Photographer's Note

Travels on the Silk Road: Khiva
View from the West gate of the Khiva oasis South of the Aral Sea (former centre of the Khorazm khanate, today's Uzbek province Xorazm). Khiva has been an important stopover for caravans coming from Caucasus and Russia and meeting the Silk Road in Bukhara. When the Railway from Moscow to Bukhara was built at the end of the 19th century, Khiva lost it's economic meaning and became deserted . After the conquest by the Red Army, the Soviet Union (and now Uzbekistan with UNESCO) made it a point to restore the whole, intact city in its former splendor. Today's buildings have originally been constructed from the 4th century BC right into the 20th century AD! The renovated adobe-brick City walls of the inner City (Ichan Qala) are about 2'500 years old; the coloured Islam Hoja minaret to the left however dates from 1910!. In the foreground you see parts of the citadel (Kunya ark), the residence of the Khan. The Kalta Minaret (looking like a cooling tower) in the center dates from 1855 and was supposed to impress the Khan of Bukhara. Where did the wealth come to build such a brillant and original city? It seems to have been brigandry, slave-trade, and other trade.
(Info from S. Matrasulov & K. Safarov eds. 2001. Khiva Guidebook, Ruz Co. Moscow.)

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Additional Photos by Dietrich Meyer (meyerd) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 54 N: 651] (1628)
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