By the order of Allakuli-khan in 1830-1840, the political, public and trading center of Khiva was moved to the east part of Ichan-Qala. The new complex formed at the gates of Palvan-Darvaza included a madrasah, caravanserai and shopping mall (tim). At this time a new palace was constructed by the order of Allakuli-kan. The palace was named as Tash-Hauli (“stone courtyard”). It looks like a fortress with high battlements, towers and fortified gates. Its architecture is based on the traditions of Khorezm houses and country villas (“hauli”). On the one hand it resembles a fortress with high walls topped with battlements. In the process of construction architects and craftsmen were strictly required to be fast at work. When architect Nur-Muhammad Usto Tadji-khan refused to complete the construction in two years, Allakuli-khan ordered him to be put on a stake. After that, another architect Usto Kalandar Hivaki continued building the palace for another nine years (!).

Tash-Hauli consists of three parts grouped around inner courtyards. The northern part was occupied by the khan’s harem. The formal reception room, ishrat-hauli, adjoins the last one on the southeast; the court office (arz-hauli) on the southwest. In area Tash-Hauli is half as small as Kunya-Ark. In the center of ishrat-hauli there is a round platform for the khan’s yurt, where important tribal guests were received. A long labyrinth of dark corridors and rooms connected different parts of the palace. Refined majolica, colored painting on ceiling, carved columns and doors are distinctive features of the Tash-Hauli décor. Part of the girihs and floral majolica ornaments are epigraphic cartouches, where the name of the master, “gin” Abdulla is mentioned.


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