Дворец Нуруллабая

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Nurullabay's Palace, located in the outer city of Khiva, in Dishan-Kala differs by its splendour, attraction, beauty and charming from other palaces built in different periods by khans. During the reign of Mohammed Rahimkhan I the old town (now Ichan kala) has become tight due to the large scale housing construction and there were no possibility of building large palaces with gardens. Mohammed Rahimkhan I built country palaces Hawley (from rammed clay bricks) for his sons Mahmoud tyurya, Mohammed tyurya to the west of the fortress walls of the city (Ichan-Kala). After more than a quarter of a century after that (when the walls of Dishan-Kala were already built) and accession to the throne of Khiva of Seyyid Muhammed Khan (1856), he instructed his vizier Hasanmurad kushbegi to build kurynyshhana building near these Hawley palaces. In the writings of Khiva historians Bayani and Agehi the kurynyshhana building (palace receptions), built on the eastern side of the newly constructed buildings in the garden, known as the "Nurullabay" was very beautiful. Agehi wrote a chronogram for it as follows: - "Korinichhona u Valo" ("great kurynyshhana"). In the calculus of the numerical expression of these words with a help of abjad we get the year of Hijra 1276 (1859). At that time, during the summer in kurynyshhana outdoor receptions ceremony was held . The son of Sayyid Muhammedhan Muhammad Rahimkhan II Feruz (1864 - 1910), after getting to the imperial throne after his father, asked Khiva's wealthy merchant Nurullabay to sell him this garden. Nurullabay agreed, but on condition that the name of the "Garden of Nurullabay", long time known among the people, will remain unchanged by Khan. Khan has given his consent to the conditions Nurullabay and bought a garden. Thus, the name "Garden of Nurullabay" is preserved on the name of the neighbourhood. Mohammed Rahimkhan II built large palace with harem for his son Isfandiyarkhan II (harem-has, the courtyard, the part of the palace where outsiders are not allowed) in the garden of Nurullabay. This inner palace was built in 1896 - 1904, and was surrounded by a high wall. The palace consisted of four parts (yards), of more than a hundred rooms, dalanhana (spacious corridor), karaulhana (rooms for guards), stables, rooms for servants and harem (fifth yard). The main entrance to the palace was through a special gate on the south side. Inside the gates there were Khan's office, Divanhana (the meeting place of the State Council), rooms for personal guards. In the rooms of the palace, planned for Prince Isfandiyar tyurya, the tile stove-fireplace, imported disassembled from Russia was installed. After the death of Feruz Isfandiyarkhan II (1910 - 1918), after getting to the throne, built a palace Nurullabay for himself in a new style, and thus completed the construction of buildings in the garden. The new palace was built with the purpose to conduct the ceremony of reception of high-ranking guests. Chief Vizier Islam Khodja opposed the construction of the reception office by Isfandiyarkhan II, due to the fact that construction of Post-Telegraph and hospitals was lagged and funds were low in the state treasury. But after the categorical order of Khan he appointed his student Rahimbergen as mahram sahibkar (head of construction). Reception was built in 1911-13. In a scientific treatise of MD, professor A.A.Abdullaeva "Horazmda tibbiyot" ("Medicine in Khorezm") there are such lines about the construction of this palace: - "...Islam Khodja went to Moscow again and was received by the head of the city N.I.Guchkov. The head of Moscow city introduced him to a Moscow architect A.M.Roop. " Architects, led by A.M.Roop visited Khiva, consulted on the project of construction of hospitals, telegraph and communication (post), and the hotel (reception office) for receiving ambassadors and went back.

In a short time the project has been prepared, and construction began. For this reception office, built in 1911-1913, bricks of special firing were made. The clay for the bricks was brought from the village Avaz dunak located near the city, which, after careful special processing were fired in 4 humbuz's (stoves for firing bricks). At firing and bricklaying masters Babajan humbuz, Matyaz bala, Hassan pirsiyan, Kuryaz Babajan and others have participated. The roof of the palace was covered with thin sheets of iron in the form of an awning (triangle) from the top. The palace consists of seven halls. Doors, windows and hardwood floors were manufactured by German masters living in the village of Ak-mechet (the village of Ak-mechet is located 15 km to the east of Khiva on the territory of Yanigiaryk district). Interior decoration of reception rooms differ from each other. Master Ruzmet Arbab Masharipov, master Nurmet, Hudaibergen Haji, Kuryaz Babadjanov and others, completed Ganch carvings on the walls and ceiling of the palace. Painting the wall with oil paints, covered with carved ganch patterns was carried out and led by master Vaisyaz Matkarimov. Images of flowers and angels on the ceiling of the building, full of European style, were performed by Russian artists. The second room of the hotel (reception) was designed for banquets in honour of ambassadors and dignitaries. Its dimensions are 8 x 14 m, the height is 6 m. In the fourth hall there was a reception room of Khan, where various treaties with state significance were signed. The size of this room, called octagonal, circular hall is 10 meters , and the height is seven meters. During the Khan's power one mirror of size of 1,5 x 3 meters was installed on in every corner of this room. The ceiling of this room is made of wood, where graceful geometric shapes are performed with extraordinary skill and a thin layer of gold is applied. When decorating the ceiling the Khiva masters Babajan Kalandar, Masharip Kalandar, Vaisyaz Matkarimov and others have shown their mastery. Wavy rails installed on the ceiling were brought from Russia wrapped in special paper. In the middle of the ceiling of the sixth hall the ganch carving craftsmen applied images with patterns in the form of the Muslim symbols of crescent and of the sun, here on four sides of the ceiling the Russian artisans painted images of angels (one angel on each side) with oil paints. On the ceiling of the seventh hotel room (mehmanhana), there are beautifully executed designs of peacock feathers and mounted gems of different colours. Gunch carvings on the walls are made very delicately and painted in bronze colour. In order to heat the palace in wintertime seven faience (porcelain) stoves were brought from Russia. These stoves consist of individual tiles, and are piled by Russian masters. Stoves were heated by haloxylon. Another innovation was introduced to Khanate of Khiva - electric chandeliers for hotels have been delivered to Khiva. Due to the fact that they were big and heavy special wooden devices were made on the roof of the palace. Chandeliers were mounted on these devices. In order to ignite the bulbs on the chandelier a small engine with sixteen horsepower was brought to Khiva. The first light bulb Khiva was lit by Musa Sabanovich Yangiurazov, called from Syzran, located on the banks of the Volga river. For the construction of the khan's reception hall 70 thousand Tilla (126 thousand sums equivalent to that time) were spent from the khan's treasury. In the period of Soviet power the building of reception palace was used as a government building, in subsequent periods - as house of education and as museum. Currently, after the restoration, the palace acquired its original appearance.

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