan “Feruza”, a shah and a poet, held in September of the same year, in the Madrasah the exposition of the museum “History and Literature of Khorezm” was created and opened. The museum exposition occupied a rather large area, including the lobby, the audience room and the winter mosque of the Madrasah. At the entrance to the museum, we see before our eyes the history, culture and art of the peoples who lived in the territory of the Khiva Khanate, formed at the beginning of the 16th century and the neighboring states of Iran and the Bukhara Khanate. Here we will be able to get acquainted with the materials about education at the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th centuries in Khorezm of the centralized state, as well as the impact of its domestic and foreign policy on the peoples of Central Asia.

The exposition of the department displays materials telling that in the second half of the 19th century, Tsarist Russia, with the aim of meeting its needs for industrial raw materials, undertook “Hike to the East”, conquered the states of Central Asia, in particular, in 1873, the Khiva khanate unique monuments of our land, state and national wealth and values were taken away, and in order to compensate for their loss, one of the first in Central Asia, on the initiative of Mohammed Rahimkhan II, was organized and had a massive distribution of duction (books) “The first in Central Asia lithography”, a legacy left by the pioneer of Uzbek photo and cinema art Khudaibergen Divanov, objects reflecting the work of “Tanburta notation”, which shows how ancient maqom musical melodies are shifted to notes by famous poet and musician Kamil Khorezmi, text and photo materials telling of great thinkers, poets and people who have received the respect of the people, such as Pahlavan Mahmud, Abulgazi Bahadurhan, Mohammed Rahimkhan Feruz, Muniz and Agehi. The museum presents for display the state symbols of the Khiva khanate — banners, money and original photographs of the last representatives of the Khans of Khiva, products of trade brought from foreign countries, Chinese and Russian porcelain, products of local artisans, weapons, clothing, household utensils and other exhibits.

Allakulihan Madrasah

Allakulihan Madrasah(near the East Gate) lies at the heart of an area with many outstanding buildings built during the 1830s and 40s when Khiva grew rich from trade with Russia. The madrasah and the older Kutlimurodinok Madrasah face each across a street and have matching tile facades. The 18th-century Alloquilihon Bazaar and Caravanserai is housed in a domed structure with tall wooden gates. It is still used and opens onto Khiva’s modern bazaar outside the Old Town. The caravanserai contains a large courtyard used by merchants to sell their merchandise. It is now occupied by an artisan center.

Khan Allakulihan (1825–1842) in order to turn the city of Khiva into one of the most beautiful and attractive cities of Asia, based on its capabilities, carried out large construction and improvement works. Having dismantled the dilapidated and already collapsing old Madrasahs, most of which were built of carcass and mud bricks, ordered to build in their place the skilled craftsmen of the time madrassas, made of baked bricks.

These include the beautiful Madrasah, built by him in his own name, on the site of the eastern fortress wall of Itchan Kala. Madrasah is start to built after the completion of the construction of tim. Before the start of construction, a part of the city wall, adjoining the Khodzhaberdibiya Madrasah and several domes of the Palvan-Darvaz gate were dismantled. The remains of the pahas and brick walls were leveled, and the portal of the Madrasah was erected in their place. This portal is located opposite the portal opposite the Kutug Murad Inak Madrasah. As a result, the traditional architectural form of Kos (pair) Madrasah was formed on the newly formed square.

The history of the construction of Madrasahs in different periods is written differently. The historian Ageehi (teacher) historian Agegi in his work “Riyoz ud-davla” (“Gardens of Splendor”) gives the following information: “In the year of the sheep, in (the year of the Hijra) 1251 (1835) by the order of Allahulihan, under the leadership of Mohammed Yusuf Mikhtar was built Tashhauz fortress …

“The highest Madrasah” (“Madrasahi Oliya”) is located in the city of Khiva between the caravanserai and the gate Pakhlavan Darvaza … its construction was started led by Muhammad Riza kushbegi. After his death, the construction led by Atamurad Kushbegi was brought to an end. It has the name “Madrasahi Khan” (“Khan Madrasah”).

