By Lamana Ismayilova
With its countless historical sites, the City of Winds continues to attract thousands of tourists from all around the world.
The number of visitors to Icherisheher is growing every day, the reserve creates excellent opportunities for exploring the national cultural heritage and history of Azerbaijani people.
Over 250,000 tourists visited the Maiden Tower and the Palace of Shirvanshahs last year, Azertag reported.
These two ancient monuments are the most visited sights in Baku.
Moreover, the Icherisheher State Historical and Architectural Reserve prepared a special surprise for Baku residents and city's guests.
The 100,000th visitor of Shirvanshahs' Palace during the past year got memorable gifts and a special certificate. This year it is planned to apply this tradition also to visitors of the Maiden Tower.
With its majestic buildings and ruins, Icherisheher hides a centuries-old history.
The mysterious Maiden Tower is rising in the south-eastern part of the fortress of Icherisheher.
It is a beautiful place to visit during the day and is gorgeous when lit up at night. An utter gem is well worth being high on your list of priorities if you're planning to visit Baku.
Some suggest that it was constructed between the 4th and 6th centuries AD, others have speculated it was built sometime between the 11th and 12th centuries.
The Tower has a secret underground passage which is thought to have run from the tower to the Shirvanshahs’ Palace, which was the last residence of the rulers of the Shirvan State, the most powerful state of Azerbaijan's history. An underground passage was discovered in the Walled City during archaeological excavations in 1982.
The symbol of Baku was included into the list of World Cultural Heratage of UNESCO in December of 2000.
The Shirvanshah’s Palace, also located within the medieval area, is the most prominent example of Azerbaijan architecture from the Shirvanshah dynasty.
Construction of the Palace of Shirvanshahs, which was held in the period of 13th-16th centuries, has been associated with the transfer of Shirvanshahs' capital from Shamakhi to Baku, famous for its harbor. The Palace forms a complex, consisting of the residential building of Shirvanshahs, the second residential building (for servants), Divankhana, tomb, palace mosque built in 1441, the remains of the destroyed Key Gubad mosque, Murad's gates, hamam (bath) and mausoleum of famous scientist Seyid Yahya Bakuvi.
The palace complex was declared a museum in 1964 and taken under state protection.
A unique architectural and cultural ensemble along with the Old City and the Maiden Tower, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000. The pearl of Azerbaijan's architecture and culture, Icherisheher, including the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and Maiden Tower, was awarded UNESCO's status of enhanced protection in 2013.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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