Ichan-Qala (literary ”internal fortress”) is the inner city, which was originally shahristan of medieval Khiva. Referring to this city in the 10th century Arabian geographer al-Maqdisi wrote, “Khiva is on the edge of the desert, it is a big city, it is on a canal, extracted from the river, it has a comfortable mosque.” Ichan-Qala has a rectangular plan, with the area 650×400 m. It is surrounded by a strong defensive wall of clay, strengthened by semicircular towers. An arrow-shaped gallery with embrasures went along the top of the wall. The length of the wall is 2200 m, the height 7-8m. Each of Ichan-Qala’s four walls has its own gates (Darvaza). The western gates, Ata-Darvaza, are close to Kunya-Ark, the northern, Bahcha-Darvaza, are on the way to Urgench, the eastern, Palvan-Darvaza, lead to Khasarasp and to the Amu-Darya, and the southern, Tash-Darvaza, to the Karakum desert.
Khiva, within Ichan-Kala became the capital of the northern Khanate in the time of the Chingizid Khan Arab-Muhammad (1602-1623). After that the khanate