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Destination Details

Khiva, Uzbekistan


The cathedral mosque of Khiva, otherwise known as Djuma-Mosque, is located in Ichan-Qala on the road leading from the gates of Palvan-darva-za to Ata-darvaza. It is a typically archaic mosque with a flat ceiling on columns which has no analogue in Central Asia.

Ancient Arabian mosques had a similar layout. Today’s building was constructed in the 18th century. Moonlight through three holes in the ceiling and carved wooden columns create an exclusive atmosphere for prayer. There are two hundred and twelve columns. The majority of them were carved from tree trunks in the 18th- 19th centuries. Some of them were made from ruined medieval buildings.

The most ancient columns might be taken from the medieval Khorezm capital, Kyat lay, at the bottom of the Amu Darya. Twenty one columns date from the 10th-12th centuries and have Arabian inscriptions in Kufi. Four columns reminiscent of the columns in Bagbanly Mosque with inscriptions in Naskh. The columns of the 18th-19th centuries are well recognized due to Khiva’s typical floral-vegetative pattern.

 

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