Internal defensive circle Ichan-Kala is located in the center of ancient Khiva. In some places, the height of their walls reaches 10 meters and thickness – 6 meters. The length of the wall is 2,250 meters.
Entrance buildings stood on each side of Ichan-Kala. So, in order to enter to the city from the west, people should enter from Ata-Darvoza near Kunya-Ark Forest. Bagcha-Darvoza protected the city from the north, Palvan-Darvoza – from the east and Tash-Darvoza – from the south.
Western gate Ata-Darvoza considered as the main gate in Ichan-Kala. Its height was 10 meters and width – 4 meters. Initially, the gate was built in 1842. In 1920, the gate was destroyed, but was restored after 50 years. Muhammad Amin-khan madrasah is located in the right from the gate.
Northern gate Bagcha-Darvoza is a symmetrical building with the height of 8.5 meters. The stairs lead to up in the southern corners of the towers.
Eastern gate Palvan-Darvoza was named after legendary hero Palvan Mahmud, who released citizens of Khorezm from captivity. People Khiva consider him as their patron. The gate has form of arch-shape portal and is notorious that the gate was used to execute people. Therefore, people of Khiva called it as the gate of death.
Southern gate Tash-Darvoza with the height of 9 meters was built in 1830. Alla Kuli-khan ruled Khiva at that time. The caravans with goods also used the gates, so there was also customs post. The customs officers reviewed goods and collected dues from the traders. By the way, it required over a month to reach Khiva from Samarkand via Bukhara.
Behind the city gates, fabulous city with spacious Khan’s palaces, richly decorated mosques and mausoleums, madrasahs and caravan-serais opened to the view of travelers.
In 1990, Ichan-Kala was included to the UNESCO World Heritage List.