Itchan Kala

Namhansanseong World Heritage Center

Namhansanseong World Heritage Center

Itchan Kala is the inner town (protected by brick walls some 10 m high) of the old Khiva oasis, which was the last watering hole for caravans before crossing the desert to Iran. Although few very old monuments remain, it is a coherent and well-preserved example of the Muslim architecture of Central Asia.

There are several outstanding structures such as the Djuma Mosque, and the mausoleums, madrasas and two magnificent palaces built at the beginning of the nineteenth century by Alla-Kulli-Khan.

Criterion (ⅲ): With the coherent and well-preserved urban ensemble of the inner town of Khiva, Itchan Kala bears exceptional testimony to the lost civilizations of Khorezm.

Criterion (ⅳ): Several monuments of Itchan Kala constitute remarkable and unique types of architectural ensembles, built according to the ancient traditions of Central Asia. The attributes are outstanding examples of Islamic architecture of Central Asia. The Djuma Mosque, with its covered courtyard designed for the rugged climate of Central Asia, is unique in its proportions and the dimensions of its inner structure (55m x 46m), faintly lit by two octagonal lanterns and adorned with 212 columns. The madrasahs making up the social areas boast majestic proportions with simple decoration, forming another type of Islamic architecture specific to Central Asia.

Criterion (ⅴ): The traditional domestic architecture of Khiva represents an important example of human settlements in Central Asia by virtue of its design and construction. Its enclosed houses, with their courtyard, reception room with portico or avian supported by delicately sculptured wooden posts, and private apartments, are also an important attribute of the site that can be studied from the perspective of its eighteenth- and twentieth-century morphological variants.

Country: Uzbekistan
Location: Khiva, Khorezm Province
Coordinates: N 41° 22′ 41.988″, E 60° 21′ 50.004″
Inscription year: 1990
Inscription criteria: ⅲ, ⅳ, ⅴ

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  • Title: Itchan Kala