"Unforgettable" Top 5 Page for this destination Khiva Things to Do Tip by TheWanderingCamel
Khiva Things to Do: 97 reviews and 299 photos
Nothing you have seen anywhere in Khiva prepares you for the strange, still beauty of the Juma (Friday) mosque with its forest of carved wooden pillars receding into the dim recesses of the great hall. Two openings in the roof allow squares of daylight to spill into the central spaces around the trees that grow through them. Over 200 pillars, each carved from a single trunk of an elm, support the roof in precisely spaced rows. The building itself dates from the late 18th century though four of the pillars are said to be over 1000 years old, whilst another 17 are only 100 years younger than that. Whilst they certainly look worn enough to be the age they claim - their carving is worn almost smooth and they have been burnt too at some stage - the carving on others is as fine as anything you will see here in Khiva.
Whilst no longer a working mosque this is an extraordinary place, filled with an all-pervading calmness that is quite entrancing.
At 32 metres the mosque's minaret - by far the oldest in Khiva, it was built in the 10th century and restored in the 13th - is second only to the Islam Khodja minaret in height. Its plain brick construction is ornamented with narrow bands of turquoise ceramic tiles.
2009 update Since our 2005 visit, the roof openings have been glassed in, making it necessary to remove the trees that were growing beneath them as they were quite a bit taller than the ceiling height. New trees have been planted but they'll never be able to spread their branches through the openings in the way the old ones did
Address: Povlon Qori
Directions: Independent travellers should note there is a seperate charge for entry to this mosque in addition to the general charge that covers nearly all the monuments of Khiva.
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