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Kalta Minor Minaret – Khiva, Uzbekistan

The minaret that was cut halfway.

English: Kalta Minor, in Khiva (Uzbekistan). 1...

Image via Wikipedia

It is difficult to imagine ancient Khiva without this monument of oriental architecture. The Minaret of Kalta-Minor has become an iconing symbol of the city mainly because of it’s exquisite blue and green tile work and the fact that it remains unfinished. Foundation of the minaret is 15 meters, diameter at the foundation is 14,5 meters and the height is 29 meters. But this massive tower has only third part of the project height.

After the death of the Khiva ruler Muhammad Amin Khan in 1855, the construction of the magnificent minaret was stopped, though it was supposed to be of 70 meters According to the architect project wide foundation was to increase durability and the supposed top was to be narrower to decrease the load. But the fate decreed otherwise – and the tower remained unfinished. And now it resembles huge glazed barrel and is called as Kalta-Minor that means “short minaret”.

The varied pattern of coloured glazed tiles in white, blue, green and a brownish yellow form a perfect harmony. Even over a century later the minaret of Kalta Minor has been amazing with its size. Its unique decoration strikes an imagination: the minaret is completely covered with the glazed tile and majolica, which are still bright and vivid as in 1855.

Photo by brilliant chang (Flickr)

Photo by brilliant chang (Flickr)

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