We have a few Khanates (mini kingdoms) that the Khans (mongols) established across Central Asia which we’ll visit. Konye-Urgench was our first, and now we’re at Khiva, which is unique, in that the Soviets restored it to be a ‘living museum’. While it’s a bit sterile and like a theme park, it makes a nice change for us from the crumbled ruins, where we’ve had to use a lot of imagination to picture what they were like.
Khiva’s Khan made his name for being the most cruel and the torture chambers and stories of horrors here have been a real delight. I think our favourite was the slitting of the mouth from ear to ear for those who smoked, drank or did anything that brought mild displeasure to the ruler. Guess he like being surrounded by people with the biggest smiles. Certainly removed any others from tempting the members of his harem.
See the photo album on Kiva.