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Open-air museum to appear in Icherisheher

30 April 2019 16:58 (UTC+04:00)
Open-air museum to appear in Icherisheher

By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade

Icherisheher is a unique town within the city of Baku with its own infrastructure and residential areas. The fortress is located in the center of Baku along the coast of the Caspian Sea.

A new open-air museum will be opened in the Icherisheher State Historical-Architectural Reserve at the end of 2019 - a historical bath belonging to the period of the Shirvanshah dynasty, Sputnik Azerbaijan informed.

The medieval underground bath is located to the left of the Shamakhi Gate, right next to the Fortress walls, in close vicinity to the complex of the Baku Khans' houses. The monument was discovered in 2016 by the Azerbaijani archaeologist Idris Aliyev.

The fact that there is an ancient bath on the territory of the reserve has been talked about for a long time, but archaeologists were unable to find it.

Idris Aliyev said that in addition to the bath, valuable artifacts dating back to the 18th century and earlier period were found, such as Shamakhi and Shirvan coins, many lamps that were used to illuminate the bath, as well as the remains of tools.

It is believed that the bath was built in the late 14th - early 15th centuries in the period of the Shirvanshah dynasty. With the accession of the Baku Khanate by the Russian Empire in 1806, the domes of the baths were dismantled, all underground premises were covered with earth, and a Russian military garrison was established in its place.

The Austrian company Atelier Erich Pummer, with which the Icherisheher Reserve management has been cooperating since 2010, is now engaged in the restoration of the bath. The company manager Chingiz Neymanzade emphasized that the primary goal of this cooperation is to bring the object to its original appearance without harming it in any way.

Experts try to do everything possible not to cause the slightest harm to the monument.

“The management of the reserve is always very responsible about the restoration of monuments. We try to do our best to do the restoration work perfect. All work here is done manually, without the use of any electric tools," Neymanzade said.

He added that the restoration of the bath began in May 2018.

"It was all covered with sand. In those times, the baths were built underground to maintain a constant temperature regime. Its area is approximately 300 square meters,” Neymanzade said.

During the restoration, the rooms where people had a rest, talked and drinked tea, bathed as well as the boiler room with the remains of a ceramic plumbing system were restored. Experts have done everything possible to preserve even the pieces of the old plaster.

If everything goes according to plan and the weather conditions favor, the restoration of the monument will be completed in December 2019.

Construction of the Palace of the Shirvanshahs in Icherisheher in the 13th-16th centuries was associated with the transfer of the Shirvanshahs State's capital from Shamakhi to Baku, famous for its harbor. The Palace forms a complex, consisting of the residential building of the Shirvanshahs, the second residential building (for servants), divankhana, tomb, palace mosque built in 1441, the remains of the Key Gubad mosque, Murad gates, hamam (bath) and mausoleum of the famous scientist Seyid Yahya Bakuvi.

The palace complex was declared a museum in 1964 and was taken under state protection. A unique architectural and cultural monument, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000 along with Icherisheher and the Maiden Tower. The pearl of Azerbaijan's architecture and culture, Icherisheher received UNESCO's enhanced protection status in 2013.

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Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1

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