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Walls and Gates in 360°
Both Itchan Kala, the inner town of Khiva and Dishan Kala, the outer town used to be surrounded by enormous walls in all four directions.
Lengths of the walls of the inner town is about 2,200 metres. Their height can reach up to 11 metres and these massive walls have an average width of 4 metres and a maximum of 8 metres. Names of the four gates of the inner town are as follows: West Gate (Ata-Darvaza), North Gate (Bagcha-Darvaza), East Gate (Palvan-Darvaza) and South Gate (Tash-Darvaza).
1. Gates of the Inner Town
Each of them date back to the 19th century and surely the most imposing is West Gate (Ata-Darvaza) which served as the main entrance of the city. It is to be noted that ata means father in Old Turkish. It was built in 1842, got demolished in 1920 and finally restored to its present form in 1975.
2. Gates of the Outer Town
It was Rakhim Kuli Khan, the son of the famous Allah Kuli Khan who decided that the outer town of Khiva, Dichan Kala had to be surrounded by a defence wall to protect the city against the increasing Russian threat. He succeeded his father in 1842 and construction of the walls began soon. It is said that tens of thousands of Persian slaves worked there and that it only took them 30 days to complete the entire 6 kilometre long wall. Unfortunately only small sections of the wall and three out of the ten gates have survived. One of them is Kosh Darvaza which got its name from its double archway.