Tach Khaouli Palace
Tash Khauli Palace
It has been customary among the rulers of the East since ancient times to build luxurious palaces to not only live, rule, meet guests, but also to show the power and strength of the state. The palaces were considered the place where the khan himself and his relatives lived as well as where the state affairs were carried out. The period of Allakuli Khan’s rule is considered to be one of the heydays of the Khiva Khanate. It was under Allakuli Khan that there was a rise in the economic, political and cultural life of Khorezm. The successes of foreign policy and trade with the Russian Empire during this period significantly enriched the region. The Tash-Khauli palace has become a reflection of not oçly the greatness but the unique style of the Khorezm masters. The construction of the palace went through tragic events as well, since more than one master was executed while working on it. Because Allakuli Khan demanded to build the palace in two years and the masters, who explained that it was impossible to fulfill the requirements of the khan in such a short time or refused were executed. And yet, the palace eventually was completed in 8 years.
Tash-Hauli means “Stone courtyard” is the new palace formed during the period of Allakuli-khan (1825-1842). Tash-Hauli was built in the eastern part of Ichan Kala and soon became the political, public and trading center of Khiva. Tash-Hovli is the main palace of the Khivan khans, the construction of the palace took from 1830 to 1838. The palace resembles a fortress with high battlements, towers and fortified gates. The structure is based on the characters of Khorezm houses and country villas which included courtyards, shady column aivans and loggias. Tash-Hauli consists of three parts, classified around inner courtyards. The northern part was held by the Khan’s harem. The formal reception room-Ishrat-haul adjoins the last one on the southeast, court office in the southwest. The middle of Ishrat-hauli occupied by the round stage for the Khan’s yurt. Long mazes of dark corridors and rooms connected the different parts of the palace. The palace is one of the stunning structures that has been preserved almost its original appearance. The unique patterns of the master Abdullah, commonly known by the people under the nickname “Genius”, astonish the eye. There still stands the carriage of a Russian stove-maker who came to build a fireplace for the khan. Accoding to the legend, the wives of the khan were so fond of the outlandish carriage that the stove-maker who arrived from Russia left it as a gift to the harem.