Idea #631 – Visiting the historical city of Itchan Kala in Khiva
Located south of Amou Daria, in the Khârezm region of Uzbekistan, Ichan Kala, the inner fortress of Khiva, was the last stage of the caravaneers before crossing the desert towards Persia. The history of Itchan Kala goes back more than two thousand years. The inner city, which covers 26 ha, was built according to the ancient urban traditions of Central Asia. It forms a regular rectangle of 650 meters by 400 meters, elongated in the north-south direction; it is entrenched inside brick walls, about ten meters high.
It houses 51 ancient monumental structures and 250 dwellings, and offers remarkable types of architectural ensembles, such as the Djouma Mosque, the Oq Mosque, the Allakouli-Khan Madrasas, Muhammad Aminkhon, Muhammad Rakhimkhon, the Pakhlavan-Makhmoud Mausoleums, Seyid Allaouddine, Shergozi-khan, as well as caravanserais and markets. All these attributes are exceptional examples of Islamic architecture in Central Asia.The Djouma Mosque, with its enclosed courtyard designed for the harsh climate of Central Asia, is unique in its proportions and the structure of its interior space, dimly lit by two octagonal lanterns and decorated with 212 columns.
The madrasas, which correspond to the social spaces, constitute with their majestic proportions and their simple decoration another type of Islamic architecture specific to Central Asia. The domestic architecture, with its closed houses comprising a courtyard, a reception room preceded by a portico or aivan with cylindrical pillars of finely carved wood and private apartments, is also an important attribute of the property which can be studied in its variants. morphology of the 18th and 20th centuries.
Itchan Kala draws its exceptional qualities, not so much from its various monuments as from the incomparable urban composition of the city and the harmonious integration of the main buildings of the 19th and 20th centuries into the traditional urban fabric.
Where is it ?
Itchan Kala, Khiva, Ouzbekistan