Khiva Khans for the period from the XVI to the XX century, having built a fairly large number of palaces, as if they were trying to convey their power and wealth to their descendants and prove what they are capable of in the field of architecture.

The Nurullabay Palace, located in the outer city of Khiva Dishan-Kala, is distinguished by its magnificence, attractiveness, beauty and enchantment from other palaces built by khans in different periods. During the reign of Mohammed Rahimkhan I in the old city (now Ichan-Kala), it became crowded due to the large scale of housing construction and the ability to build large palaces with gardens. Mohammed Rahimkhan I, for his sons Mahmud Tür, Mohammed Türi built to the west of the fortress walls of the city (Ichan-Kala) the country palaces of hauli (from pahs blocks). More than a quarter of a century after that (when the fortress walls of Dishan-Kala were already erected) and the ascension to the Khiva throne, Seyid Mohammed Khan (1856), instructed his vizier Hasanmurad kushbegi to build a kuryshkhana palace nearby. According to the records of the Khiva historians of Bayan and Agekhi, the building of the Kurnyshkhan (palace of receptions), built on the east side of the newly constructed buildings in the garden, known as “Nurullabay” was very beautiful. Agekhi composed for him a chronogram of the following content: “Krinishkhona u Valo” (“the great kuryynshkhana”). By calculating the numerical expression of these words using abjad, the Hijra date is 1276 (1859) year. At one time, during the summer, ceremonies were held in the open-air kurynyskhane. The son of Seyid Muhammedkhan Muhammad Rahimkhan II Feruz (1864 – 1910), who sat down on the Khan’s throne after his father, asked the rich merchant Nurullabaya from Khiva to sell him this garden. Nurullabay agreed, but with the condition that the name “Nurullabaya garden”, long known among the people, the khan left behind the garden unchanged. Khan gave his consent to the Nurullabaya conditions and bought a garden. Thus, the name “Nurullabaya garden” is preserved in the name of this area. Mohammed Rahimkhan II in the garden Nurullabay built for his son Isfandiyarhan II a large palace with a harem (harem-khas, courtyard, part of the palace to which outsiders were not allowed). This inner palace was built in 1896 – 1904, and is surrounded by a high wall. The palace consisted of four parts (courtyards), from more than a hundred rooms, danhans (spacious corridor), guard-rooms (rooms for guards), stables, rooms for servants and a harem (fifth yard). The central entrance to the palace was through a special gate on the south side. Inside the gates were the Khan’s office, a divan (seat of the State Council), and rooms for personal guards. Tiled stoves, fireplaces brought from Russia in a disassembled form were installed in the palace premises slated for Prince Isfandiyar Türy. After the death of Feruza, Isfandiyarhan II (1910 – 1918), who came to the throne, built for himself a new style of Nurullabay palace, and thus completed the construction of buildings in this garden. The new receptions palace was built with the aim of holding a ceremony of receiving high-ranking guests. Islam Khoja, Chief Vizier, opposed the construction of the reception room of Isfandiyarhan II. Due to the fact that the construction of the post-telegraph office and the hospital was already delayed, there was little money left in the state treasury. But after the categorical order of the Khan, he appointed his disciple Rakhimbergen Mahram Sahibkar (head of construction). The reception room was built in 1911–13. In the scientific treatise of Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor A.A.Abdullaev “Khorazmda Tibbiyot” (“Medicine in Khorezm”) there are such lines about the construction of this palace, “… Islam Khoja again went to Moscow and was at a reception at the head of the city, N. I.Guchkova. The head of the city of Moscow introduced him to Moscow architect A.M. Roop. ” The architects, led by A.Rooop, visited Khiva, consulted about the construction project of the hospital, telegraph and communication (mail), as well as the hotel (reception) to receive ambassadors and went back. Soon the project was prepared and construction began. For this reception, built in 1911–1913, special firing bricks were made. Clay for brick was brought from the village of Avaz dunak, located near the city, which, after special careful processing, was burned in 4 humbuzes (brick kilns). The masters Babajan Humbuz, Matyaz Bala, Hasan Pirsian, Kuryaz Babajan and others participated in the firing and laying of bricks. The roof of the palace was covered on top with thin iron sheets in the form of an awning (triangular). The palace consists of seven halls. Doors, windows and parquet floors were made by masters Germans who lived in the village of Ak-mosque (the village of Ak-mosque is located 15 km east of Khiva in the territory of Yanigiarksky district). The interior decorations of the reception rooms differ from each other. Ganchevye carved patterns on the walls and ceiling of the palace were made by the master Ruzmet arbab Masharipov, Usta Nurmet, Hudaibergen Haji, Kuryaz Babadzhanov and others. Oil painting of walls covered with carved ganch designs was carried out led by master Vaisyaz Matkarimov. Images of flowers and angels on the ceiling of the building, made in the European style, were made by Russian artists. The second hall of the hotel (reception) was intended for banquets in honor of ambassadors and high-ranking guests. Its dimensions are 8 x 14 m, height 6 m. The reception hall of the khan was located in the fourth hall, various agreements of national importance were signed here. The size of this room, called the octahedral, round hall is 10 m, seven meters high. In the period of the Khan’s power, one mirror of 1.5 x 3 meters in size was installed in each corner of this hall. The ceiling of this room is made of wood, where, with extraordinary skill, elegant geometric shapes are executed and a thin layer of gilding is applied. When decorating the ceiling, Khiva masters Babadjan Kalandar, Masharip Kalandar, Vaisyaz Matkarimov and others showed their art. Wavy cornices installed under the ceiling were brought from Russia, wrapped in special paper. In the middle of the sixth hall ceiling, ganch-carving masters painted images with Muslim crescent and sun symbols, here on four sides of the ceiling, Russian masters painted with oil paints angels (one angel on each side). On the ceiling of the seventh room of the hotel (mehmanhany) the patterns in the form of peacock feathers are beautifully executed and precious stones of various colors are set. Ganchevye carved patterns on the walls are very elegant and painted in a bronze color. In order to heat the palace in winter, seven faience (porcelain) stoves were brought from Russia. These stoves consisted of individual tiles, and they were laid down by Russian craftsmen. The stoves were heated with saxaul. In the Khiva Khanate another innovation was introduced – electric chandeliers for the hotel were delivered to Khiva. Due to the fact that they were large and heavy, special wooden devices were made on the roof of the palace. Chandeliers were hung on these pyramidal devices. In order to light the electric lamps on the chandeliers in Khiva, a small engine of sixteen horsepower was brought. The first electric light bulb in Khiva was lit by Musa Sabanovich Yangiurazov, called from the city of Syzran, located on the banks of the Volga River. For the construction of the khan’s reception, 70 thousand tills were spent from the khan’s treasury (126 thousand sums equivalent to that time). The building of the palace of receptions during the period of the power of the Soviets was used as the home of the government, in subsequent periods – the home of education and the museum. Currently, afterrestoration, thepalaceacquireditsoriginalappearance.

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