Khiva is an architectural museum city. It consists of two parts: Ichan-Kala inner town and Dishan-Kala outer town. They are separated from each other as defense circles.
Unfortunately, Dishan-Kala has survived into the present much less than Ichan-Kala. Only the gates Kosh-Darvaza, Gandimyan-Darvaza and Khazarasp-Darvaza are left of what once was a massive fortification wall.
Dishan-Kala fortification wall was built at the instigation of Allakuli-Khan’s in the mid-19th с so as to protect the city from attacks of Turkmen tribes. The khan issued a decree requiring that each of his subjects work at the construction site of the wall for 12 days a year - for free, of course. Since the khan had over 200,000 men, the wall was built quite quickly - in 3 years’ time. Its length was 6,000 meters; it was 8 meters tall and 6 meters thick. They built it of saman adobe bricks. The wall had turrets standing at regular intervals along its length. The upper part of the wall was crenellated; it had narrow arrow slits to enable effective defense. Along the perimeter of the wall there was a moat as another defense, and they locked all the gates at nighttime.
The gates were also part of the fortification. Each of them had a turret on either side, and a lookout gallery over it.
Dishan-Kala had 10 gates:
|Khazarasp in the northeast, opening to the roads to Khazarasp, Khanka and Yangiaryk;
|Pishkanyk in the east, named after the nearby village, or Kumyaska, named after the mahalla residential community located at it;
|Angaryk in the west, named after the nearby village, opening to the road to Allakuli-Khan’s summer residence Bogishamol;
|Shikhlar in the south, named after the nearby mahalla residential community, with all the earnings from it going to Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum;
|Tozabog in the southwest, opening to the road to Muhammad Rakhim-Khan’s summer residence;
|Shakhimardan in the west, named after the cemetery near it;
|Dashyak in the northwest, named after the nearby village;
|Kosh-Darvaza in the north, named so owing to its double-gate design, and also named Urgench;
|Gadaylar in the north as well, named after the nearby mahalla residential community;
|Gandimyan in the north as well, named after the nearby village.
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