Itchan Kala, the inner fortress of Khiva, is located to the South of the Amu Darya River (known as the Oxus in ancient times) in the Khorezm region of Uzbekistan and it was the last resting-place of caravans before crossing the desert to Persia.
Khiva offers the visitors the most stunning homogeneous collection of architecture of the late 18th century – the first half of the 19th century. Khiva is crammed with historic buildings. City’s ancient gates, a chain of minarets, including the 45-metre tall Islam-Hojja Minaret, the architectural complex of Pakhlavan-Makhmud, the patron saint of Khiva, congregational Juma Mosquewith carved columns of astonishing beauty, the exquisite Tash-Hauli Palace built in the 19th century as a residence for the emir, his entourage and harem. You would need days rather than few hours to discover this ‘museum in the open’, to explore its tiny streets, to lose yourself hundreds of times and “find” yourself gazing at another splendour. The traditional idea of an oriental bazaar as a place of abundant merchandise, brightness of colours and lively bustle finds its embodiment in Uzbekistan.