By Laman Ismayilova
Icherisheher State Historical and Architectural Reserve has signed a protocol on friendship and cooperation with the Italy`s Matera Municipality.
As part of their visit to Azerbaijan, Chairman of the Italian Senate’s Standing Commission for External Affairs and Emigration Vito Petrocelli, Mayor of Matera Domenico Bennardi and Chairman of Matero City Council Antonio Materdomini viewed the historical monuments of the Old City (Icherisheher).
The sides expressed satisfaction with the development of cooperation between the two countries in the fields of culture and art, protection and management of cultural heritage, and discussed prospects for cooperation over the next five years.
The main purpose of signing the protocol was to expand friendly relations between the Old City and the city of Matera, to further strengthen economic, social and cultural ties, to identify areas of joint activity.
At the same time, the document covers joint activities in the fields of art, culture, tourism, science and history, organization of programs and projects, as well as mutual support for the exchange of experience and information, acceleration of cooperation in preservation, restoration and development of cultural heritage.
Speaking with journalists, director of Icherisheher Museum Center Amina Malikova noted that this year is marked as the Year of Nizami Ganjavi in Azerbaijan. So, it is no coincidence that the protocol was signed at the ancient Shirvanshahs' Palace.
"Nizami Ganjavi's poem "Leyli and Majnun" was written by the order of Shirvanshah I Akhsita, and several centuries later the world-famous Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" was written in the West. Therefore, we are confident that we will continue to cooperate in the field of museums, she said.
With its majestic buildings and ruins, Icherisheher hides a centuries-old history.
The city, built on a high hill in the form of an amphitheatre, is exposed to the sea in the lower part, and is surrounded by the Caucasus Mountains in the upper part. With its triple row of fortress walls, the Maiden Tower and other fortification facilities, Icherisheher appeared to be an impressive stronghold.
Large squares and wide streets gradually narrowed and shrank into a geometric design fascinating Baku residents and city's guests.
Numerous unique monuments, including the Shirvanshakh Palace complex, mosques and minarets, the ruins of caravanserais and bathhouses make this place one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.
Restoration and conservation works are currently carried out in the Icherisheher State Historical and Architectural Reserve with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
In general, there were several baths in Icherisheher. The baths of the Shirvanshahs Palace, Gasim bay, Haji Bani, Agha Mikail, Agha Zeynal and the underground bath are historical monuments that are protected by the state.
Not far from Gosha Gala there is also Baku Khans' Palace, dating back to the 17th-18th centuries. Until 1806, the rulers of the khanate used this complex as their residence.
Baku Khans' Palace includes residential buildings, a khan’s garden, an underground bathhouse, a medieval well, the ruins of a pottery workshop, an irrigation system, a khan’s mosque. Restoration and conservation, as well as improvement work here began in September 2018.
The Baggal Gallery, which holds exhibition-sale of souvenirs and traditional crafts, a book house as well as a cafe also operate here.
There is also a beautiful park, which will undoubtedly become one of the most favourite places for recreation for Baku residents and the city's guests.
After reconstructions, Baku Khans' Palace will function as a museum. Here, the wide audience will learn the history of ancient Baku city, revived by modern technologies. The museum's opening ceremony is scheduled for the end of the year.
The Old City Museum Center is a structural division of the Administration of the Icherisheher State Historical-Architectural Reserve.
The Centre is open to the public with the legendary Maiden Tower, the Shirvanshahs' Palace Complex, Gala State Historical-Ethnographic Reserve Museum, Siratagli (arched -shaped) and Beyler Mosque that unites the time and the people with the feeling of love to humanity.
The Museum Center aims at promotion of Azerbaijan's rich culture and history.
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