"Khiva - an open air museum" Top 5 Page for this destination Khiva by carolerica
Khiva Travel Guide: 160 reviews and 499 photos
Khiva is two-faced: there is Dishon Kala, the "new" city that has developped around the "old city" and which is the real heart-beat of the town, where people live, work, eat, sleep...
And then there is Itchan Kala, the "old" city, in the heart of Khiva, protected by it's centuries old walls...
Itchan Kala has a wonderful present to offer to every traveler: the most stuning architectural ensemble of the islamic world. It seems that time has stopped for ever within the walls of Old Khiva.
You will need a couple of days to discover the old city of Khiva, to explore it's tiny streets, to loose yourself hundreds of times and "find" yourself gazing at an other splendor.
One of the magic of Khiva is that you may easily catch a glimpse of what a medieval oasis must have looked liked. Close your eyes to the inevitable tourist shops, to the inevitable tourists in shorts and camera, and look around you: Can you see the big caravanserail? it's still a hige bazar where goods are exchanged from one hand to an other. Listen! Do you hear the muezzin calling to prayer without using a megaphone...
Once upon a time, when the Amou Daria had not changed again it's bed, when the Aral Sea was still a imposing sea, the land around Khiva were fens inhabited by tigers, fields were producing all sorts of greens and fruits, and wine was already an art. This territory was the home of the Massagets, great Scyths nomades.
To show their power, they erected citadels, made of clay and raw bricks.
The centuries have gone by, the Amou Daria has left the area turning the land into desert. The summer sand storms and the winter snow has slowly washed away the great citadels, but their walls are still standing, immense...
A local furrier who was also a persian poet and considered as "the Hercules of the Orient": this is Pakhlavan Mahmoud,... more travel advice
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Latest: May 4, 2013