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Khiva Travel Guide

The ancient city of Khiva was once the center and the most beautiful place of the Khorezm Khanate. Its rich heritage, preserved to this day, makes Khiva one of the most interesting cities in modern Uzbekistan. The Inner, Old City of Khiva is a unique place with an overwhelming density of attractions per square meter, which have immense historical and aesthetic value. RusTourismNews offers you to dive into history and explore the wonders of Khiva with our Khiva Travel Guide.

How to Reach Khiva

Khiva is located approximately 35 km southwest of Urgench and 10 km from the border with Turkmenistan. You can reach Khiva by high-speed train.

Itchan Kala

The main attraction of the city is the Itchan Kala. It is the Old City of Khiva, surrounded by thick walls with a complex of defensive fortifications. The powerful defensive structures of Itchan Kala were built over hundreds of years, and today you can see constructions dating back to the 14th century. Within its walls are palaces, bastions, mosques with minarets, madrasas and mausoleums, bath complexes, caravanserais, and more. It can be said that Itchan Kala is a remarkably unique city within a city.
@Javier Martin Espartosa
Altogether, including the six madrasas of the Outer City, Khiva boasts 30 historical madrasas and more than 10 minarets in total. This impregnable citadel was primarily constructed in the 16th century when Khiva became the capital of Khorezm. However, in reality, both the city and its fortifications existed here as early as the 5th century, and some of these structures were incorporated into the construction of the fortress walls. Very few buildings within Itchan Kala were lost over the centuries, and what remains would suffice for an entire book. However, the majority of the modern structures were built in the 19th century. Itchan Kala is almost a perfectly rectangular plan with gates on each side. Particularly noteworthy is the Palvan-Darwaza in the eastern wall of the fortress, erected in 1806. Otherwise known as the “Slave Gates” due to the slave market located directly adjacent to them. This monumental structure takes the form of a pointed arch with two round towers on either side and a gallery above them. The towers are crowned with five-meter diameter domes, and the total height of the gates exceeds 50 meters. To the left of the gates lies the Kunya-Ark citadel, which was once autonomous from Itchan Kala and served as the residence of the Khorezm Khan.

Khiva Hotels


The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. It was built on the site of the assassination of Alexander II, and inside it houses a fragment of the pavement where he was killed in an assassination attempt. The church is one of the most recognizable landmarks, primarily admired for its exterior with carved kokoshniks on the windows, jeweled enamel, octagonal tent roof, and colorful domes.

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