The Old City (Icherisheher)

New symbols of the capital of Azerbaijan are the Center of Heydar Aliyev and "Flame Towers", whereas the old ones are Icherisheher and Maiden's Tower (Qız Qalası). There are many mysteries and leggends about this. Neither its exact foundation date nor its original predestination are clear. According one of the versions, this tower was build in the preislamic period and was used as a temple of zoroastrians-fire bishopers. Really there was burning fire here 100 years ago, and the tower used to be used as a lighthouse.

There is a leggend referred to th Maiden's Tower - a young beautiful girl jumped into the sea from the tower as she didn't desire get married the man she didn't love. Nowadays the sea is not so close to the tower anymore, it's far from this by hundreds metres. By the way in some steps of the Maiden's Tower in the ancient buikding of Kichik Karavan-saray there's a wonderfull restaurant where there is cooked tasty national cuisine: local wines, green, mngal-salad, qutabs, kebabs and sweet pakhlava with tea. 

The Maiden's Tower "is on guard" of Icherisheher - the Old City, labirint of narrow streets of which is still hidden behind fortress walls like 500 years ago when Shirvanshahs transfered their capital from Shamakhi to Baku.Rulers of the state of Shirvan left a palace with a mosque, burial vault, mausoleum and bath. It has been robbed, destroyed many times during the centuries, so its interior decoration is not saved. But the rich stone thread that decorates the facade feeds immagination. 

Icherisheher is not only the museum territory but also a residental quarter. If you walk here without an "escort" it is easy to be lost. That's very difficult to understand how local people orientate here. Anyway walking by its lanes and dead ends, passing by ancient mosques, baths and karavan-sarays, you will finalle get the museum of a great artist - Tahir Salahov, and the book miniature museum, and also to the home number 8, where one of the famous sovietic films was shot.

Number of days: 1
Covered regions:
Absheron-Baku
Ganja-Qazakh
Shaki-Zaqatala
Lankaran
Quba-Khachmaz
Arana
Yukhari-Karabakh
Kalbajar-Lachin
Daglig-Shirvan
Nakhchivan
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