view-countries-simple.phtml

Khiva


Kalta Minor in Khiva, Uzbekistan by Adam BaloghKhiva's stumpiest minaret – the Kalta Minor © Adam Balogh

This UNESCO-listed museum city is akin to a film set, with the local population sidelined in order to preserve the historic building and manicured scene to tourists.

It is rare to come across an entire city that is a museum. Though Bukhara is packed with remarkable sites it is still nonetheless a living, working city. Khiva, however, is more akin to a film set, the local population, rightly or wrongly, sidelined in order to preserve historic buildings and present a manicured scene to tourists. Whatever you feel about such a policy, Khiva remains one of the greatest cities on the Silk Road: the Ichon Qala in particular is a labyrinth of madrassas and mosques, minarets and trading domes that, at least on the surface of it, look just as they would have done at the end of the 19th century before Soviet town planners, demolition crews and modernist architects got their hands on Uzbekistan. On a cold winter’s evening, after the wedding parties have departed and the few tourists are enjoying their supper, you can be entirely alone with the ghosts of the past, wandering the narrow streets and soaking up the atmosphere. Which decade, indeed which century, you care to imagine yourself in is entirely up to you.

Back to the top

Uzbekistan articles

View all

The world’s most spectacular deserts

Vast, barren and enigmatic: deserts are among some of our planet's most spectacular landscapes. 

Read more...

The hottest emerging destinations for 2019

We're proud to be the only travel publisher with guidebooks to your favourite emerging destinations. 

Read more...

Our favourite Silk Road sights

Discover our favourite sights along one of the most important trading routes in history.  

Read more...

Related books

View all