Khiva (Uzbek: Xiva, Хива; Russian: Хива, Khiva); Alternative or historical names include Khorasam, Khoresm, Khwarezm, Khwarizm, Khwarazm, Chiwa, and Chorezm) is the former capital of Khwarezmia and the Khanate of Khiva and lies in the present-day Khorezm Province of Uzbekistan.
Itchan Kala in Khiva was the first site in Uzbekistan to be inscribed in the World Heritage List (1991).
In the early part of its history, the inhabitants of the area were from Iranian stock and spoke an Eastern Iranian language called Khwarezmian. Subsequently the Iranic ruling class was replaced by Turks in the 4th century A.D, and has had a Turkic speaking majority ever since.
The city of Khiva was first recorded by Muslim travellers in the 10th century, although archaeologists assert that the city has existed since the 6th century. By the early 17th century, Khiva had become the capital of the Khanate of Khiva, ruled over by a branch of the Astrakhans, a Genghisid dynasty.
In 1873, Russian General Von Kaufman launched an attack on the city, which fell on 28 May 1873. Although the Russian Empire now controlled the Khanate, it nominally allowed Khiva to remain as a quasi-independent protectorate.