The first impression Khiva makes on foreign tourists is “Here it is, the living history of the fairy-tale East!” Secondly, it is striking that this whole open-air museum continues its mundane existence like any other small city: local residents rush to work and work past the painted walls of medieval madrassas, something is forged, molded and burned in ancient craft shops.
And on the streets, through which curious visitors from different parts of the world stroll from morning to late evening, as well as centuries ago, a brisk trade in all kinds of goods and souvenirs boils.
According to legend, the city was built around the Heyvak well, dug by the order of Noah’s son, Shem. The water in it had an amazing taste. The well to this day can be seen in Ichan-Kala. This ancient city has an amazing aura, it envelops, literally hypnotizes and immerses visitors in the atmosphere of the distant past, making it possible to travel in time and to those places that we learned about from school history textbooks.
Here is the madrassah where the great Turkmen poet Magtymguly once studied, palaces of rulers, mosques … Throughout its rich history, the city survived the conquests and heyday, but it has survived and turned into a pearl of Central Asia, attracting a lot of tourists.
The other day, the international festival “Dance Magic” was held here, gathering ensembles from 20 countries, and where the Turkmen group “Destan” took first place.
The festival will end, and Turkmen artists, right in concert costumes, went for a walk around the city, attracting the attention of many tourists with their appearance alone. Girls’ outfits with embroidery and silver jewelry, white hats of guys in national clothes became another “trick”, which caught aims of photo lenses and cameras of mobile phones of guests of Khiva.
To immerse yourself in this aura, ORIENT offers its readers to see our photo essay: