You are here

Home » Mosques Ichan-Kala in Khiva. Monuments of architecture of the Khivan oasis.

Columns of Djuma-mosque.

Pilgrimages to Khiva.

Jum`a Mosque is a one-storey building with a flat roof which is maintained 213 columns mounted on a square grid of 3,15 x 3,15 meters. Mihrab of the mosque is in the center the south wall.
On both sides of the mikhrab in the wall as usual, to highlight it high niches are arranged; the ceiling of mikhrab part is built slightly higher than general ceiling of the mosque. The mikhrab arched niche is painted with green color, partition walls are painted in black and red colors with the images of trees, bushes, wild roses and iris, which are formed in the late XVIII and early XX centuries.
On marble slabs mounted on both sides of mikhrab inscriptions are carved, in one of them, dated 1203 of hijra (1788 - 1789 AD) a waqf charter is written which was made in regard with the donation of property and funds to the mosque.
It reports that at the behest of the Vizier Abdurakhman (mikhtar) in 1203 Hijra in the villages Kuyuktam (, now Goktam village in Qo'shko'pir District of Khorezm region) and Bekabad waqf lands are allocated for the mosque  and the income from these lands should be spent on charitable purposes and the needs of the mosque.
The second marble slab is slightly smaller in size and it is engraved a chronogram (tarikh) showing 1080 hijra (i.e. 1666 AD). Among local population there are judgments that the mosque was restored at the end of the XVIII century.
It is confirmed by inscriptions engraved on the carved doors of the southern facade of the mosque. They report that the mosque was restored in 1788 - 89 under the leadership of the person named Abdurakhman Mikhtar.
From ancient pattern carved columns in the mosque only 15 of them have remained; 8 columns are stored in Tashkent, in the museum of history of the peoples of Uzbekistan. According to Yahya Gulyamov, archeologists and historian,  - "some of these columns are the most ancient monuments of art of wood carving throughout Uzbekistan".
On the most ancient columns on kuzag (the palm of a column) there patterns in the form of large leaves are applied, the upper part of the trunk is with regular facets and in mid of them framed by a circle there ancient Arab Kufic inscriptions are written.
The forms processed with a deep relief. And on the columns of the XIV century patterns are provided in a variety of patterns, inscriptions are given in the form of "Hattie naskh" (Arabic writing style).
A thread of such style we can see on the wooden tiles installed near the mikhrab and on the door wings. In the mosque there are few more columns that are executed in imitation of the ancient columns.
On one of them the date indicating 1510 is preserved. There are no other inscriptions. They might be installed at the same time with marble slabs near the mikhrab. Restoration of this unique monument was started in 1979 on the project of the architect Sanochkin.
108 columns of the Jum`a Mosque installed there were later bought from local population in 1983. Among them there were carved patterned columns of XVIII - early XX centuries which were installed in place of dilapidated columns of the mosque.
Among historians and art historians and local population there is an opinion that some of the columns were brought from Kunya Urgench, Izmuhshir (Zamakhshar, a settlement in the territory of Turkmenistan), the ancient Kyat, ruined by waters of Amudarya River, as well as, from other places of Khiva.
It is said that in the mosque there is also a column made from the trunk of an ancient cotton bush (guzapaia). In fact, there is no such a column in the mosque and it virtually can not be. Because the trunk of guzapaia shrub is friable, hollow and isn't able to withstand heavy loads.
In the midst of the columns under a calotte there is a miniature pot made of a limestone. Shortly after pouring water into the boiler water becomes warm. The secret of this miracle was known to only certain limited part of the staff of the mosque at that time.
This measure carried out to bring into surprise the Muslims believers was aimed at strengthening the position of Islam among the masses.