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In front of the Khiva city wall, Al-Khorezmi is overlooking the situation. Al-Khorezmi is a famous scientist from Khoresm, the province that Khiva lies in. The province used to be a Khanate, and was very powerful in the 4th century BC. Al-Khorezmi gave his name to the algorithm as well as to algebra with his work Al-Jebr.
The 2.5 kilometer long mud city walls from the 18th century still surround the Iqon-Qala (old city), which forms only part of Khiva, with the Ota-Darvoza (father gate), restored in the 70's, as main entrance. There are four entrances. Most of the city has been wrecked and restored afterwards.
Many of the restored buildings are medressa's. Underneath, you see from left to right the Islom-Huja medressa, the Amin Khan madrassah, the Kutlimurodinok medressah and the Rakhim Khan madrassah. In front of the last one, a camel is always stationed on a small square. For a lot of money, tourists can make a 2 minutes ride on its back without leaving the square.

The Amin Khan Madrassah was built in 1850 and is a hotel nowadays. The Islom Huja Madrassah is a little bit younger, it was built in 1910 and has a museum inside. Islom Huja was a 20th century grand vizier who established a European style school and brought long distance telegraph to Khiva.

To the right their is another building to honour Islom Huja, the Islom Huja minaret.
To the left the view from Kukhna Ark, fortress of Khiva rulers and built in the 12th century, at least for the first time. In the 17th century the Khans lived here. At the entrance you will find a small exhibition of paintings that show how criminals are stuffed in a sack with wild cats and adulterers are put upside down in a pot with boiling oil. Khiva is also still a holy place where boys come before their circumcision. We met such a boy, all dressed up and happily jumping around, without any clue of his near future.
Khiva itself maybe as old as four thousand years but no proof of that exists; there is only proof of human settlement in Khorezm as such. In the 8th century, Khiva was a small trading post on the Silk Road. Between the 10th and 14th century, the capital of Khoresm was Konye Urgench (Old Urgench), a town that is now inside Turkmenistan. After that, the Khans came to Khiva and the city began to prosper. In 1592, Khiva was made capital of Khoresm (nowadays it is Urgench). In those days, there was a big slave market.

In 1740, Khiva was wrecked by Persians and rebuilt again by the end of the 18th century. After that, the Russians tried on and off to conquer Khiva and succeeded to do so in the 1920's, after which it became part of the Uzbek SSR.
To the left the turquoise Kalta Minor minaret. There are several stories explaining why it is unfinished, one of them being that it could not have been higher than the Bukhara Kalon minaret; however the true reason remains unclear.
To the right the inside of the Juma Mosque. It has 218 wooden columns to support its roof. Some of the pillars are from the 10th century, when the mosque was built, but the main part of the building was rebuilt in the 18th century. On the side you can climb the Juma minaret.
Furthermore there is a mausoleum from the 19th century. Normal population was always buried outside the city gates, probably to keep the diseases they died off at bay.