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Kalta-Minor Minaret in Khiva

Kalta-Minor Minaret, Khiva

The Kalta-Minor minaret was built on the orders of the ruler of Khiva Khanate, Mohammed Amin Khan, who intended to make the minaret the tallest of the East. Its diameter at the base is 14.2 meters. It had to rise between 70 and 80 meters in height, with a tapered shape with decreasing diameter. However, the work had to stop, while the minaret reached 29 meters in height. The Kalta-Minor minaret is located on the east side of the madrasa Muhammad Amin Khan (today Khiva Orient Star hotel).

It is richly covered in turquoise enamel with bricks and majolica from top to bottom, making it a unique example.

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According to Khiva historian Agakhi, construction was interrupted due to Khan Mohammed Amin's death in 1855. Legend has it that the emir of Bukhara, had learned that Khiva's Khan was building a minaret of such proportions, he wanted to build an equally unique one in Bukhara. He would have ordered a Khiva foreman to go to Bukhara after the construction of the first minaret. But Khiva's Khan got wind of the story and ordered to kill the first master builder when the minaret was completed. The architect, after being informed, immediately escaped, leaving the unfinished work.

In reality, the work was interrupted because the minaret would collapse if it had been raised again.

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