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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 mosques of Samarkand and Bukhara, the Khiva mosque probably comes closest of all to the earliest mosques in this part of the world.  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 place is now called Berunyi), 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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