Kalta-Minor, Khiva

A short, yet enormous, minaret stands before the facade of the Muhammad Amin-khan Madrassah. This is Kalta-Minor - the "Short minaret". The minaret and Muhammad Amin-khan Madrassah were intended to finish the plan of the big square near the western gates of Ichan Kala.

Kalta-Minor should have become the biggest and highest minaret in Central Asia. Its massive base is 14.2 m in diameter. However, construction was interrupted upon the death of Muhammad-Amin-khan in 1855 after a battle with the Turkmen as historian Munis reported.

Legend has preserved a better version. A Bukhara Khan found out about the construction of a grandiose minaret in Khiva and agreed with its architect on the construction of a taller minaret in Bukhara. The Khiva Khan became angry and ordered the architect to be thrown from the minaret, which stopped construction. In any case, the structure rose to only 26m.

Decoratively speaking, the bright blue minaret of Kalta-Minor has no equal in Central Asia. It is the only minaret whose surface is entirely covered with colored glazed tiles.