БухараНавои Кашкадарья Самарканд Джиззах Сурхандарья Сырдарья
Along with Samarkand and Bukhara, Khiva is an important and often overlooked historical site on what was once the Great Silk Road. Famous for its long and brutal history as a slave trading post sandwiched in between the vast Kyzylkum and Karakum deserts, Khiva is now a quiet, sleepy oasis that awaits busloads of tourists instead of caravans of captives.
For the next 1 000 years or so, the area was inhabited by settlements that used the nearby Amu-Darya river to irrigate agriculture. According to the archaeologists Khiva was founded in the 5th or 6th century. As Islam spread to the area, the first major structures were built near Shem's well, and it became known as a small trading post on the Silk Road. First written sources date from the 10th century. The Arab traveller Al Istachrimentions Khiva in his enumeration of the most important settlements in Chorezm.
Khiva with its 94 mosques and 63 madrassahs is considered an important center of Islam. Because of this significance, Khiva was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990.
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