Architecture, Writing and Tilework at Allakulihan Madrasah

As a result of raising on an artificial platform 3 meters high, the Allakulihan Madrasah managed to noticeably raise above the low domes of the neighboring Khodzhaberdibiya Madrasah and thus include the Madrasahs in the territory of the inner part of the city. The courtyard view of the Madrasah has some difference from the traditional form-series of two-story hujras installed above the small domes of the Palvan-Darvaz gate and partly on the edges of the Tim domes. The Madrasah is built in the shape of a trapeze, it has 99 hujras, summer and winter mosques, darskhana (audience). Each hujre has a door and a window above it.

In the lower part of the hujra are paved with square burnt bricks, the walls are plastered with ganch, in the inner part there are arches of hujras of the “balkhi” type without ornaments. Large rooms of Madrasahs like winter and summer mosques do not have large domes as in two-story buildings, large arches, even walls with no decorations, deep niches have some inconspicuous appearance. But the external decorations of Madrasahs are completely different. If in the Kutlug Murad Inak Madrasah, located opposite, white and colored ganch (Uzbek-style stucco) were used, the relief stamped terracotta glazed majolica, only majolica is used in decorations in this Madrasah.

But majolica patterns are different from each other, ceramists when choosing decorations, proceeded from the place of their location, and with high skill selected the panel shapes, the thickness of colors and the sizes of the patterned fragments. The floral patterns on the portal, a series of delicate arches enliven the dull monotony of the hyre (form of geometric ornament). The portal of the mosque in the courtyard of the Madrasah is decorated with complex ring-shaped floral patterns, there is an entrance to the summer mosque. Usually, the back side of the main portal of the Madrasah was devoid of decorations, but here in this place we see a remarkable picture of the openwork plant patterns on the majolica.

But the memory of the Khiva old-timers, at one time (in 1961), on a small pillar that adorned the gate of the Madrasah, was an inscription showing the year 1834. Our teacher Kamiljan aka Hudaibergenov, in his pamphlet entitled “Khiva Honlari Shazharasi” (“Genealogy of the Khiva Khans”), dwelling upon the history of the Allakulihan’s Madrasah, expressed the following opinion: “In the portal of the Madrasah on the majolica in Arabic writing the following words are written in the naltalik Madrasah script — Thanks To Allah, the Almighty, this glorious abode, the mine of good and abundance, was built at the behest of the son of His Majesty the great Sultan Mohammed Rahim padishah, ghazi (fighter for the faith) (let his radiant tomb be) His Majesty the Great Sultan and the highly respected Khakan (lord) Abulgazi Allakuli Khorezmshah (may his state be eternal), in the year 1250 ”. The Madrasah was built in the Hijra of 1250, that is, in 1834 according to the modern chronology.

Throughout the portal Madrasah in the form of the letter P in the extremely beautiful and at the same time difficult to read style of sulse of the Arabic letter is written Surat Fatah (victory) from the Koran. On the wall of the balcony, located in the upper part of the door, at the entrance to the Madrasah in Farsi, a chronogram in verses is written in a letter.
Abulgazi Allakuli Shah,
The refinement of Allah adorned the science of the country.
Oh dear, clouds of generosity filled with water in abundance,
Turn all his places into a river of knowledge.
With his generosity, he built a Madrasah,
He turned him into the hearts of the enlightened,
Being the abode of knowledge.
Its dome is superior to the dome of heaven,
His camp is decorated with the decoration of science.
The majestic domes of this building,
Illuminated from head to toe with the radiance of science.
Come hey, scribe, for his story,
Say “Source of charms and useful knowledge”.
(“Faiz va Foydali Ilm Manbai”).

