The Palaca of Shirvanshahs
The Palace of the Shirvanshahs, located in Baku, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the 15th century by the Shirvanshah dynasty. This monument is the biggest piece of architecture under the Shirvan-Absheron branch and includes the main building, Diwan Khana, The Mausoleum, The Palace Mosque and The Palace Bath-house. The construction of the palace was initiated under the rule of Ibrahim I of Shirvan dynasty. The Palace is open to visitors from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Maiden Tower (Qiz Qalasi)
The Maiden Tower is one of the most dominant architectural pieces, due to its vague design and the stories that surround it. Said to be built in the 12th century originally on the shore of Caspian Sea (later due to land reclamation, the tower is no more near the Caspian Sea), it was supposed to serve as a watch tower. But the construction and architecture, points the needle to nearly 2,500 years back. It’s an important part of Azerbaijani history considering that it features on the country’s currency notes and other documents.
Atashgah Fire Temple
The Atashgah Fire Temple or the Fire Temple of Baku is situated at Surakhani near Baku. This castle-style temple was nominated for World Heritage Site status in 1998 and declared a historical-architectural reserve by decree by the Azeri President in 2007. The inscriptions in either Sanskrit or Punjabi state that the place was a Hindu place of worship, unlike claims indicating it was a Zoroastrian Fire Temple. Today, it houses a museum and is no longer used as a temple.
Yanar Dag, translated as the “burning mountain” is a hillside near Baku that continuously vents flames of fire all year round, a process that has been going around for 1000 years. Natural gas vents on the sides of the mountain make sure that the flames don’t subdue despite of rain.
Azerbaijan made advancement in its economy due to its oil reserves. So the oil rocks complex near Baku has become an attraction for many. But prior permission from the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan is needed to view the complex.
Public Baths (Hamam)
A hamam or public bath is a type of a sauna that originated in the Middle East. In Baku, the main “hamam” lies near the Baku Soviet Metro railway station as it is the oldest public bath in the city. Known as Hamam Mahallesi, different days are allotted for men and women with Monday’s and Friday’s for women and the rest of the days for men. Another public bath, only for men, is located in the old town and is known by the name of Teze Bey Hamami. This hamam is a little expensive as they offer a variety of baths like Turkish, Finnish, etc.
Icheri Sheher or the Old Inner City is the oldest part of Baku and is surrounded by fortification walls dating back to the 9th century. The streets inside the historical core of the city have been designed to block the strong winds coming from the Caspian Sea.
The history of Icherisheher dates back to ancient times. It is difficult to determine the exact date in history when the city was built by our ancestors, but it has existed for thousands of years which is evidenced by the many ancient monuments which still remain today.
Icherisheher is the pearl of Azerbaijani architecture and culture and many significant restoration works have been undertaken within recent years. Under the attention of President Ilham Aliyev, Icherisheher has undergone a complete renaissance.. With the establishment of the State Department of the Historical and Architectural Reserve of Icherisher, this ancient heart of Baku has undergone rehabilitation and reconstruction appropriate to the environment of the old city. The first lady of Azerbaijan and UNESCO and ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva, as well as other distinguished members of our society are all actively involved in these restoration activities.
We will continue our work to regularly improve and update the new website for Icherisheher. Please let us know if you have any comments about how the website can be improved. We welcome your comments and suggestions.
Dear visitors: We hope that you find the Icherisheher website interesting and informative. We are happy to welcome you,your friends, your families and guests to Icherisheher. You will be greeted at the entrance to the old city with the same words used by generations of Azerbaijanis to greet their guests: İçərişəhərə xoş gəlmişsiniz
The fire spring Yanar Bulag (which literally translates to “burning spring”), close to the city of Astara in southern Azerbaijan, is an unusual spring which fascinatingly combines the two elements fire and water.
The fire spring is but one of many weird sites in Azerbaijan that can be attributed to the country’s high gas and oil reserves. Aside from being a quirky attraction, the fire spring also evokes the spririt of Zoroastrianism, a religion in which fire and water are considered agents of ritual purity.
Today, Zoroastrianism no longer exists in the country, but it was in this region that the religion was founded 2,000 years ago. Perhaps this is not surprising, considering these unusual and fascinating local phenomena
Sheki-Caravansarai (Caravan Palace)
Located on the M.F. Akhundov Avenue, Caravan Sarai or Caravan Palace is a historically cherished monument that was built by the Sheki Khans. The Caravan Palace was built as a resting place for the caravans that passed along the Silk Road through Azerbaijan. The site on which Caravan Sarai is built is said to be one of biggest stopovers for caravans in the Caucasus region. The Caravan Sarai has been decorated with traditional stained “Shebke” glass and frescoes and finds its notation among many poems of Ajerbaijan.
Most typically a caravanserai was a building with a square or rectangular walled exterior, with a single portal wide enough to permit large or heavily laden beasts such as camels to enter. The courtyard was almost always open to the sky, and the inside walls of the enclosure were outfitted with a number of identical animal stalls, bays, niches or chambers to accommodate merchants and their servants, animals, and merchandise.
Caravanserais provided water for human and animal consumption, washing and ritual purification such as wudu and ghusl. Sometimes they had elaborate baths. They also kept fodder for animals and had shops for travellers where they could acquire new supplies. In addition, some shops bought goods from the travelling merchants.
Multani Caravanserai, which was established in the 14th century in Azerbaijan and now houses a restaurant, was constructed in a square shape. It has very ancient style with balconies around the courtyard.
Khansarai (The Palace of the Sheki Khans)
Khansarai or The Palace of the Sheki Khans has been the summer residence of the famous Sheki Khans and its palace, gardens and fortification walls has been constructed by Khan Hussein. The palace offers a stunning view of the surrounding mountains and you can also have a look at the tea house, parks and museums nearby the palace.