By Laman Ismayilova
With many breathtaking and incredible historical sites, Azerbaijan has much to offer to curios adventurers. There is an array of ancient monuments that are still waiting to be explored.
On the way from Baku to Shamakhi there is Maraza village known for its wonderful mausoleum-mosque.
Diri Baba is a two-storied mausoleum-mosque of the 15th century. The mausoleum stands in a square located on a glyptic cliff. The monument was built of white limestone in a cave hollowed out of a rock in 1402.
This information is written on a decorative writing tier separating the floors of the building from each other: 805th year of Hijra.
They say that the monument was built by Shirvanshah Sheikh Ibrahim I. The tomb "Diri Baba" refers to the Shirvan-Absheron architecture of the Middle Ages.
The dome of the monument has the same style of decorative work as the Shirvanshahs palace complex, which links it with the famous 15th-century monuments in Baku.
For centuries, legends about the monument have been widely discussed among people. The monument is considered a sacred place.
For a long time the local residents have kept the legend that Saint Diri-Baba had been buried at this place.
There is a hypothesis that the person named Diri Baba is Pir Muhammad, who died during the prayer. It is even claimed that his body has not undergone decomposition for more than 300 years.
Another legend says that a man named Atam Ibn Emir arrived in Shirvan with his retinue and died here. It was his grave that is in the Diri Baba mausoleum. This man was a follower of the Prophet Muhammad and the "secret" teachings of the Sufis.
With its ancient mysteries, this landmark attracts many curious visitors. The monument consists of two floors with a dome. The main part of the monument is the second floor with a wide square room.
A small corridor covered with an octagonal cupola, where guests take their shoes off, is followed by the hall. There is an entrance to half-dark stairs that lead to the second store of a burial vault.
The mausoleum is closely adjoined the cliff, on a massif of which is carved a grotto. This place is where the Saint was buried. A narrow entry in the northern wall leads to this place.
Diri Baba mausoleum is a masterpiece of the Shirvan architectural school and a majestic creation of arts of ancient masters.
In 1956, the monument was restored. By a decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of August 2, 2001, the Diri Baba monument is protected as an important historical and cultural monument of the country.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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