In the last lines of this verse the chronogram is encrypted, when calculating which, it turns out Hijra 1250. It means that the construction of the Madrasah was begun in 1834 and completed in 1835. Allakulihan as a waqf for this Madrasah singled out 8,500 tanaps (about 9,000 hectares) of land from lands under the Khiva khanate.

Islam Khoja Madrasah

Islam Khoja Madrasah (between the East and South Gates) was built in 1910. Its 45-meter-high minaret is the tallest in Khiva. It can be climbed for lovely views into both Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The Madrasah contains Khiva’s best museum, with collections of carpets, woodcarvings, pottery and metalwork.

In 1908 — 1910, the vizier and father-in-law of the Khiva khan Isfandiyarhan II, Seyid Islam Khoja, built a Madrasah and a minaret near the mausoleum of Pakhlavan Mahmud’s complex. Islam Khoja was one of the famous people of his time and. He put a lot of effort and work on the improvement of the city. By his efforts in Khiva, the buildings of the hospital, post office, telegraph, Kosh-darvaz gate, palace of official receptions in the complex of the Nurullabay palace, new bridges of iron structures in some places of Khorezm were built. The chief architect of the minaret was Ustad Hudaibergen ibn Ustad Baba Khorezmi, the construction of the Madrasah was carried out by the master Hudaibergen Haji, majolica patterns of the Madrasah and the minaret, based on the sketch of the patterns of Ashmuhammed Hudaiberdiev, were made by the ceramists from the village of Madir Khan of the Khanty district of the Khantykhmed Khudaiberdiyev, were made by the ceramists from the village of Madyr Khan of the Khanty district of the Khantykhmed Khudaiberdiev. In connection with the construction of the minaret, the poet Niyozi wrote a verse chronogram consisting of 48 lines, exactly the same chronogram in verses of 47 lines was written for the construction of a Madrasah. These two chronograms were carved on marble slabs by a master marble carver of the mouth of the Hudaibergen Sofa and set above the entrance door of the Madrasah, as well as on the outer part of the minaret at a height of 10 meters from the ground. Islam Khoja singled out 14,000 451 tanaps of land from the lands belonging to him as a waqf for Madrasahs.

Madrasah consists of 42 hujras, in which 50 students studied and lived, the front part of the Madrasah is built in 2 floors. To the right of the entrance to the lobby is a spacious room of the winter dome mosque. The external structure and decoration of the main facade of the Madrasah, associated with the minaret, by architectural design does not differ from other Khiva Madrasahs. The side wings of the portal are decorated with a series of two-story arches and corner towers-guldasta.

The tops of the arches are decorated with separate patterns in the form of edges and glazed tiles. A small courtyard of the Madrasah is surrounded by one-story cells for students. There are no decorations on the walls of the courtyard. A one-column aivan is built on the back side of the portal part above the hudjras of the first floor. As already mentioned, the largest in the Madrasah is the premise of the dome mosque, which occupies the entire southwestern side of the Madrasah. The interior of the mosque is made in a typical dome style characteristic of the works of Khiva masters. On the southern inside of the wall of the mosque under the arched space and the mihrab of the mosque are decorated with majolica tiles with patterns and carved ganch (Uzbek-style stucco) ornament, creating a beautiful picture.

Islam Khoja Minaret: Tallest Minaret in Khiva

Islam Khoja Minaret(next to Islam Khoja Madrasah) is the tallest minaret in Khiva, at 45 meters high. Other famous minarets in Khiva were planned to be taller, almost twice as high, but they were never finished. Islam Khoja Minaret can be climbed for lovely views into both Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Islam Khoja Minaret, was built simultaneously with Islam Khoja Madrasah. The diameter of the lower part is 9.5 meters. During the construction of the minaret, architectural techniques and methods of the architects of the past centuries were used. The upper part of the minaret, thinning to the top, is completed by an elegant cornice and a domed lantern with a crescent-shaped top. The surface of the lantern is decorated with edging, recruited from ceramic bricks of different shapes. The space between them is filled with majolica tiles of different colors.

