Kukhna Ark, Khiva, Part 2

Khiva, Uzbekistan
28 September 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

After the last post, I was expecting to move on to the Juma Mosque and views of Khiva at night.  However, I was using two cameras and it turned out that the date time settings for one of the cameras was eleven hours different to the other one.  So when I finished selecting images from the Kukhna Ark, these were just from the camera with the correct date time setting and the images from the same time with the second camera were mixed up with later and night images from the first camera.

Had I realised this, there still would have been two posts but I would have divided them up differently.  Still, it’s not so bad because the lenses on each camera were quite different so the images between each post are quite different.  The first six images here are street photography with a wide angle lens and the rest are long telephotos, many very long telephotos.

For the more technically focused, both cameras were Fujifilm X-T2s.  In the first post I used six different lenses but 40% of the images were from a 10-24mm f4 lens (15mm to 36mm full frame equivalent) and another 40% from an 80mm f2.8 macro (120mm equivalent), sometimes with a 1.4x teleconverter.  In this post, the first six images are with a 23mm f2 lens (35mm equivalent) and the rest were with a 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 lens (150mm to 600mm equivalent) and about half of those were with a 1.4x teleconverter.  Most of those were at the longer end of the zoom range so could be up to 840mm full frame equivalent.

There are brief comments on many of the images below but for more information on Khiva and its history, go back and view the previous post if you have not already done so.
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Street markets in the old city.  They must be somewhere near where we were staying but I can’t work out exactly where for the first two images.

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The car in the distance puzzles me because the map shows only three gates into the Old City and it’s not one of them.

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This is the Tura Murad Minaret.

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We are now further in the distance from the previous image.

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Now we have turned around and are heading back towards the Kalta Minor.  The young boy is riding a modern contraption that I believe is called a bicycle.  An early traveller in the nineteenth century rode through Uzbekistan en route from England to India.  Locals who saw this strange unnatural apparition were either convulsed with laughter or recoiled in fear.

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We are now on the roof of the Kukhna Ark.  See previous post for more info.  From left to right, Tura Murad Minaret, Islam Khoja Minaret & the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum, Kalta Minor and Amin Khan Madrassah.

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Islam Khoja Minaret & the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum.  (I mislabelled an image of this in the previous post, since corrected).

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Ceramic tiles near the top of the Kalta Minor.

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The wooden structure is the Terrassa Restaurant, where we have dinner that night and I produce night images from there in the next post.

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Detail of Amin Khan Madrassah.

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A corner of the Muhammad Rahim-khan Madrasah, next door to the Tura Murad Minaret.

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No idea of the name of this minaret.

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I think we are looking south at the west wall of the Amin Khan Madrassah and the old city walls.

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Muhammad Rahim-khan Madrasah and the Tura Murad Minaret.

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Many of these images are not possible to place.

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However, this must be the dome of the Amin Khan Madrassah.

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Down below me, a workman was sawing away at something in a reconstruction area.

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I turned away to photograph this old madrassah (?).  You can see how many of the tiles have fallen off.  Then I heard a loud crash.

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The workman had sawn away a supporting beam and demolished a wall.

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With these long telephoto shots, I can’t identify exactly where it is….

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Two young women below, maybe walking home after shopping, one wearing a dress with a wonderful traditional design.

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Kukhna Ark, Khiva

Khiva, Uzbekistan
28 September 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Here we are arriving at the city walls of Khiva.

Khiva was built close to the Amu Darya River though the river now flows elsewhere.  It is also close to the border with Turkmenistan and on the other side of the border there is desert.  It is part of the Khorezm, a fertile area surrounded by deserts that has been a centre of civilisations for about four thousand years.  From 1077 until 1231 (when the Mongols turned up after their emissaries were executed) the Khorezm was the centre of the Kwarazmian Empire, including Persia, Afghanistan and much of central Asia.  The Amu Darya was known as the Oxus to the Greeks and Romans, for example in the time of Alexander the Great.

