By Laman Ismayilova
Supported by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, world-famous Austrian restoration architect Erich Pammer has started work on the 3D scanning project of the Gulustan Fortress built during the period of the Shirvanshahs state in Azerbaijan's Shamakhi region.
A comprehensive survey of the ruins of the historical monument on surface and underground is being carried out using special technical and laser devices.
This process will make it possible to make a real model of the Gulustan Fortress based on a 3D graphic model which in turn will help to determine the forthcoming restoration works of the ancient monument.
Over 400 monuments have been restored with participation of Erich Pammer in various parts of the world. Restoration and conservation work was carried out in such historical sites as the Maiden Tower, the Palace of Shirvanshahs, the Beylar historical mosque, Mohammad mosque in Icherisheher and other architectural monuments.
The architect stressed that the first step is laser scanning. In addition, hundreds of photographs are taken both outside and inside the Gulustan Fortress. Drones are also used when taking photographs.
"Further, the results of these three steps will be studied, and then we can already decide on the restoration model of the fortress. Research materials will be taken to Austria. After two months of research, we will present the final result," he said.
Gulustan Fortress is one of the greatest architectural monuments of Azerbaijan. The fortress walls were built in the style of the Shirvan-Absheron school of architecture from ashlar, fastened with a mixture of lime and ash.
Built in the 8th-9th centuries at the top of a 200-meter high rocky mountain in the north-west of Shamakhi, this powerful fortress for nine centuries served as one of the main strongholds of the state of Shirvanshahs.
It got its name from the picturesque area in which it was located ("Gulustan" means "flower garden"). For its inaccessibility, the fortress of Gulustan was popularly known as the Maiden Fortress.
During the foreign invasions, the inhabitants of Shamakhi for centuries found protection within the walls of the fortress.
The territory of the Gulustan Fortress was surrounded by powerful walls with numerous round and quadrangular towers. A winding road led from the lower part of the fortress to the citadel at the top of the mountain, girded with a solid ring of fortified walls.
The fortress existed until the end of the 16th century. Its structure was badly damaged not only by wars, but also by numerous earthquakes. However, two towers of the fortress and part of the fortress walls have survived until our days.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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