The lantern and the eaves are decorated with glazed majolica bricks of green-blue, light blue (blue) and white tones. For this reason, the upper part of the minaret stands out against the bright sky. Glazed colorful bricks are presented in the form of a patterned, ribbon surrounding the cone-shaped body of the minaret around the circumference in several places. Taking into account these features of the minaret, local old-timers assert that, “Decorations of the four seasons of the year and twelve months are presented on the Khodja minaret”. In simple and concrete forms of the minaret, one can notice new techniques for the erection of structures that fit into the architecture of Khiva. The new construction forms characteristic of the architecture of Khiva of that time were reflected in the newly constructed buildings of the new type — post office, telegraph, new method school and hospital. Masters, along with the use of techniques of ancient designs and ornaments, used brickwork in Russian, new forms of arches and ceilings in the construction of these buildings.

Pahlavan Mahmud Mausoleum

Pahlavan Mahmud Mausoleum(west of the Islam Khoja minaret) is one of the most beautiful places in Khiva. Built over the tomb of Pahlavan Mahmud, a 13th century poet, wrestler and philosopher, it features a lovely turquoise dome, a Persian-style chamber, and beautiful tilework. Pilgrims place coins and messages in the grillwork that surrounds the tile-covered sarcophagus of Pahlavan Mahmud. Several khans are buried in unmarked graves outside the building. The 18th-century Sherghozi Khan Madrasah across the street from Pahlavan Mahmud Mausoleum is named after a khan killed by slaves who built it. It contains a museum of ancient medicine.

The mausoleum of Pakhlavan Mahmud was originally built mainly in the 14th century in the form of a small gurkhan (burial space), in which a large “Pir” (spiritual mentor) of his time was buried — Pakhlavan Mahmud (1247-1326). Pahlavan Mahmud was born in 1247 in Khiva, in the family of a furrier artisan who sews Khorezm sheepskin coats. Even in his early youth he was engaged in the craft of his father — making postuns, later mastered literacy, reached the degree of the great poet-philosopher.

In addition, he was still a strong wrestler (kurashist), and during his 79 years of life he was never defeated in wrestling competitions. About Pahlavan Mahmud preserved a large number of legends. One of them tells — “In ancient times, on the site of Khiva was a waterless steppe (desert). After Kunya Urgench (the ancient city of Gurganj, the capital of the state of Khorezmshahs, now located on the territory of Turkmenistan) was completely destroyed after the invasion of the Mongolian hordes of Genghis Khan, its population was scattered in different directions of the state. In particular, Pahlavana Mahmud’s father and his wife, who was pregnant, moved to Khiva. At the end of the road at the entrance to Khiva, when the family of Piryar Vali (the father of the future Pakhlavan Mahmud) approached the village of Kiyat, his wife started fighting and she gave birth to a boy named Mahmud. Having reached the age of 15, the boy became a strong wrestler, a famous warrior (bachlavan).

By participating in competitions of fighters from neighboring Khorezm states of Iran, Khorasan, India and other countries, he always won victories. It is said that once he was invited to wrestling competitions in India, where the strongest warriors from all over the East gathered. There, having overcome all the fighters, he also defeated a very strong fighter of the Indian king. The Indian king, admired by the extraordinary power of the Khiva hero, told him “Ask me what you want. ” Pahlavan Mahmud replied to the king — “Release from bondage, and release with me to the Motherland of my compatriots, who will fit into the unmade (rawhide) skin of a bull”. The king agreed and commanded to bring the skin of the bull. Pahlavan Makhmud cut the skin into thin ribbons and connected them to one another in one long belt, swept a large area in the form of a pen, inside which he placed a large number of Khorezmians and went with them to Khiva. He placed the arrivals with him in the vicinity of the city, in the village of Shikhlyar (Sheikhov). Until now, the old residents of the village confirm this legend saying that before the coming of the power of the soviets, the representatives of the village were in the service in the mausoleum of Pakhlavan Mahmud. This legend shows the extent to which Pakhlavan Mahmud was a wise, humane person who cares about the people.

