Kurnysh-khan Palace in Khiva
While in Khiva, be sure to drop in the palace of Kurnysh-khan, once in the throne room of which stood a wooden throne decorated with silver coinage on a red background.
Kurnish Khan’s Palace in Khiva was erected in 1806. This residence of the ruler was intended for official receptions.
Intricate ornaments, elegant majolica and magnificent iwan (terrace or open gallery with a flat roof supported by columns or pillars in Central Asian dwellings, mosques and other structures) with columns adorn this beautiful Kurnysh-khan Palace, creating an atmosphere of solemnity and wealth.
In the center of the palace of Kurnysh Khan there is a courtyard with iwan on two slender columns. The walls of the iwan are still covered with the richest carved mosaic panels with complex plant and geometric ornamentation. The entrance to the throne room, where once a magnificent wooden throne stood, was from the side of the courtyard. It did not preserve to our time. It is known that the throne was decorated with silver plate inserts, on which Khiva's masters carved ornamental medallions with the finest patterns on a red background, and engraved lines from the Koran and the blessing of the sovereign's reign skillfully interwoven into them. In addition to the throne room, Kurnish-khan palace had a repository of the Khan's treasury and a library with a collection of ancient Arabic manuscripts.
Adjacent to the palace of Kurnish Khan is the Akshi-bobo bastion, which means "enamoured man". Sometimes this strange structure is called "Akshih bobo" - "White Sheikh". Now it is not known thoroughly, what served as the basis for the name. But it is obvious that this house was erected on the tower. “chardara keshk” (such buildings are called so in Khorezm) was served as a bastion.
And indeed, this is a great observation point: from here you can see whole ancient Khiva. A line of minarets pierces the sky; domes of mausoleums and mosques rise above the flat roofs of houses; the peshtaks of madrasahs glistening with blue tiles rise above the shaded loggia galleries; the battlements of the fortress walls alternate with the monumental portals of the city gates. Among the labyrinths of the streets are the Khan's palaces and the surrounding courtyards with elegant iwans.
The luxury of Kurnysh-Khan's Palace and the architectural asceticism of Akshi-bobo, towering above it, argue among themselves, and at the same time complement each other, recalling the plot of an old Uzbek tale about the all-powerful padishah and the poor dervish.
Visit Khiva with Uzbekistan tours from Peopletravel Company. Thanks to this tour, you will learn a lot about Khorezm as a whole.