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Vsevolod Bolshakov
Vsevolod Bolshakov

OLD BAKU oyununu necə yükləyim? (Ən asan və sürətli yol)


Old Baku: A Guide to the Historic and Cultural Heart of Azerbaijan




Introduction




Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is a city of contrasts. On one hand, it boasts a dazzling skyline of modern skyscrapers, luxury hotels, and futuristic buildings. On the other hand, it preserves a rich heritage of ancient and medieval architecture, culture, and history in its Old City, or Icheri Sheher.


What is Old Baku?




Old Baku is the historical core of Baku, located on the western shore of the Caspian Sea and the southern side of the Absheron Peninsula. It is surrounded by 12th-century walls that enclose an oval-shaped area of about 21 hectares (52 acres). It is home to about 3,000 residents, as well as numerous monuments, museums, art galleries, restaurants, cafes, and shops.




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Why visit Old Baku?




Old Baku is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to experience the authentic charm and beauty of Azerbaijan. It is a place where you can admire the stunning architecture of the Maiden Tower and the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, learn about the history and culture of Azerbaijan at the National Museum of History or the Museum of Miniature Books, shop for carpets and souvenirs at Nizami Street or the caravanserais, enjoy a cup of tea or a meal at one of the cozy tea houses or restaurants, and much more. Old Baku is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000, recognized for its outstanding universal value.


History of Old Baku




Ancient and medieval times




The history of Old Baku dates back to at least the 12th century, when it was the capital of the Shirvanshahs, a dynasty that ruled over eastern Azerbaijan for 800 years. Some historians believe that Old Baku was founded as early as the 7th century by the Persians, who named it Bagavan, meaning "City of God". Others suggest that it was originally a Zoroastrian temple before becoming a fortress.


Old Baku witnessed many invasions and conquests throughout its history. In the 13th and 14th centuries, it was under the Mongol rule. In the 15th century, it became part of the Safavid Empire. In the 16th century, it was occupied by the Ottomans. In the 18th century, it was captured by Peter I (the Great) of Russia, but returned to Persia in 1735. In 1806, it was annexed by Russia again and remained under its control until 1918.


Modern era




The modern era of Old Baku began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when it experienced an oil boom that transformed its economy and society. Many new buildings were constructed in various styles, such as Baroque, Neo-Gothic, Neo-Renaissance, and Stalinist. The oil industry also attracted many foreigners to Old Baku, such as businessmen, engineers, workers, and diplomats.


In 1920, Old Baku became part of the Soviet Union as the capital of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. It witnessed many political and social changes during this period, such as industrialization, urbanization, education, and cultural development. It also suffered from repression, famine, war, and earthquake.


In 1991, Old Baku became part of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan. It celebrated its 1000th anniversary in 1998. It continues to be the political, economic, and cultural center of the country. It also faces many challenges, such as urban development, environmental protection, social integration, and cultural preservation.


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Attractions of Old Baku




UNESCO World Heritage Sites




Old Baku has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites that are the most iconic landmarks of the city: the Maiden Tower and the Palace of the Shirvanshahs. They are both located in the south-eastern part of Old Baku and are connected by a narrow street.


Maiden Tower




The Maiden Tower, or Qiz Qalasi, is a 12th-century tower that stands 29 meters (95 feet) high and has eight floors. It is one of the oldest and most mysterious structures in Old Baku. Its original purpose and date of construction are still unknown, but some theories suggest that it was a Zoroastrian temple, a defensive fortress, or a royal residence. It has a cylindrical shape and a conical roof, and is decorated with geometric patterns and inscriptions. It also has a spiral staircase that leads to the top, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of Old Baku and the Caspian Sea.


Palace of the Shirvanshahs




The Palace of the Shirvanshahs, or Shirvanshahlar Sarayi, is a 15th-century complex that was the residence and seat of power of the Shirvanshahs. It consists of several buildings, such as the main palace, the divankhana (audience hall), the mosque, the mausoleum, the bathhouse, and the gate. It is an example of Islamic architecture that combines Persian, Turkish, and Azerbaijani influences. It features elaborate domes, arches, columns, carvings, and tiles. It also houses a museum that displays artifacts and exhibits related to the history and culture of Old Baku.


Museums and galleries




Old Baku has many museums and galleries that showcase the art, history, and literature of Azerbaijan. Some of the most popular ones are:


National Museum of History of Azerbaijan




The National Museum of History of Azerbaijan, or Azərbaycan Tarix Muzeyi, is the largest museum in Azerbaijan. It is located in a 19th-century mansion that belonged to a wealthy oil baron named Zeynalabdin Taghiyev. It has more than 300,000 exhibits that span from ancient times to modern times. It covers topics such as archaeology, ethnography, numismatics, art, and culture. Some of the highlights include bronze age weapons, medieval manuscripts, carpets, jewelry, paintings, and costumes.


Museum of Miniature Books




The Museum of Miniature Books, or Miniatur Kitab Muzeyi, is a unique museum that displays more than 6,000 miniature books from different countries and languages. It is located in a 19th-century caravanserai that was converted into a library by its founder Zarifa Salahova. It has books that range from 2 millimeters (0.08 inches) to 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) in size. Some of the rarest books include a Quran from the 17th century, a Bible from the 19th century, and a book by Leo Tolstoy from the 20th century.


Shopping and dining




Old Baku is also a great place to shop and dine. You can find many traditional and modern products and services in its streets and markets. Some of the best places to visit are:


Nizami Street




Nizami Street, or Nizami Küçəsi, is the main shopping street of Old Baku. It is named after the famous Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi. It is a pedestrian street that stretches for about 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) and has many shops, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. You can find everything from local handicrafts, carpets, jewelry, and souvenirs to international brands, electronics, and cosmetics. It is also a lively place to enjoy the nightlife of Old Baku.


Caravanserais and tea houses




Caravanserais and tea houses are traditional places where travelers and merchants used to rest and trade in Old Baku. They are usually located near the city walls or the seafront. They have a courtyard surrounded by rooms and a gate that can be closed at night. They offer a cozy and authentic atmosphere to relax and enjoy a cup of tea or a meal. Some of the most famous ones are the Multani Caravanserai, the Bukhara Caravanserai, and the Chaykhana Tea House.


Conclusion




Old Baku is a fascinating place that offers a glimpse into the past and present of Azerbaijan. It is a place where you can explore the cultural and historical treasures of the country, as well as enjoy the modern amenities and entertainment options. Old Baku is a place that will captivate you with its charm and beauty.


How to plan your visit to Old Baku




If you want to visit Old Baku, here are some tips to help you plan your trip:



  • The best time to visit Old Baku is in spring or autumn, when the weather is mild and pleasant.



  • The easiest way to get to Old Baku is by metro. You can take the red line to Icheri Sheher station, which is right next to the city walls.



  • The entrance fee to Old Baku is 2 manats (about $1.2) per person. You can buy tickets at the gate or online.



The opening hours of Old Baku are from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm every day.</


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