Access to wallsAccess to wallsCity wallCity wallHistoric wallHistoric wall
Wall at duskWall at dusk
Historic wallHistoric wall
Khiva's city walls are one of its most distinctive features and are especially impressive when viewed in the evening light. They enclose the Ichan Kala on four sides and from the outside resemble rather a large sand-castle. In days of old, the walls provided vital protection from marauding Turkoman tribes and were further strengthened by a surrounding moat. The original foundations date as far back as the fifth century although the strongest sections were added by Anusha Khan's son, Arang Khan, in 1686-88.
Today most of the walls have been restored to their former glory although some sections remain untouched. Until the 1970's houses were built into the walls and beams still protrude from the wall's inner side. The city walls were also a common place for burying the dead and graves can still be seen along the southern section. The walls can be accessed from the Bakcha Darvasa or from a steep incline to the left of the gate which provides access along the walls as far as the Kunya Ark.
Whilst the Ichan Kala walls have been rebuilt, you can still see the unrestored crumbling walls of the Dichan Kala.