Maiden Tower

Price Range

0.6 - 8.00

Reviews

4.5

Overview

The Maiden Tower is a 12th-century structure and a symbol of Baku’s old walled city. In Azerbaijani, it is called Giza Galasy. It is one of the monuments under the UNESCO World Heritage List 2001 of historical monuments as cultural property, Category III.

The tall cylindrical Maiden Tower is an eight-storied structure, which is 29.5 meters high with a diameter of 16.5 meters. Its walls are 5 meters thick at the base. It can accommodate as many as 200 people inside.

It has always been a center of legends and mystery because its function or historical context is unknown to date. Various legends shroud mystery around Maiden Tower and recount that the king incarcerated young women, maidens, or virgin girls for coercing them into marriage. Ironically, it was christened at a later date to reflect Baku's resilience. 

This UNESCO-listed iconic building has been a source of artistic inspiration for many ballets, plays, and poems. It features on Azeri currency notes and official letterheads as Azerbaijan’s most distinctive national emblems.

 

History

Purpose

The idea prevails that it was built for defense because it is perched on a rocky outcrop on the corner of the former walled city near the Caspian Sea's shores. Its location suits to be a watchtower, but its design has limitations for stout defense.

It was initially a temple and later developed into a defense tower. It served as a beacon to warn approaching ships during the Russian Empire. In 1964, a museum came into existence to portray Baku’s historical story.

When was it built

Scholars are not unanimous about an accurate estimation of its age and millennium. The earliest to most recent guess differ by 2000 years.

Some historians suggest that it is 2500 years old and dates back to the 7th and 8th centuries BC. Others opine that it was somewhere in the 4th and 6the centuries CE.

Most scholars agree some parts were built around the 12th century.

Some experts believe that it was completed in the 12th century with the ancient walled city. The foundation's stones show distinct appearances, and the initial three stories imply the original structure could date back to 600 BC.

Its structure predates the advent of Islam. It might have begun as a Zoroastrian temple. The early Zoroastrians worshipped the four elements of water, air, fire, and earth in today’s Iran and Azerbaijan. Ateshgah (Fire Temple) around Baku is testimony to the ancient fire rituals and religious practices. 

It might have been used as an astronomical observatory. Lunar cycle correlation with the stone protrusions at the lower and upper levels strengthens this speculation.

In all probability, Maiden Tower was believed to have been built at two different periods.

Legend

Local folklore and famous legends make it more enigmatic. The tale goes that princes jumped off the tower and committed suicide to escape from marriage. Famous ballet, fairytales, poems, and plays express myriad variations of this story.

 

Architecture

It is an epitome of early pre-Islamic Zoroastrian architecture.

Sophisticated design on solid rock with a wooden foundation ensured durability in the event of an earthquake. An intricate plumbing system on the second floor facilitated the collection and storage of rainwater. These were the architectural wonders designed in different eras.

The Maiden Tower narrows moving upward. Its longevity is attributed to deep foundations, the thickness of the walls, and the truncated cone shape.

You will witness old plates, spoons, jugs, and other utensils on the tower's first floor, which has lost their original appearance after excavations. The second floor depicts the three goals of constructing the Maiden's Tower – scientific, religious, and defensive.

You will see a replica of the Maiden's Tower on the third floor in the middle of a well and a hall. Clay ware at the bottom corroborates the well was used for drinking water. The fourth floor impresses with its modern equipment like a large electronic map of the Old City with towering mock-ups of sights.

On the fourth floor, you will see a large electronic map of the Old City. The fifth-floor exhibits e-books. Weapons and daggers are there on the sixth floor. The story of true love ends at the top of the Maiden's Tower.

 

Timings

  • Sunday : 10:00 am to 06:00 pm
  • Monday : 10:00 am to 06:00 pm
  • Tuesday : 10:00 am to 06:00 pm
  • Wednesday : 10:00 am to 06:00 pm
  • Thursday : 10:00 am to 06:00 pm
  • Friday : 10:00 am to 06:00 pm
  • Saturday : 10:00 am to 06:00 pm

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.

 

How to Reach

  • Metro : Get off at the nearest metro station Icharishahar and walk 15 minutes to reach the tower. Take a right after entering the Old City Walls.
  • Taxi/Cab : Hire a cab to reach Maiden Tower from anywhere in Baku.

 

Ticket Pricing

  • Foreigners : 8 AZN (345.52 INR)
  • Citizens of Azerbaijan : 2 AZN (86.38 INR)...
  • Students (foreign student cards are also applicable) : 0.60 AZN (25.91 INR) ...

Address

Maiden Tower, Baku, Azerbaijan

Rating & Reviews

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Based on 2126 reviews
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Wajdi Shahab
Wajdi Shahab
09/18/2020 09:35
Bangkok
Lamiə Xudiyeva
Lamiə Xudiyeva
09/02/2020 01:52
There are so many legends about it. Ancient and magnificent monument. You can see the best view on the top of it ❤️
Julia Boechat
Julia Boechat
06/22/2020 17:17
Definitely one of the unmissable places with Baku, with a mysterious history and great views to the city.
wayel alwayel
wayel alwayel
08/10/2020 14:48
You need to stop by and take some photos around this area. The historical places are amazing
Amir Ghadimi
Amir Ghadimi
03/31/2020 21:50
Be sure to visit the castle and ask for guides there on the love story of this castle.

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FAQs

Maiden Tower remains open from 09:00 am - 6:00 pm on all seven days.
It is not a must, but it is convenient to book in advance to reserve your spot....
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Azerbaijan is a relatively safe place to stay and get around. At Baku, people wander around the street, city center, and surrounding areas even at night. This sense of safeness stems from the police presence everywhere. However, like any other place in the world, you should not let your guard down in crowded public places, historical monuments, and streets. ...
Azerbaijani cuisine has myriad and rich traditional recipes. You can savor Shashlik and Kebabs, including fish(baliq) kebabs, duck, chicken, beef, and lamb. ...
Natural resources and agriculture make the foundation of the Azerbaijani economy. Azerbaijan is rich in nonferrous metals, bauxite, iron, petroleum, and natural gas. Cotton, citrus fruits, vegetables, tobacco, grapes are the primary agricultural produces. ...
Shah Ismail Khatai integrated all Azerbaijani territories under his empire and founded the Safavid dynasty. He made Tabriz its capital. His period was from 1501 to 1524. That is why Shah Ismail Khatai is regarded as the founder of Azerbaijan....
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