The Ferris WheelThe Ferris Wheel
No Soviet town would be complete without a ferris wheel to provide proletariat entertainment on public holidays and Khiva is no exception. This rickety and rusty structure offers the most incredible views of Khiva and is an absolute must. Looking out over the Ichan Kala as the big wheel turns, it feels as if the minarets are rising up above the walls like mediaeval rockets taking off. This spectacular view of the whole walled city restores any disappointment at the Ichan Kala's manicured pedestrian ways. The rich combination of snaking walls, glimmering madrassahs and glinting minarets shimmer like something out of the Arabian Nights.
View from the wheelView from the wheel
The ferris wheel also offers views of a traditional merchant's house complete with courtyard, now shared by several tenants, plus the Sayid Mohammed Khan Madrassah which stores city archives. The sports stadium and Mayor's office can be seen to the north while the Nurullabeg Palace and Isfandir Khan's Reception Hall are situated in the west.
Traditional housesTraditional houses
A rich merchant's houseA rich merchant's house
You pay for one round on the big wheel but a second turn is definitely worth it. If you ask, the helpful attendant will usually stop the wheel when you're at the top so that you can take photos. In summer the wheel usually starts working every afternoon and the best time to go for a ride is at sunset or at night. During other times of the year the wheel only operates on holidays, such as Navrus.
View from the wheelView from the wheel