Chirag Gala - blazing fortress
By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Chirag gala, a legendary fortress, is located on the top of a mountain, in the Guba Forest. It is a ruined ancient fortress overlooking the Caspian coastal plains north of Baku in Azerbaijan.
This "Lamp castle" was constructed by the Sassanid Persians in the 5th century. During the same century, Atilla the Hun, made several raids to Sassanids and passed through the Caucasus. The Sassanids built long defense wall called Gilgilchay wall to protect the region safe from the raids of Huns and other northern tribes. Built in an altitude of 1230 meters, Chirag Gala was one of the defence structures within this wall.
More than 1,500 years ago, this tower was used as a signal point. The fortress was part of the system of the Caspian watch-observation structures. One of the main advantages of Chirag gala is the terrain.
The fortress was used as a defense shield for Guba khanate in the 18th century. In the middle of the 20th century, the fortress was partially renovated.
Chirag Gala was built of roughly treated river stones. The thickness of the defensive wall is two meters. There is a cliff behind the fortress.
Today, the Chirag Gala is a historic site, which is frequently visited by tourists. Because of the large rocks and rough road, the fortress is almost impossible to reach by road. Many tourists visiting Chirag Gala do it by foot from the village of Dashlig Yanar near Siyazan city of Azerbaijan. It is about 6 km. hike to the castle through the rocky trails.
What the most interesting fact is that the fortress was built over a seam of oil and gas which allowed for lighting up signal fires visible to the distance of several dozens of kilometers.
When the enemy approached, a fire was lit on it. The fire was visible for hundreds of kilometers. Another point was in Derbent. If there was a fire there during the invasion of the invaders, they did the same in the Chirag Gala fortress. The flames were visible in Baku, so that all the northern borders were under control.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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