Khiva is one of ancient cities of Uzbekistan. The city preserved its originality and primeval architecture.
Literally, each building and street in Khiva breathes history. Inner city Ichan-kala can be highlighted among many attractions. This is live open air city-museum. About 300 families are living here.
Luxury palaces of the rulers, many madrasahs and mosques with high minarets, mausoleums with rich decorations, as well as trade squares, including slave market, are located in Ichan-kala.
Ak Masjid is one of the most significant religious buildings of Khiva. Masjid (mosque) has roots from Arab language. Ak Masjid has unusual architecture and is located near of Eastern Gates Palvan-darvoza.
It was built in several phases. The foundation of the mosque was constructed in 1647 during rule of Sheybanid Anush-khan. However, according to scripts on its doors, the construction was completed in epoch of the rule of Kungrat dynasty in 1838-42. The scripts on the door also say that local masters Kalandar and Nur Mukhammad made the wood engraving.
The mosque was constructed in form of dome hall. Three galleries are adjoining to it. Aivans (terraces) with wooden columns surround it from outside.
Ak Mosque was a block mosque for daily prayers, it was built and decorated without special ornamental excessiveness. There are no difficult ornaments in its decoration. The walls covered only with ganch plasters. However, the doors and windows were decorated with finest wood engraving, which improves external and internal decoration. The windows of Ak Masjid are decorated with ganch grids representing a polyfoil.
Ak Masjid has compact size and looks simple. However, Ak Masjid is one of the most beautiful medieval buildings of Khiva. The mosque stands out among the other mosques of Ichan-kala.