By Laman Ismayilova
The Shaki Khans’ Palace and the historical part of Azerbaijan’s Shaki city may be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The World Heritage Committee will consider the nominations of cultural sites at its 41st session scheduled for July 2-12 in Krakow, Poland, Azertac reported.
Sheki, being one of the most ancient cities of Azerbaijan, is called the architectural reserve of the country. Circle shrine, Gelersen-Gorersen fortress (picture), Shaki Juma, Omar Efendi mosques, Narin Gala and other buildings are the most favorite places for visitors to tour in the area.
Ashagi and Yukari caravanserais built in the 18th century is an exotic venue for tourists. It is easy to escape summer heat and city noise.
Modern Sheki was actually rebuilt in 1772 after the city was destroyed by mud streams - River Kish.
Sheki is also home to a number of ancient arts. Tinners, potters, hatters and musical instrument makers are working there. Shebeke ornament is one of the ancient arts in Sheki, what made Sheki famous around the world.
The palace of Shaki Khans remains one of the most precious pearls of this unique city. The maples in the palace's yard are even older than buildings there.
The Palace was built in 1797 by Muhammed Hasan Khan. The unique beauty of the Palace amazes with its magnificent interior and exterior.
Measuring thirty-two meters by eight and a half meters on the exterior, the unique beauty two-storied building elongated on the north-south axis and covered with a wooden hipped roof with long eaves.
The basic material for the Palace construction was raw bricks, river stones, plane trees and oaks. The most amazing is that not a single nail or glue drop was used for the construction! Everything is in place due to a special solution the formula of which was lost forever.
There are only 6 rooms, 4 corridors and 2 mirrored balconies in the Palace. All the windows and doors of the palace were skillfully assembled from pieces of wood and colored Venetian glass. So the light getting inside the palace plays with all colors of a rainbow.
The interior walls of the residence are covered entirely with frescoes painted at different times during the eighteenth century.
Many of the them feature flowers in vases, while a series of paintings on the first floor halls depict hunting and battle scenes. Signatures on frescoes list the names of artists Ali Kuli, Kurban Kuli and Mirza Jafar from Shemaha, Usta Gambar from Shusha, and Abbas Kuli, who may also have been the architect of the summer residence.
The rooms of the first floor were intended for ordinary visitors - they show the riches and power of khans. On the walls and ceilings there are trees, flowers, animals and birds - the symbols of fertility and noble origin.
The second floor is divided into two parts - female and male. The female half is painted with flowers and oriental ornaments.
The male part was intended for visitors reception. It is the richest room of the palace. The miniatures on the walls show the military power of the khanate, its attitude to friends and enemies. The room's ceiling is painted with images of the khan's coat of arms and various symbols.
The Shaki Khans' Palace has been repeatedly restored and today it is open for tourists in all its majesty and beauty.
The gems of Azerbaijani culture, including the Icherisheher (Old City), Maiden Tower and Shirvanshah's palace was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000, while since 2007 the Gobustan National Historical-Artistic reserve also listed among these heritages.
UNESCO’s Heritage list also includes the Novruz holiday, Azerbaijani mugham, national ashig art, the national carpet, traditional Kalagayi headwear and national musical instrument “tar.”
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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