Itchan Kala

Itchan Kala is the inner fortress of the medieval old town of Khiva situated in the Khorezm region in Uzbekistan. This was the first site in Central Asia which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List (1990).

Ancient Khiva was divided into 2 parts: Itchan Kala (citadel or inner city) and Dishan Kala (rabad or outer city). Itchan Kala is surrounded with walls, which has been reconstructed several times during the course of time. The walls were originally built in the 5-6th centuries BC. They were protecting the city from the invasions of enemies.

Itchan Kala has four walls that have gates (Darvaza). The western gates are called Ata-darvaza and are located at Kuna-Ark Fortress. The northern gate-Baghcha-darvaza are on the road to Urgench, the eastern Palvan-Darvaza lead to Hazarap and the Amu-Darya river and the southern Tash-Darvaza lead to Karakum desert.

There are 50 historic monuments and 250 old buildings in the city dating back to 18-19th centuries.


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