"Mohammed Amin Khan madrassah" Khiva Things to Do Tip by josephescu
Khiva Things to Do: 116 reviews and 392 photos
Pass through the Ota Darvoza and back in time. The double fašade of celled shops to the right belong to the Mohammed Amin Khan madrassah (1832-1855), the largest of its kind in the city, with a capacity of 250 Islamic students ?or rather 137 romantic tourists, as the madrassah today houses the Hotel Khiva.
The seminary was so large that parts of the city wall had to be demolished to make way for it. The impressive, restored portal leads to a left hand mosque (now hotel bar) and a classic courtyard layout that in times past held sessions of the city?s supreme Muslim court. Access to the twisting corridors is largely unfettered to reveal unique double roomed cells that look uncharacteristically outwards and also a series of rooms in the northeast corner of the madrassah that allow reluctant access to the Kalta Minaret.
Debate rages over the future of the madrassah. UNESCO would like to see the cannibalised seminary restored to an original purity, but the local chiefs say the hotel echoes its original purpose well enough and that it may well set a precedent for other similar ?cultural? transformations.
Mohammed Amin Khan or Medamin, madrassah?s patron, ruled Khiva between 1843 ? 1855 and was one of the most illustrious Khans of Khiva. He restored the khanate?s former territories, captured Merv, pacified the Saryk clan and then sfhited his murderous gaze to the Tekke Turkmen in several epic battles fought in the wastes of the Kara Kum. Then, in a curious show of trust, he left the subjugated Tekke in the bloody hands of the Yomut and the Uzbek tribes. Soon, the Yomut were fighting the Tekke, the Tekke were fighting the Uzbeks and the Uzbeks were fighint the Yomut, until the exasperated Medamin family hurled the Yomut leader off a Khivan minaret.
Medamin succeeded briefly in uniting the squabbling tribes, but only against himself and, shortly afterwards, on the eve of an attack on Serakhs (on the current Iranian border), he was decapitated by a rogue Tekke horsemen and Khiva was left vulnerable to regular Turkmen ravage for the next 70 years.
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