Citadel Kunya-ark
Citadel Kunya-ark
4.5
About
Arang-khan began the construction of this citadel complex in 1686, which contains a house for khan, the members of his family and dignitaries.
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  • byryr62
    33 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing
    This is an amazing and spectacular complex. When you first enter, it's a dusty excavation site and looks moderately interesting. Then you turn a corner and you are face to face with an enormous blue-tiled wall that is really spectacular. If you are in Khiva, don't miss it.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 15, 2023
  • Anuradha
    New Delhi, India327 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mesmerising !
    A beautiful fortress within the historic city of Itchan Kala. The sites at Khiva date back to 5 th century BC, however the buildings which are intact date back to 19 th century only, which are restored. As you enter through the beautifully carved gateway, there an archaeological site, with some information about ancient city of Khiva. Khan’s palace and other beautiful buildings can be seen. Must climb on the huge heat point to witness the beauty of old town, recommended to go at dusk time, as the sunset looks stunning in the backdrop of beautiful buildings. At 7 pm, just outside the Kuhna’s Ark, near Kalra Minar, there is a cultural show, don’t miss it.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 1, 2023
  • MarcusHurley
    Calne, United Kingdom9,581 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great views at sunset
    The Kuhna Ark was our next stop, built next to the Western Gate this was the fortress of the Emirs, the equivilant to a European castle keep. Originally built in the twelth century it contained stables, harem, throne room, barracks and a mint. A lot of the interior looked like it was still being excavated but there were some beautifully decorated audience rooms with incredible ceilings and doors. There were also steps that led to the watchtower which gave views over the city walls, a popular spot at sunset!
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 20, 2023
  • Frances B
    Yorkshire, United Kingdom918 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Just amazing
    The Citadel Kunya-ark was one of my favourite places/buildings inside Ichan Qala It is situated on the northern side of the West Gate entrance. Its name means ‘Od Fortress’ and it was used as the Khiva rulers (Khans) residence. Construction began on it in 1686. When the rulers lived here it contained many different resources including a mosque, Supreme Court, reception, powder mill, arsenal, mint, harem, kitchens, stables and guardhouse. The tile work is exquisite, as is the interiors and pillars and craftsmanship of its buildings. It provides some amazing photo opportunities. Access can also be gained from here up to the watch tower. As you meander through the grounds and past the various craft stalls you will come across a steep staircase leading up to the watch tower. Entrance is included in your Ichan Qala entrance ticket In my opinion a must see place within Ichan Qala
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written January 22, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
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Sammy J
Haifa, Israel87 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
One of the places not to be missed in Ichan Kola. This is one of the two palaces, winch allows a walk along a place rooms and also a climb to the inner city walls. The climb opens a great view. Allow about 1hour to this part to explore its best.
Written October 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

byryr62
33 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
This is an amazing and spectacular complex. When you first enter, it's a dusty excavation site and looks moderately interesting. Then you turn a corner and you are face to face with an enormous blue-tiled wall that is really spectacular. If you are in Khiva, don't miss it.
Written May 15, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dirk W
Alexandra Headland, Australia6,464 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
Lots of things to see in this labyrinth, magnificent tiles, carved columns, colorful ceilings . . . Always intended as a self-contained citadel of the Khan, his family and court, the original was destroyed by the Persians in the 19th century. So what we see here is much later 19th century, but it is hard to tell so. In any case, the place blows your socks off !
Written November 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ramadama
New Providence, NJ2,271 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Couples
The old Ark is a must whe visitng Khiva. The tile work is spectacular on the building.
I also loved the thrown room and the summer palace. All are very well preserved
The coin room was a quick look.
Written October 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

scmp79
Ireland170 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2017 • Friends
I'm not really one for searching out 'perfect' photo spots for sunrise and sunset, but I would make an exception for this! The walls of Khiva are a remarkable monument in general, but up here at sunset was very very beautiful!
Written January 11, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kiransfootprints
Gurugram (Gurgaon), India304 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
Not just the beauty but also the serenity and the atmosphere of the waiting areas gives a glimpse of the balance that is inherent to these ancient structures.
Written October 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrew M
7,280 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
The Ark is a must visit when in Khiva and is probably the main attraction. It is easily located by taking the first left at the tourist information office on entering through the west gates, You will pass the small Zindan structure to your left, and then the main entrance to the Ark with turquoise topped columns will be in view. A plaque to the left of the entrance states, "The museum of ancient Khorezm". We found it very difficult to find our way around, and probably missed quite a few important things due to lack of signage.

The Ark is said to be the oldest structure in Khiva, originating from the 12th century. The self guided tour includes the summer mosque, reception, throne room, winter mosque and meeting hall. The summer mosque was beautiful, with blue tiled decorations from floor to ceiling and sculpted wooden posts. The mihrab here is unique in terms of positioning, as it faces south instead of south-west towards mecca. There is Persian writing above the mihrab, detailing the name of the architect and Abu Bakr Omar Osmon Ali, who the mosque is dedicated to.

A short walk to the right was the coin exhibition. Khiva was famous for it's mint, and the displays were great, particularly the silk notes and varying size paper notes through the eras. The winter mosque is now the museum of archaeology, but we didn't realise this until afterward as there is no signage. Many of the displays had english translation. We were particularly interested in a painting of Tomyris with the head of Cyrus, which is a famous story in Central Asia.

We then visited the open air throne room where the Khan made decisions in warm weather. This area had three doors; the large for the Khan, the medium for the rich and the small for the poor. If it was cold, as in winter, a yurt was set up on the circular stone area so the Khan could make decisions indoors. We had read that stairs led up to the viewpoint area, and were willing to pay, but had problems explaining this to an attendant, so missed it. We took photos of the Harem upper balconies after a short walk to the right.

We also missed the Ak Sheikh Bobo site, as we couldn't figure out if access was from within the palace or outside. We walked outside to the deck area to the left of the palace, but again there were no signs, so couldn't figure out what was on display here. To get the most out of this visit you will probably need a guide. We had found it so much easier getting around Bukhara, as there were quite a few directional signs. We thought that it was a good experience, but know that we missed quite a bit.

After visiting this site, stroll across the square to the museum of history in the Mohammad Rahimon madrassah.
Written October 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Oldjack
Greater Melbourne, Australia27,964 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
Khuna Ark is on your left as you enter Old Khiva. It is the Khiva Ruler's Fortress and own residence built initially in the 12th century and then expanded and changed over the years.It is elaborately decorated and has numerous rooms and compounds. Inside the Summer Mosque with ornate blue and white tiling is worth seeing.There are some museums including a Mint and money displays over the years. Impressive and interesting part of the old town and worth spending time..
Written September 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cuca8219
101 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019
The heat that day was a bit indescribable. You can visit some expositions in the rooms, which are still well preserved or were rebuilt, but, the information you get in English is really scarce and it is difficult to contextualize what you see, specially because you are mostly looking at some nude walls.
Written June 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Abror V
Tashkent, Uzbekistan23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Couples
The Entry fee for foreigners is paid at the main gate (Ata Darvaza) of the Inner City. So please get the your pass first so you don't go back to the main gate. You can get three types of entry ticket $6, $12 or $18 one, they all cover Citadel. For locals fee is paid upon entering to Citadel (50 cents).

The staff in Citadel doesn't know much English or knowledge of the place, so please get a tour guide if you are really interested in the history, because some buildings in Citadel were destroyed during Soviet time and without a tour guide I would never guessed it.

And of course you must climb to the Observation Tower of the Citadel, despite its around 35m you will have a wonderful view
Written January 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Citadel Kunya-ark - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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