View from Abdullah Khan MadrassahView from Abdullah Khan MadrassahView from Juma MinaretView from Juma MinaretView from Tash Hauli roofView from Tash Hauli roofClose up of TilesClose up of TilesPeacock Styled CeramicsPeacock Styled Ceramics
Archive Photo from 'Khiva Caught in Time'Archive Photo from 'Khiva Caught in Time'
This is one of the finest of Khiva's madrassahs and the original home to the main religious library. The formidable Allah Kuli Khan (whose name means "Slave of God") built the madrassah, as well as a number of other buildings, including the Tash Hauli Palace, during a 19th century renaissance when lucrative trade with Russia led to a boom in the economy. Although financially viable, there was little room in the walled city for such a huge madrassah, resulting in the eastern wall being knocked down to accomodate the new building. However, student access to the proposed madrassah was blocked by the Khojam Berdiby madrassah (1688) which was situated in the courtyard. Ever determined, the Khan cut this in half with a passage down the middle, earning it the nickname "Khurjun" which means "saddle bag" (now a seedy-looking coffee bar).
Although the madrassah is currently closed, the beautiful, peacock-style tile work on the front can still be seen. Interestingly, the facade is mirrored by the Kutluq Murad Inaq Khan madrassah opposite.