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Khiva

Khiva

[kee-vuh; Russ. khyi-vah]
Khiva, city (1989 pop. 40,001), S Uzbekistan, in the Khiva oasis and on the Amu Darya River. Industries include metalworking, cotton and silk spinning, wood carving, and carpetmaking. The city, in existence by the 6th cent., was the capital of the Khwarazm (Khorezm) kingdom in the 7th and 8th cent. From the late 16th until the early 20th cent., Khiva was the capital of the khanate of the same name (see Khiva, khanate of. The city was a significant trade and handicraft center in the late 18th and early 19th cent. It passed to Russia in 1873. It served as the capital of the Khorezm Soviet People's Republic from 1920 to 1923 and of the Khorezm SSR in 1923 and 1924. The ancient quarter of the city has been set aside to preserve such landmarks as an 18th-century fort, the khan's palace (now a museum), and a 19th-century mausoleum and minaret.
Khiva, khanate of, former state of central Asia, based on the Khiva (Khwarazm or Khorezm) oasis along the Amu Darya River. The khanate lay S of the Aral Sea and included large areas of the Kyzyl Kum and Kara Kum deserts. Founded c.1511 as part of the Khwarazm state, Khiva rose in the late 16th cent. as a Muslim Uzbek state. It flourished in the early 19th cent. but was conquered by Russia in 1873; the khans subsequently continued to rule under Russian protection. Khiva's economy was based on agriculture, livestock breeding, brigandage, and handicrafts. The territory comprised the Khorezm Soviet People's Republic from 1920 to 1924, when the area was divided between the Uzbek SSR and the Turkmen SSR (now Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan). For earlier history, see Khwarazm.
Khiva (Uzbek: Xiva, Хива; Хива, Khiva; Persian: خیوه Khiveh); Alternative or historical names include Khorasam, Khoresm, Khwarezm, Khwarizm, (خوارزم), Khwarazm, Chiwa, and Chorezm) is the former capital of Khwarezmia and the Khanate of Khiva and lies in the present-day Khorezm Province of Uzbekistan. Itchan Kala in Khiva was the first site in Uzbekistan to be inscribed in the World Heritage List (1991).

History

For further history of Khiva and the Khanate of Khiva, see: Khwarezmia

In the early part of its history, the inhabitants of the area were from Iranian stock and spoke an Eastern Iranian language called Khwarezmian.

The city of Khiva was first recorded by Muslim travellers in the 10th century, although archaeologists assert that the city has existed since the 6th century. By the early 17th century, Khiva had become the capital of the Khanate of Khiva, ruled over by a branch of the Astrakhans, a Genghisid dynasty.

In 1873, Russian General Von Kaufman launched an attack on the city, which fell on 28 May, 1873. Although the Russian Empire now controlled the Khanate, it nominally allowed Khiva to remain as a quasi-independent protectorate.

Following the Bolshevik seizure of power after the October Revolution, a short lived Khorezm People's Soviet Republic was created out of the territory of the old Khanate of Khiva, before its incorporation into the USSR in 1924, with the city of Khiva becoming part of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic.

Sights

Khiva is split into two parts. The outer town, called Dichan Kala, was formerly protected by a wall with 11 gates. The inner town, or Itchan Kala, is encircled by brick walls, whose foundations are believed to have been laid in the 10th century. Present-day crenellated walls date back to the late 17th century and attain the height of 10 meters.

The large blue tower in the central city square was supposed to be a minaret, but the Khan realized that if completed, the minaret would overlook his harem and the muezzin would be able to see the Khan's wives. Construction was halted and the minaret remains unfinished to this day.

The old town retains more than 50 historic monuments and 250 old houses, mostly dating from the 18th or the 19th centuries. Djuma Mosque, for instance, was established in the 10th century and rebuilt in 1788-89, although its celebrated hypostyle hall still retains 112 columns taken from ancient structures.

Publications

  • Campaigning on the Oxus, and the Fall of Khiva, MacGahan, (London, 1874).
  • A Ride to Khiva, Frederick Burnaby, (OUP, 1997. First published 1876).
  • Russian Central Asia, Lansdell, (London, 1885).
  • A travers l'Asie Centrale, Moser, (Paris, 1886).
  • Russia against India, Colquhoun, (New York, 1900).
  • Khiva, in Russian, S. Goulichambaroff, (Askhabad, 1913).
  • Journey to Khiva, Philip Glazebrook, A Writer´s Search for Central Asia, (London, 1992).

See also

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