The Matniyaz Divan Begi Madrasah (1871) is located in Khiva, in front of the eastern wall of the Muhammad Rahimkhan Madrasah. The madrasa was built by Muhammad Rahimkhan II’s finance minister (Divan Begi), Muhammad Niyaz.
As the finance minister of Khiva, Khan Muhammad Niyaz (Matniyaz in dialect) Divan Begi built a madrasah in the central part of Ichan-kala and a covered Chorsu bazaar next to it. Matniyaz Divan Begi Madrasah is located near the Muhammad Aminkhan Madrasah.
The façade faces west centrally and the area in front is landscaped and planted. The central street of Ichan-Kala runs north of the madrasa, and the newly constructed “Khiva” restaurant building, located in the madrasa building, borders the mausoleum of Seyyid Alauddin to the south.
The madrasah is single-storey in structure (except for the portal part), has 21 cells, premises for Darskhona (lecture hall) and winter mosque. During the period when the madrasa was active, the library for the students of the madrasa was located here.
Of the 21 hujjras, 19 were on the ground floor and the other two hujjras were on the second floor, behind the entrance portal. The entrance to the madrasa was through a small three-winged mionsaray (vestibule).
The entrance could be entered through a small three-storey minaret (vestibule). The madrasah was traditionally built with corner guldasta towers flanking the four corners. The façade on the north side has shallow arcades, the rest of the façades, except the central one, are without arches.
The Madrasah has a rectangular shape that extends from west to east. The main façade faces the Muhammad Rahimkhan madrasah and has a tall portal with five-sided niches in the centre and towers in the corners.
The portal is decorated with majolica, the domes of the towers are covered with green glazed tiles and the bases have a geometric pattern of blue, white and green tiles.
The main decoration is on the portal, on the central façade, in majolica tiles with “islimi” floral patterns as well as similar patterns, which are only carved now, on the double-leaf entrance door.
On a marble slab placed in the cartouche above the entrance door is an inscription in Arabic script. During the time the madrasah was active, 42 students studied here. Since 1979, the Matniyaz Divan Begi madrasah has been used as a restaurant and, together with the Muhammad Aminkhan madrasah (as a tourist hotel), forms the “Khiva” tourist complex, which is suitable for both local and foreign tourists.
The general dimensions of the madrasa: length 36.4 m, width 31.8 m. The courtyard of the madrasa, length 21 metres, width 17 metres.