• Registration Year


  • Registered Sector

    Itchan Kala

  • Historical Function

    Caravan city.

Location and site

Khiva is situated in an oasis on the lower course of the Amou-Daria River.

Urban Morphology

Khiva is divided into two parts, the new city of Dichan-Kala and the old city of Itchan-Kala; the World Heritage List includes only the latter. The old city, which stretches from north to south in a rectangular shape (650 m. x 400 m.), is enclosed by a rampart of mud brick that was reconstructed by the Koungrats on the ruins of an earlier wall dating to the 10th and 11th centuries. Two intersecting axes, oriented according to the cardinal points, define Itchan-Kala's urban framework; they lead to four gates, of which three have survived.

The Muslim city of Itchan-Kala is rich with important monuments decorated with mosaics, marble and rare woods. These are integrated into a traditional architectural landscape of houses constructed of pisé or mud brick with flat roofs. Two impressive palaces - the Kounia-Ark, a fortress of the 17th century that was transformed into a palace between 1825 and 1842, and the Tach-Khaouli, constructed between 1830 and 1838 - define each of the extremities of the principal east-west axis. Mosques, mausoleums, madrassas, caravan enclosures and hammams complete this monumental landscape.

Registration Criteria

As a coherent urban ensemble that is in a good stateof preservation overall, Itchan-Kala constitutes an exceptional testimony to the lost civilisations of the Kharezm. (III) Many monuments of Itchan-Kala are remarkable in their architecture; these include the Djouma Mosque, which was designed for the rigorous climate of Central Asia. The madrassas constitute another type of Muslim architecture which is unique to Central Asia. (IV) Having become vulnerable under the effect of change, the domestic architecture of Khiva constitutes one of the major elements of interest in Itchan-Kala. (V)

Historical Reference

  • In the 4th century, Khiva, as part of the Persian Kharezm Kingdom, enjoyed prosperity thanks to its irrigation system, which exploited the waters of the Amou-Daria River.
  • Khiva was conquered by the Arabs in 712, then by the Mongolians in 1221. At the end of the 14th century, it was taken, along with the entire Kharezm Kingdom, by Tamerlan. In 1512, it was conquered by the Ouzbeks, who founded the two great khanats of Kharezm and Boukhara and, in the 18th century, the khanat of Kokand.
  • As the last stopover point before the crossing of the Iranian desert, Khiva controlled the caravan routes between the Volga River and Central Asia. It was the capital of the new state, and in 1643 became capital of the knanat of Khiva, a status it maintained until 1740.
  • In the 19th century, when it was ruled by the Koungrats, Khiva recovered its independence and reached its peak. It was during this time that its great Islamic monuments were constructed.

Davran Allakouliev

Mayor of Khiva

Mr. Davran Allakouliev
Khiva Khokimiat (City Administration)
24, N. Kubro Street Khorezmskaya Oblast Khorezmskaya Oblast
Khiva, Republic of Uzbekistan
+99 862 3754264, 3753176, 3752558

Mr. Maqsudbek Abdurasulov
Chief of Department of Marketing
Museum of Reserve Ichan Kala

Khiva, Khorezm, Republic of Uzbekistan
Mr. Ulughbek Quvaqov
Khiva City
27, Qubro Street
Khiva, Khorazm region, Uzbekistan
+988-62 3754265

Mr. Adilbek Rakhimov
Chef of regional tourism
Khorezm Region
Hotel "Jayhum"
Khiva, Republic of Uzbekistan
+99 862 3752455