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Kunya-Ark Citadel

Куня арк

     One of the most interesting places to visit on the territory of Khiva is Kunya Ark, or "fortress in the fortress". Having come here, you feel like a hero of the previous years, which makes the history of Khiva even more understandable, as well as feel the spirit of that era.The term "Kunya Ark" was used after the construction of a similar palace Tash-Hauli, so in the translation from the Uzbek language "Kunya Ark" means "old fortress".
Before the overthrow of the Khiva Khan by the Bolsheviks in 1920, Kunya Ark served as one of the khan's residences. In the Arch there were houses of the khan and officials, along with state institutions, a reception hall, a mint, summer and winter mosques, a harem, a weapons warehouse, an ammunition workshop, a pantry, a stables, a dungeon and a special area where ram battles were organized.
Unfortunately, up to the present time not all the premises have been preserved and only a few buildings of the fortress have survived: kurindishona - a room for reception and registration of people; Ak-Sheikh-Bobo cell; east gate with a room for security; a summer and winter mosque, a mint and a harem.
Kurinishkhon was built in 1686 - 1688 by Arang Khan and destroyed in the middle of the XVIII century during the invasion of the Iranians. The modern building was erected in 1804-1806 by EltuzarKhan.
Kurinishkhon is a wide hall, reminiscent of a courtyard, built under Allakuli Khan. The clay wall separated it from the main part of the palace. It was here, during the rule of the khans, on the throne sat the ruler. The massive throne was made of wood and trimmed with silver plates adorned with elaborate ornaments. The throne was executed in 1816 by the Khiva master Muhammad. Today this throne is kept in the "Armory Chamber" of Moscow. In addition to the throne, there was a depository of the khan's treasury in the room and a library containing unique manuscripts.
   The Ak-Sheikh-Bobo cell is the home of the mentor Sheikh Mukhtar Vali. Previously, the cell played the role of a lookout tower, where gunpowder was stored. Now from her there was only a bastion, built not of brick and stone, but of unfired clay of white light. Hence the name "Ak-Sheikh-Bobo" - "White Sheikh".
   The territory of the harem in Kunya Ark is built up during the reign of Muhammad Rahim Khan II. The harem is located in the northern part of Kunya Ark. The yard extends from west to east and is built up with living quarters.
   Summer and winter mosques were erected during the reign of Muhammad Rahim Khan I. The walls of the mosques are covered with majolica ceramics, using floral ornamentation, skillfully crafted by fine folk masters kashinpam Abdullah, nicknamed for his talent by Gin and UstoIbadulla. At the same time, as the mosque, the mint was built.
  Of course, it's hard to say anything about the destroyed Arch rooms. But the preserved premises can give a partial idea of the present form of the palace.

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