Icheri Sheher is a historical monument of architecture and the main attraction of Baku at Azerbaijan. Icheri Sheher, the old town, forms the central part of Baku. This town marked the beginning of Baku's history. In Azerbaijani, Icheri Sheher means "inner city."
Locally, it is famous as "Old Town" or "Fortress." Mosques, towers, churches, squares, and other significant buildings of the Shah's reign are the historical complex's main attractions.
The old city became an architectural and historical reserve of Azerbaijan in 1977. Later in 2000, UNESCO included it as a World Heritage Site.
Icheri Sheher is in the center of Baku on a hill in the Sabail district. A wall surrounds the territory of the old city. The town's fencing carries cultural significance, and the high wall of the ancient city is a significant architectural monument.
Historians attribute the emergence of the old city in the V century AD. As per historians, the old city emerged in the five-century AD. Excavations and exhibits confirm that Icheri Sheher dates back to the 6th- 1st centuries BC.
The settlement territory was part of a separate administrative unit in the Shirvan region during early medieval times. From the 7th to 10th centuries, there is little information about current Baku.
The Arab Caliphate collapsed in the XI century, and the Shirvanshah dynasty became the territory's rulers. Later in the 12th century, the capital was transferred from Shemakha to Baku. In this period, the old city of Icheri Sheher was founded.
After the Shirvanshahs shifted their home to Baku, they built a fortress wall and a building (Maiden Tower) in the center of the complex for defense.
Over time, Shirvan developed as an independent state from the 15th to the 16th century. They build bridges, tomb, caravanserai, and Shirvanshahs Palace.
Timings are subject to change. You will be automatically booked into a time slot as part of the check out process. Please visit the official website to confirm the time slot before your visit.
The Palace of the Shirvanshahs
Visit this historical landmark to explore the palatial mosque and Divankhana. In the Medieval period, it was the residence of Azerbaijan's ruling family and the seat of power. The museum in the primary building exhibits collection of artifacts, costumes, and textiles.
The Maiden Tower
This is Baku’s mystery-shrouded landmark that inspires many Azeri opera, ballet, and novels. Pre-Islamic Zoroastrians built it as a fire temple and the site for sky burials. A small museum here recounts the history of Baku. Climb staircases to reach the top and take in the Old City of Baku, the Caspian Sea, and the Bulvar.
This 11th-century mosque symbolizes Baku and Russian shell damaged the minaret in the Russo-Persian War. Its other name is Siniggala Mosque.
The excavated Bazaar Square is the most famous archaeological site within Baku Old City. You will marvel at the arcades on Bazaar Square.
The Old City walls
Old city walls are sandstone walls that encase Baku Old city. This attraction was known for safeguarding the city and residents from enemies.
Gosha Gala Gapisi
Gosha Gala Gapisi used to be the only entry point to Baku Old City. All traders and caravans had to pass through these wide arches. A shopping bazaar inside the gate is the place to buy souvenirs.
Baku’s Ancient Caravanserais
Old caravanserais or hans were the Silk Road's stone inns with sleeping rooms, storage rooms, and stables. Merchants used to halt here on their long journey from East to West. You can enjoy a meal at one of these caravanserais for a memorable Baku experience.
The Dervish Takyeh
Members of the Dervish sect used to perform their rituals behind the Takyeh’s closed doors. It is on Gazi Muhammed Street.
Back alleys in Icherisheher
Wander in the pitched streets, little shops, and parks. In the old city walls, around 3000 people dwell, and Icherisheher looks like a museum with sand-colored buildings, doorways, and windowsills. You may get to witness religious rituals like animal sacrifice, which forms the old city’s living history.
The story of Baku’s ghir pourers
You can visit to see quirky statues atop the roof on one of the Old City streets. Learn about Icherisheher’s ghir-pourers. Ghir is a black tar to make roofs weather-proof. Ghir-pourers used to converse with tenants and entertain children. Explore their lovely tale on placards available.
Shutterbugs can find photo spots all around to click pics in Flame Towers or any other historical or religious sites.
Shop for souvenirs
Azerbaijan souvenirs include flat-weave rugs, handwoven carpets, silver, tea sets, wooly Papakha hats, silver, antiques. For carpet workshops, you can take a trip to Quba.
Try Azeri pakhlava
Azeri Pakhlava is the national sweet of Azerbaijan. It comes in half-a-dozen varieties in different Azerbaijan regions, and you can buy it from any hole-in-the-wall sweet shop.
The Museum of Miniature Books
Here, you get to see the private collection of bibliophile Zarifa Salahova. These tomes have been written in English, German, Russian, and Azeri. A 17th-century copy of the Quran is the smallest book of all.
Vagif Mustafazadeh House Museum
This most popular house museum has photographs, personal possessions, and records on display. Vagif Mustafazadeh was a jazz pianist and composer.