While talking about ancient cities: Athens, Rome, Baghdad, and Damascus, one should include Khiva too. Khiva city is more than 2500 years old and is located in Khorezm, the Republic of Uzbekistan. This city was the capital of the Khiva Khanate, and it tells visitors about the history and traditions of the people who lived in that region.
The city of Khiva is one of the oldest Turkic cities and is distinguished from other cities by its well-preserved historical monuments. The first thing travellers see coming to Khiva is the huge defensive wall that surrounds the Ichan fortress. On the other side of these huge walls, a completely different environment is visible. There are many legends and opinions about how the city was founded. The famous book of Zoroastrianism “Avesta” gives much information about Khiva city and its history. Furthermore, Greek historian Herodotus, known as the “Father of History” also mentioned Khiva in his works. However, based on ancient religious manuscripts, it is said that Som (Shem), the son of the prophet Noah, founded the city. According to legend, Som digs a well for caravans in the middle of the desert. As a result, the area became a place where caravans take a break. It is also important to mention that in the book "Dili G'aroyib" kept at the Institute of Manuscripts named after H. Suleymanov of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, the city was mentioned as Khevak and it is written that Som (Shem) designed the city of Khiva according to his father’s (Noah’s) ship. Interestingly, this legendary well-built by Som survived to this day. And it is known as “Khevak well”. It is said that the name of the city Khiva comes from the name of the legendary well. After that, buildings were gradually built on the territory of present-day Khiva, and Khiva became one of the centers of science and education in Asia.
There are many famous scientists born in Khiva, such as Al-Khorazmi who founded algebra and algorithms, famous scientist Biruni and others. However, in 1220 Khiva, like other cities, was destroyed by Genghis Khan. In 1511 it was added to the Shaibani state. In 1598, the city became the capital of Khiva Khanate. In 1763, Muhammad Amin Khan became the ruler of the Khiva Khanate, and many buildings located in Khiva today were built during the reign of Muhammad Amin Khan. Today, the city of Khiva consists of two parts: Itchan-Kala (inner) and Dishan-Kal'a (outer). There are many legends about the origin of the name of the city of Khiva.
Many historical monuments have been preserved in Khiva; for example, there are Islam Khodja Minaret, Kelta Minar, Juma Mosque, Tash Havli (translated as “Stone Yard”) and several ancient mausoleums. Each complex has its own look and long history. For example, Juma Mosque in Khiva is famous for its columns. The pillars and the mosque are arranged in such a way that a person can see the Imam no matter which side of the mosque he sits on. This mosque has a history of more than 1000 years and is an indicator of the high achievements of the Khivan people in science.