Sights of the Baku old town (Icheri Sheher)
Icheri Sheher is the oldest residential quarter of Baku. Icheri Sheher declared a historical and cultural reserve in 1977. In 2000, it included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. There are a lot of places worth visiting in Icheri Sheher. The historical complex includes many architectural monuments. It is mosques, towers, churches, squares of the period of the rule of the Shahs. Our little walk through the old town begins with its walls. A wall surrounds the territory of the old city. The wall is the border of the reserve and has cultural significance.
Excavations reveal that the complex originates from the ancient period as a small settlement. It built the fortress wall after transferring the residence of the Shirvanshahs to Baku.
You can find the Baku old city in various genres of art. You find the description of the ancient city in the works of K. Said "Ali and Nino". And such Soviet directors as V. Chebotaryov, G. Kazansky, R. Bykov, L. Gayday shot their films on the streets of Icheri Sheher.
The historical complex of Icheri Sheher visits many tourists from different countries of the world. The old quarter is freely open to visitors around the clock.
One of the main symbols of the city is Giz Galasi, translated as the Maiden Tower. İt is in the south-east of the Icheri Sheher fortress. This unique building of Azerbaijani architecture is the most important component of the seaside landscape of Baku.
Besides the building, there are also several museums that you can visit. For several decades, Giz Galasi and The Palace of the Shirvanshahs are a museum complex.
Fortress gates of the northern part of the city
The Shamakhi gate and the Shah Abbas gate are in the northern part of the historical complex of Icheri Sheher. It is also called "Paired fortress gates".
The pearl of Azerbaijani architecture is the Palace of the Shirvanshahs. Complex is built for several decades. It was constantly growing with new buildings and courtyards. But despite passing centuries, the palace of the Shirvanshahs still makes a strikingly holistic artistic impression. Every next generation of architects deserves special gratitude. It is clear how strictly cubic architectural volumes observed. This beautiful carved pattern on stone, the rhythm and proportionality of architectural forms. This is truly frozen music in stone!
In the old town, one attraction is the baths. Many baths are in the "Inner city". The most famous of them is the Shirvanshahs‘ bath.
Besides the baths, there are also caravanserais in the Baku old city. It is a place on the trade route that was a shelter for travelers. These are Khan caravanserai, Multani caravanserai, Bukhara caravanserai and Kasum-bek caravanserai.
If the palace is a pearl, then the mosques are the heart of the historical complex. The main sights of Baku are mosques that were built in the Middle Ages. The most famous of them is the palace mosque of the Shirvanshahs complex.
Mosque of Muhammad Ali is one of the first built within the Baku Old City Walls (Icheri Sheher).
Azerbaijani cuisine restaurants
In Icheri Sheher, there are cozy restaurants and cafes at every step. Here, you can and should try Azerbaijani cuisine and wines. A striking example of Azerbaijani cuisine restaurants is "Qala Divari", known for its breakfast. "Qız Qalası Çay Bağı", where you can taste delicious spicy national tea. And the famous restaurant "Sehirli Tendir", where it serves the world-famous gutabs.
Azerbaijani cuisine restaurants serve several dozen types of pilafs, kebabs, dishes from vegetables, meat, poultry, and fish. Also, there are many types of local sweets-baklava, shekerbura, mutaki, Sheki halva, Baku kurabiye, and famous wines. Just from one enumeration arouses an appetite.
Well, you need to complete the walk, of course, by buying memento in carpet shops and souvenir. In them you can buy such souvenirs as: carpet, copper dishes, various pottery, national glasses "armudy".
Women will especially like textile products in carpet shops and souvenir. There are many fabrics and shawls with characteristic Azerbaijani drawings of "buta". But the main one is the national women’s silk headdress of kelagayi. Anyone can find their own kelagayi, both by color scheme and by ornamental compositions.
Also, men’s fur hats – papakha, as well as handmade jewelry, are a frequent purchase from carpet shops and souvenir.
This is the end of our walk through the streets and labyrinths of Icheri Sheher. After getting acquainted with all the sights – the perfect end of the day will be a rest in "The Merchant Baku"!
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