He was also called the free-thinking scientist-philosopher, the owner of great talent and insight, in relation to poetic observation, “Khayyam of Khorezm. ” This is of course, not without purpose. According to scholars and researchers, Pahlavan Makhmud in verses and philosophy was not only a worthy successor to Omar Khayyam, but also in the literature of Farsi and Turkic peoples there was no poet, after Omar Khayyam, who could be compared with him writing rubai (quatrain). Great poets like Abdurakhman Jami, Navoi, Fizuli, Babur, although they tried their hand at the Rubai genre, but this genre stood in their work at the 2nd place. Pahlavan Mahmud in his work developed philosophical and artistic ideas in the spirit of his time, raised Hayam studies to unprecedented heights. His work occupies a special place in the literature of the East. Pahlavan Mahmud at that time was glorified with such epithets as “Khayyam of Khorezm”, “Mazanderan Tiger”.

He wrote lyric poems (ghazals) under the pseudonym “Kitoli”, — a fighter, in 1303-1304 he created a work called “Kanz ul-hakoik” (“Treasury of truths”), but unfortunately, this work has not reached our days. Notice how his graceful and pleasant shrubs of a strong, skillful performance in the spirit of “Khayamnam” are written, in depth

The world is like a gilded pitcher
His water is sweet and sometimes like bitter wine.
Hey ignorant, do not rely a lot on his life,
Death hung over his head like a blade.
Architect of the world erecting a palace-aivan
Only having built it, that aivan destroys.
Today bringing its dome to the skies,
The next day, he will equal the aivan.

Seid Allauddin Mausoleum

Seid Allauddin Mausoleum (in the Itchan Kala) is one of the most ancient architectural monuments of Itchan Kala. The mausoleum consists of a ziyarakhana (place of worship) and a gurkhana (tomb). For centuries, due to an increase in the number of burials and land layers, the mausoleum remained below ground level. As a result of archaeological excavations, a lot of information was accumulated concerning the history and the former appearance of the monument. The historian Ahmed Razi, who lived in the past, included Sayyid Alauddin in the list of major famous Khorezm sheikhs, claims that he was one of the largest sheikhs after Sheikh Najmeddin Kubra. These words can also be read in the works of Jami and Navoi. In the manuscript of Khiva Safarzade, the son of Babacan, about the holy people of Khorezm, the following is written: “This man was born in the 13th century, originally from the Khorezm Uzbeks. In adolescence after graduating from the old school, studying in a Madrasah, was a mullah who taught children in the old school at a mosque. He is also considered the schoolmaster of Pahlavan Mahmud. ” In the gurkhan (burial site) there is a remarkable beauty dakhma (tomb), considered sacred, which is lined with elegant glazed majolica tiles of green, dark blue, blue and white tones. All the flowers of the patterns on these majolica, with their relief, form some extraordinary beauty.

Such majolica patterns in Khiva are the only ones. Their peers and similar to them in the design of the patterns are majolica patterns made on the tomb of Sheikh Najmeddin Kubra in his mausoleum in the city of Kunya-Urgench (in Turkmenistan), on the tomb of the Kusama ibn Abbas mausoleum in Shakhi Zinda complex in Samarkand. The mausoleum of Sayyid Alauddin was built on the initiative of his pupil and murid, a well-known representative of the Muslim nakshbendiya Sufi Amir Kulyalem (died in 1380 and buried in the city of Shakhrisyabze, at the order of Amir Timur at the family cemetery of the Timurid dynasty).

The structure of the mausoleum is a bit tatty. Its angular mukarnasy (voluminous stalactites) with large kosamon, octahedral dome in the form of an ancient Khiva skullcap look very simplistic. But the mausoleum became famous because of this incomparable beauty of the tomb, which, because of the large difference between the very simple look of the mausoleum and the diversity of its decoration and elegance, seems to have been brought from another place. Dakhma is folded and decorated like a monumental building. The base is made in the form of a stepped elevation, in the corners it is decorated with miniature columns, the front part of the dakhma is covered with glazed majolica tiles.

