The Palace of Khiva khans Tash-hauli is an example of secular architecture of the 19th century. Its construction, based on design of local architects Tadjiddin and Qalandar, was started in 1831 and lasted whole 10 years.
Name of the palace is translated as Stone Palace. Large complex with 163 rooms stands near Palvan-Darvoza gate. It is surrounded with brick walls with traditional cogs on top. Small guldasta towers stand on both sides.
Along with living rooms, the residence of the Khan also included arzhona, a yard, where khan received his guests, as well as ishrat-khauli, which usually hosted various festive and entertainment events. Along with the family of Khan and servants, the court circle also lived in the palace. The palace also included special rooms, where khan reviewed appeals and issued his decisions. Convicted person was led to public execution via special exit.
Majolica mosaic, ceramic tiles and ornaments in traditional Khiva colors - blue, ultramarine and white – were widely used in the decoration of the palace. The courtyard is decorated with carved wooden columns. The beautiful columns can be seen in the courtyard of the khan’s harem.
It occupied almost half of Tash-hauli palace. It was one large family courtyard. The entry was closed for court circle as well. Now, tourists calmly walk in “forbidden place”. In one of many rooms of the palace, there is a coach of the 19th century.
Interesting story is connected with it. Once, khan of Khiva visited the Russian Tsar in winter. The palace was warm for his amusement. Tsar explained that fireplaces are heating the rooms. Khan asked to send him a master. Stove-maker arrived in Khiva in road coach. Spouses of Khan never saw the coach and were in joy. After all works were completed, the Russian master understood that it would be better to leave coach to the Khan family. The master returned to Russia on the chaise, but the wives of the khan remembered him with gratitude and rode the coach with pleasure over the yard.