Palvan-Darvaza is not only the famous gate of the Khiva fortress. This is a full-fledged architectural ensemble. The eastern part of the fortress was of great importance in antiquity. If from the west and from the north there were constant raids on the city and it was imperative to guard and strengthen the defense of the fortress, then from the east there was a huge stream of caravans with jewelry, goods, and merchants should be welcomed cordially and luxuriously. The gate is well preserved. A high portal vault with an arrow converges to the top, blue and blue mosaic painting covers the facade. The sign above the entrance reminds guests that the gate is over 400 years old and this architectural monument is under state protection. The two towers at the entrance once glittered with the glaze of blue domes. Carved wooden doors retained the craftsmanship of the artisans of that time in the form of amazing patterns on their surface. Of course, a kind of customs was located at the gate.
The gates themselves are only part of the ensemble. At different times, many buildings were built here. Many rulers considered it necessary to leave their mark on the history of the complex. Allakuli Khan built here a madrasah and a caravanserai in the 30s of the 19th century.
In the same period, the Tash-Hauli stone palace appeared here. At the very beginning of the 19th century, the Kutlug-Murad-Inok madrasah was erected. And almost immediately after the construction of the gate, the baths of Anush Khan were erected here, and, after the start of their construction, the Khojiberdyba madrassah. With each new construction, there was less and less space. Thus, some buildings intersected, and some even protrude beyond the borders of the Ichan-Kala fortress.
Each of the buildings is unique in its execution, each has a rich history. Some are characterized by ascetic forms, and some are dazzled by the rich decoration and brightness of the decor. Each of them was an important object in the life of the city. Here, in a caravanserai, a kind of hotel for caravaners, merchants, and travelers found lodging for the night, young people studied sciences and theology at the madrasah. Immediately, on the square, there was trade, a whole gallery was allocated for it. Many shops with a wide variety of goods were located on both sides of the gallery. Today, almost nothing has changed.
There are still as many traders in this place. Also near the gates was a slave market, a place for the public execution of lawbreakers, a place for people to gather to hear new decrees of the ruler.
The name of the gate is literally translated as “Heroic Gate”. Not surprising, because the gates look impressive, and they were guarded by selected warriors, heroes. True, in the people this gate had another name, “Kul-Darvaza”, or “Slave Gate”, as well as “Pashshab-Darvaza”, which means “Gate at the place of execution”. But all over the world, they are known as heroic, so it sounds more pleasant by ear. Today, this place is as busy as before. Tourists from all over the world, getting to Khiva, certainly want to see this ensemble with its deep and exciting history.