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There has been a settlement at Khiva, a depot on the silk road, for two thousand years or more and parts of the city walls are thought to date from the fifth century, but it has only been a significant city since the sixteenth century.  That century saw the foundation of the Khanate of Khorezm and the shift of the capital from Kunya Urgench (now in Turkmenistan) to Khiva.  For some centuries it was a regional powerhouse.
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The Russians first turned up in 1717 with 4,000 troops who were welcomed, ushered to quarters and then slaughtered.  In 1839-40, another army of 5,000 (with 10,000 camels) set out to achieve revenge but perished in the desert.  The Russians finally turned up in 1873.  After the Revolution in 1920 there was briefly the Khorezm People’s Republic until it was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1924 and divided between the Uzbek and Turkmen SSRs.  Uzbekistan became independent in 1991.
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Street markets, on the other side of the West Gate.

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Some goods in the street.

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A map of the old city.  We entered from the gate at the bottom.

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This is the door to our accommodation, the Mohammed Amin Khan Madrassah (or the Orient Star Khiva Hotel).

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… and here is the interior courtyard.

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This is the top of the Kalta Minor (or Short Minaret).

It was commissioned by Mohammed Amin Khan (or Medamin) in 1852 and was intended to be 70 meters high but was abandoned at 26 metres after his death in 1856.
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A couple of partly corrected views using a fisheye lens which remain distorted but show something of the sense of scale.

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Across an open courtyard with the Kalta Minor in the distance.  The open doorway in the middle distance is I think the Information Centre, the small rectangular building at the right is the Zindan or jail and we are heading through the doorway at the right, into the Kuhkna Ark, or the Museum of Ancient Khorezm.
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… and in we go,,,

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This is not the main door to the Ark, it must be another one just inside.

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The Khans of Khiva had several residences but this is the original one and since it is fortified, it was a place of refuge in times of uncertainty.

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This is the Summer Mosque (1838) with tiles by Ibadullah and Abdullah Jin.

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Here is a closeup of some of the tiles.  My partner Jools who graduated in ceramics, tells me the glazing shows a high level of proficiency.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan .
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A section of the ceiling.

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Opportunity missed.  These caps look more interesting than some of the ones I purchased in Bukhara and Samarkand.

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From the Summer Mosque, we move on through the doorway at the right.

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On the other side are a few guards or policemen.  Three different uniforms and the ones one the right say “Milliy Gvardia” on the back meaning Uzbekistan National Guard so they are soldiers.  Probably all of them are.

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This is the Khurinish Khana or Throne room. There used to be a wooden throne gilded in silver but that was carried off to St Petersberg by the Russians and never returned.  Receptions were either in the (open three-sided) iwan in summer or in a warm yurt in winter, erected where the circular stonework is.

Uzbekistan these days is very safe and friendly but in the nineteenth century Khiva wasn’t a democracy and there could be savage penalties for minor infractions of religious rules.
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The top of a section of the walls.

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People from nearby areas come to the historic sites for wedding photos.  In this case a conjuring trick – the bride floating in the air.

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Behind them we see the crenulated outer wall of Khiva, potentially giving covering fire from a variety of angles.

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A view to the south west.

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Islam Khoja Minaret & the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Kalta Minor and Amin Khan Madrassah (where we were staying).

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The Chinese New Silk Road is arriving in Uzbekistan, it seems.

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Crenulated city walls again.

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Tower and walls in the Ark.

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Part of an ancient door inside the Ark.

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… which we have now left.

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Looking back at the entrance to the Ark.

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(More on Khiva in the next post).

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(Technical note:  I processed these images in both Lightroom and Capture One.  About half are from each and three were processed in Lightroom and Photoshop.  Capture One has an advantage over Lightroom with selections and masks (so for processing regions), where colour is an issue, or with clarity.  Most of these images just received overall processing though.  If anyone wants to see whether they can detect any difference, images 1, 5, 8, 9, 13, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29,32, 33 36 and 37 were processed in Capture One, while images 10, 11 and 30 were processed in Lightroom and Photoshop.)