Khiva is the most ancient city in Uzbekistan. This museum city on the border with Turkenistan is located in Khorezm Region of Uzbekistan, to the south-west from Urgench City.
Climate of Khiva is sharp continental. Summer is hot and dry here (average daytime temperature is +35…+37 °C, and at night: +19…+22 °С). Winter is quit cold here, with temperature ranging from +1°С during day time to -8°С at night. Late spring or autumn, when there are no sharp temperature falls, are the best seasons for tourism.
According to a legend, Sim, son of biblical Noah ordered to dig a well, in which water tasted miraculously. Soon a whole city, which took the name of Khiva, emerged around that well (in local dialect well is called “khivak” or “kheivak”). The very well can still be seen in Ichan Kala, inner city of Khiva.
Khiva became the first city of Uzbekistan, which had become the UNESCO object. Which is not a surprise: this museum city has managed to preserve the traces of all dynasties, which ruled here — Achaemenids, Sasanids, Sheibanids, Arab conquerors and rulers of Mongol Empire; under the rule of Chengiz Khan’s dynasty, Khiva was also the capital city of the Khiva Khanate.
Like many other ancient fortress cities, Khiva is divided into two parts: outer city (Dishan Kala) and inner city (Ichan Kala). Dishan Kala is defended by a wall with 11 gates, and Ichan Kala is defended by a brick wall with 4 gates. Despite the fact that defensive walls started being built from 10th century, only walls, which were built in 17th century and are 10m in height, have survived.
Since 18-19th centuries, over 50 historical and architectural monuments and nearly 250 ancient houses have survived in the ancient city of Khiva. Jumah Mosque situated in the Ichan Kala is one of the most ancient structures of the city, which has survived since 10th century.