Key Places - Uzbekistan
The Silk Route
Once a desert oasis and the last stopping point for caravans before crossing the desert to Iran, the ancient mud-walled fortress town Khiva (founded by Shem, the son of Noah, legend has it) has been destroyed and rebuilt seven times. Modern Khiva is almost entirely a restored city. The repairs have been executed using the original building techniques and traditionally treated local materials such as baked brick, wood and stone.
Ichan Kala (Uzbek: Ichаn-Qаl'а) is the immaculately preserved medieval walled inner town where numerous historic wonders are to be found. Now a protected area 3,000 people live within its walls, but land has to be passed down through families it cannot be bought and sold.
You have many options for your rest day in one of Uzbekistan’s most fascinating cities. Climb the 10th Century Juma minaret to reach Khiva’s highest view point, visit the splendid Tosh Houli Palace, (meaning Stone House), with lavish interior decoration, or the mausoleum of Khiva’s patron saint, Pahlavon Mahmud; a poet, philosopher and legendary wrestler. Later you can haggle for a carpet or suzani in the silk workshop then kick back in a shady tea house or roof top terrace restaurant.
"There were plenty of contrasts during our trip through Uzbekistan! The carefully chosen route passed into the mountains and across plains, and often there was hardly a building in sight,..."