Its walls are painted with small floral ornament in the form of graceful flowers, inside which are patterned panels. The verge of dakhma in the form of elegant borders, panels mounted on dakhma two miniature saganas (gravestones) are decorated with floral ornaments. Small vegetable patterns are displayed very realistic. Their shape recalls the patterns applied to household items at that time. The flowers used on Dahma majolica patterns, small lines inside large forms, all of them together represent a colorful and attractive picture. Against the background of a variety of openwork ornament, inscriptions written in white paints on small surfaces of small saganas differ.
Our great Sheikh Alauddin,
His death was granted the grace of Allah,
The day of his departure from the happy month of Shaaban,
Ten days later occurred.

From these verses it became known that the sheikh died on March 18, 1303. Over time, mausoleums over the graves of famous sheikhs turned into places of worship (ziyaratga). Khan Allakulihan Khan (1825 — 1842), as a sign of adherence to him, built a magnificent structure over his tomb during his reign, singled out a significant amount of wahf land. In 1825 the mausoleum was completely restored, the arched wings of the destroyed portal were folded again, in a somewhat abbreviated form. The niches inside the building were laid, the floor in the room was lined with Khiva square bricks, and the walls were plastered with ganch. 14 lines of verses in Arabic in Farsi are drawn in ink on the upper part of the walls. In these inscriptions, it is reported that the building was restored by decree of Alla Kuli Khan under the leadership of Hamid Hoxha’s son Hubbikuli Hoxha.

Ak-Machit (White Mosque)

It is difficult to quickly identify residential quarter mosques among the other buildings of Khiva. Because most of the mosques are built exactly like residential buildings, among them the Ak-Machit (A White Mosque) differs by the peculiarity of its layout. Frontal view of the mosque, a shady terassa surrounding it from three sides, three doors of the one-dome building suggests that the mosque is a gathering place for the community.

Its oldest parts (foundations) were built at the same time with Anushakhan’s baths. But the inscriptions carved on the doors indicate that the building was erected in 1838 — 1842. It was exactly by this time that all the buildings around the square were generally finished by constructors and now master architects had to build the building on the remaining small part of the square. The architecture of this building had to express the grandeur of the square, not much differing from the adjacent residential buildings and Khivan masters completed this task at the high level.

The mosque consists of a square room (6.35-x-6.35 meters), on which the central dome is erected, as well as an aivan. The room is extended with arches. The structure of the aivan and the side walls clearly mark the facade composition of the mosque. The dome of the mosque, high elevated above the flat roof, together with its square base from a distance give the building a stepped appearance.

The convenient location of the mosque allowed the mihrab to be located in the southern wall. And this in turn made it possible to perform namaz (prayer) at the same time both in the mosque and in the aivan. Masters in the construction of the mosque and its decorative design sought to use simple construction methods and limited to decorating it with simple patterns. There are almost no carved patterns on wooden columns, only the upper part of the columns is made in the style of the display of the Hotamkori-pilak (a kind of overhead patterns of small wooden bars).

The masters of the art of woodcarving Nurmuhammed the son of Adin Kalandar and Kalandar the son of Seyidmuhammed demonstrated their skills on the patterned ornaments of three doors. Vegetable patterns and openwork carving of doors are made in the same style. On the wall behind the door that faces the north side barely visible are the patterns similar to the various inscriptions. In 1956-1960 in the mosque conservation and reinforcement works were performed.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Uzbekistan Tourism website (National Uzbekistan Tourist Information Center,, Uzbekistan government websites, UNESCO, Wikipedia, Lonely Planet guides, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, Japan News, Yomiuri Shimbun, Compton's Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Updated in August 2020

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