Minarets are tall towers outside mosques and medresses (Islamic schools). It’s kind of an archetectural rule for these places to have them so Khiva’s ancient skyline must have been much more spectacular having over 100 of these towers.
In the small prison next to the Khan’s fortress, the Ark, there is a museum with paintings showing all the creative ways the khans killed people, something they did pretty often. The prison is tiny because they only housed prisoners for three days before meeting their swift death sentence. One of these pictures shows a guy getting tossed off the tallest minaret, which according to Muhammad only happened once.
This young man fell in love with a beautiful girl who must have been a stunner because the Khan also struck up a liking for her and added her to his harem. The heartbroken guy couldn’t stomach his loss so he broke into the Ark to rescue his special lady, getting caught in the process. The Khan must have respected his bravery because he struck a deal where if he survived the fall from the tower he could have his girlfriend back.
As legend goes the guy wore all his cloths for padding as well as a huge billowy shirt that acted as parachute, both helping him to survive the fall. Not expecting this outcome the Khan reneged on his promise leaving the poor man with both broken body and heart. BooHoo.