Khiva is one of the most remote of Central Asia's
Great Silk Road cities, a fascinating desert town, preserved in its entirety
since medieval times. Just a short time ago this legendary city was a major
city of Islamic theology.
It came to prominence in the 16th century as the
capital of the Khans of Khiva whose territory stretched from the Caspian Sea
to India and was famous for its religious fervour and slave markets.
Khiva's inner walled city or "Ichan Kala"
has been described as an open-air museum (or perhaps an abandoned film set).
It consists of a maze of narrow medieval streets lined with madrassas, mosques,
caravanserais and palaces which back your fantasy to Arabian fairy tales. In
1990 Ichan Kala obtained the status of UNESCO history reserve so it helps to
keep the exotic flavour of Orient culture.
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