The Kunya-Ark fortress consists of courtyards with outbuildings, a reception room for the khan (ruler), a room for a harem, a mint and a summer mosque. The summer mosque is decorated with light carved wooden columns, the work of carvers from Khiva, the walls of the mosque are covered with a unique majolica facing.
On the south side, near the gate of Ichan-Kala, there is the Muhammad-Aminkhan madrasah. The madrasah is one of the largest, both in size and in scale, theological schools in the entire territory of Central Asia. The madrasah consists of one hundred twenty-five cells-hujras, located on two floors along the entire courtyard perimeter, from several halls for training, has its own mosque and utility rooms. Due to the fact that during the development period Khiva experienced a scientific and cultural flourishing, the construction and decoration of the building reflects the best achievements of master architecture - this is a majestic portal, and wings of two-story arches crowned with corner turrets, and abundant majolica facing.
The unfinished Kalta-Minar minaret, with a diameter of fourteen and a half meters and a height of twenty-six meters, luxuriously decorated with multi-colored majolica, located not far from the Muhammad-Aminkhan madrasah, merges with it in a single architectural ensemble.
According to the plans of the ruler of the city, Muhammad-Aminkhan, the minaret was supposed to be the tallest structure in Khiva, but it was never completed due to the death of the ruler. If you believe the legend, it was a punishment sent by Allah to the khan, for the fact that, having laid the first stone in the base of the minaret, the ruler took a human life. For two years, workers were not paid for their labor, poverty and hunger came to their families, rebellion began and unrest arose. The leader of the rebels, Matyakub, a native of Shavat, was severely repressed. At the behest of the governor, he was wrapped in raw lamb skin and buried alive at the base of the minaret.
In the eastern side, not far from Kunya-Ark, we can see the Muhammad-Rakhimkhan madrasah, built in one thousand eight hundred and seventy-first. The architectural monument was built by the order of the ruler of the Khiva khanate, a philosopher and a talented poet, bearing the pseudonym Firuz. An enlightened personality, a tireless champion of science and art, he was the first to use lithography in the east when publishing books.
The madrasah consists of two courtyards, the outer courtyard includes one floor used for cells and an inner courtyard consisting of an arched row of hujras. Also in the madrasah there is a library, utility rooms, small auditoriums and two mosques: winter and summer. Despite the strict appearance of the facade, the architects managed to make the madrasah comfortable and cozy for visitors.