Baku Old Town – Azerbaijan

 The Old Town, Baku

The Old Town, with the Flame Towers in the background

The Old Town, with the Flame Towers in the background

After walking around and admiring all the very futuristic architecture of Baku, you soon stumble across the Old Town, the old historical core of the city.

The Old Town Baku, or to give it it’s proper Azeri name, Icheri Sheher, is the oldest historical centre of Baku dating from the 12th Century.  It’s surrounded by a turreted wall that’s been beautifully restored, and the tiny inner roads are car free, so it’s really nice to wander round the winding streets without being bothered by cars.

In December 2000, the Old City of Baku, including the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and Maiden Tower, became the first location in Azerbaijan to be classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Wandering the streets of the Old Town

Wandering the streets of the Old Town

The Flame Towers are always visible from the Old Town

The Flame Towers are always visible from the Old Town

Inside the City Walls you will still find authentic businesses as they were originally run, such as this old Hamman (bath-house)….

An Old Authentic Hammam

An Old Authentic Hammam

and this butcher’s shop outside…..notice the carcass at the feet of the old woman…!

Butcher with leg hanging and carcass in the background!

Butcher with leg hanging and carcass in the background on the floor….!

and there’s the Azerbaijani Arm Wrestling Federation HQ…..

Azerbaijani Arm Wrestling HQ

Azerbaijani Arm Wrestling HQ

And there’s always the obligatory carpet and light shop……

Light and Carpet Shop

Light and Carpet Shop

Shirvanshah's Palace

The Old Town

The two main historical sites in the Old Town are The Maiden’s Tower and the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, and you’ll come across these as you wander round.

Signposts in the Old Town

Signposts in the Old Town

The Maiden’s Tower

The Maiden’s Tower, also known as Giz Galasi, was built in the 12th century as part of the walled city. There is a museum inside the Tower which costs 2 Manats which is around £1.20.  You can go up the spiral staircase to the top to have an amazing 360 view of the whole of Baku.

The Maiden's Tower

The Maiden’s Tower

View of the Old Town and Flame Towers from the Maidens Tower

View of the Old Town and Flame Towers from the Maiden’s Tower

The Palace of the Shirvanshah’s

The Palace of the Shirvanshahs is situated in the Inner City of Baku and contains the main building of the Shah’s palace, Divanhane, the burial-vaults, the Shah’s mosque with a minaret, Seyid Yahya Bakuvi’s mausoleum, Murad’s gate, and the remnants of the bath-house.  It costs 2 Manats to enter the Palace which is around £1.20.  There’s a lovely illuminated model of the Old Town inside the Palace which shows in detail the little roads and main buildings of the Old Town.

Sirvanshah's Palace with Minaret

Sirvanshah’s Palace with Minaret

An illuminated Model of the Old Town

An illuminated Model of the Old Town

Here’s a link to Part 1 of my visit to Baku – Baku to the Future!

TIPS FOR VISITING THE OLD TOWN:

To get to the Old Town by Metro, take the red line and get off at Icheri Sheher metro station.

Author: Debbie

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