Front viewFront view
Built in 1785, this is one of the oldest madrassahs in the Ichan Kala, constructed by the founder of the Kungrad dynasty which reigned as Khans in Khiva until the early twentieth century.
Today, the madrassah is a fascinating demonstration of the different layers of ideology to which Khiva has been exposed. The exterior is beautifully tiled with Zoroastrian symbols, whilst the madrassah itself was a Koranic school of learning. In 1984, the interior was renovated to provide a secular, soviet registry office for betrothed couples, resplendent with baby-carrying storks, stained glass windows, plastic chairs and astrological symbols. Since independence, posters of traditional proverbs and Koranic verses have been added to the decor along with a large emblem depicting the new Uzbekistan above the altar.
This is the first stop for newly married couples who sign the register here before going on to make a tour of the Ichan Kala. Weddings take place throughout spring, summer and autumn, with Fridays and Saturdays being particularly popular.