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Notes on the Geography of Uzbekistan: Khiva: Mosque

Khiva's mosque was built in 1788-89.  Compared, however, to older and grander ones like those of Samarkand and Bukhara, the Khiva mosque probably comes closest of all to the first mosques in this part of the word.  So thinks Thomas Leisten, who writes:  "It seems reasonable to assume that these early mosques looked not much different from the Friday mosque to be seen in Khiva."  See Uzbekistan: Heirs to the Silk Road, edited by Johannes Kalter and Margareta Pavaloi (1997), p. 81.

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Uzbekistan: Khiva: Mosque picture 1

It's a multi-cellular version of the ghazar or flat-roofed mosque.

Uzbekistan: Khiva: Mosque picture 2

Light comes from a central opening.

Uzbekistan: Khiva: Mosque picture 3

The oldest of the 212 pillars were brought from Kath (the name means "town"), where they had been in use from the tenth century.

Uzbekistan: Khiva: Mosque picture 4

The roofing and flooring is new.  Photographs from about 1980 show rough-sawn planking and badly worn paving. (See G.A. Pugachenkova, A Museum in the Open, Tashkent, 1981.)

Uzbekistan: Khiva: Mosque picture 5

The mihrab is very plain.


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