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The Islam Khodzha ensemble

The Islam Khodzha ensemble, consisting of the smallest madrasah and the highest minaret of Khiva, goes back in form to the ancient minarets of the XI and XII centuries, and is located in the south-eastern part of the Ichan-Kala.

The builders wanted such a design to surpass the Bukhara minaret Kalyan, using the most ancient tradition of minarets building in the form of narrow towers.
The height of the highest minaret in Khivais is 57 m (including the base). The ensemble was built in 1908-1910 by the order of Islam Khodzha, the chief vizier of the Khivan khanate under Muhammad Rakhim-khan II (1863-1910) and his son Isfandiyar-khan (1910-1920).
The Islam Khodzha minaret light and harmonious silhouette, surrounded with sparkling tapes of mosaic facings, became the most expressive symbol of Ichan-Kala. The trunk of the Islam Khodzha minaret, having a diameter at its base of 9,5 m, is reduced as it climbs. The through light at its top has stalactite eaves and ceramic lattices-pandzhara.
The brick decor of the Islam Khodzha minaret underlines its monumentality. The minaret is girded by sparkling strips of facings of glazed patterns, mainly of blue, dark blue, white and turquoise colours, the ornaments of which are unique.
The asymmetric Islam Khodzha madrasah occupies an important place in the Ichan-Kala ensemble, serving as a background to the well-known Islam Khodzha minaret with its adjoining main facade. Its small court yard was built with 42 single-storey khudzhras. The second floor covers only the entrance group and is decorated with a magnificent majolica facade. Dark-blue-white majolica facings, tympanums and glazed pattern strips are used in the decor of the madrasah main facade. The madrasah’s south-eastern part has an enormous low dome.

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