Sunday, September 5, 2010

Uzbekistan | Khoresm | Khiva | City Walls

Wandered on out to Khiva, near New Urgench, on the lower Amu Darya River, the Oxus of Antiquity, (do not confuse New Urgench with Old Urgench, which was largely destroyed by the armies of Chingis Khan in the 1220s; the ruins of Old Urgench are in the current-day country of Turkmenistan). The city of Khiva itself, which according to legend was founded after the Flood by one of the sons of Noah, he of Ark fame (the city celebrated the 2500th anniversary of its founding in 1997; this date based on archeological and not Biblical evidence), is divided into the two parts, the old Ichan Qaia or Inner City, which has has been preserved more or less as it was at the end of the nineteenth century, and the modern Outer City. The Inner City is completely contained within the old city walls, which have repaired and restored. 
Section of the Old City Walls
One section of the Old Wall contains the Konya Ark, or Old Citadel, built in the seventeenth century.
Another view of the Old Citadel
Tombs on one section of the Old City walls; they were placed here to turn back the superstitious Turkmen tribesmen who were forever investing the city. 
View of the city walls from the Citadel, with the new city to the left
The west-facing Ata Darzava, or Master Gate, just to the right of the Citadel. This is the main entrance to the Old City. 
 View of the Inner City from the Citadel
 View of the Inner City looking west, with the Eastern Gate in the foreground

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