More than 60 000 inhabitants.
In terms of area and population Khiva is the second city after Urgench- the administrative center of the Khorezm region. The city is located in the western part of Uzbekistan and on the left bank of the Amu Darya river (40 km), with an altitude of 91 meters above sea level. 1119 km from Tashkent.
The climate is continental, with a hot and dry summer, the winter is cold and dry. The normal annual temperature is +16°C. The average temperature in July is +30°C. The highest temperature is +43°C. -5°C is a normal temperature in January, the lowest temperature is -32°C.
The population is composed of Uzbeks, Turkmens, Russians and representatives of other nationalities.
Khiva is a real open-air museum city. A real treasure of the Central Asian architecture, Khiva is a city of fairy tales and legends, the city of minarets and madrassas. Khiva is one of the three masterpiece cities of the East.
Archaeological excavations indicate that the period of emergence of Khiva dates back to the 5th century BC. Situated on the route of Silk Road caravans, this mysterious city was one of the main centers of the ancient Khorezm kingdom. According to legend, Khiva was founded by a son of Noah, Shem, when he dug a well in the middle of the desert. People who drank water from that well exclaimed “Khey-vakh” which roughly means “sweet water.” And this area became a caravan destination because of frequent merchants’ visits. For the next thousand years, the area was inhabited by several tribes that used the Amudarya river for agriculture irrigation.
According to archeologists, Khiva was founded in the 5th or 4th centuries BC. As the first major structures were built, the city became a trading post on the Silk Road, or there is also the local Zoroastrian version, namely that Khiva was built by a Zoroastrian Goddess ArdaKhiva who fell in love with a mortal man and went down to earth to build this city for mankind. That`s the city was called Khiva after the name of Arda Khiva. Khiva appears on the pages of history at IX century, when it entered to Samanids kingdom area. At XI-XII centuries under the rule of Khorezm Shakhs the city expanded and developed. At XIII century, like other cities in Central Asia, Khiva also tasted the Mongolian destructive invasion. From the beginning of seventeenth century till the beginning of the twentieth century was the capital of the Khanate of Khiva.
Indicated like one of the 30 largest cities in the Islamic world at X-century by Arab travelers Ibn Haukali and Istakhri, in 1967, Khiva became the “open air museum”, and in 1991 the city got the status of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage as one of the 100 historical cities. This list also includes 49 architectural and historical monuments of the city. In 1997, the 2,500th anniversary of the city of Khiva was widely celebrated on the international level.
The architecture of Khiva with perfectly done various monumental forms, unique and elegant decorations, unusual ornaments impresses every traveler, who fell himself like falling to the fairy-tale. If you walk inside of fortress Ichan- Qala you will feel the smell of passed centuries, the magic of the unique turquoise domes, the sound of the caravan bells calling from the depths of history. The monuments such as Muhammad Amin madrassah, which is one of the largest madrassahs (universities) in Central Asia (XIX century) and a minaret covered entirely with a single glazed tiles Kalta Minor (XIX century), Tash Havli Palace with the most beautiful terrace in the city (XIX century), the most unusual and remarkable Juma ( Friday) Mosque (XVIII), city’s most beautiful building the mausoleum of Pahlavon Mahmud (XVII-XIX century), the highest minaret Ilam Khodja (XX century), the oldest Said Alauddin mausoleum (XIV century) and the most luxurious Palace of Nurillaboy (the beginning of the twentieth century) give to tourists unforgettable moments of travel and an oriental mood.