By Amina Nazarli
The beauty of the historical part of Baku – Icherisheher – has not left British portal Vouchercloud indifferent, which named the sight as the most popular attraction of Azerbaijan among the tourists from all over the world.
Baku is a city that lives with the bustling city life, but still managing to preserve its oriental fairy tale despite the modern charms of civilization.
Its heart, Icherisheher , including the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and Maiden Tower, was the first location in Azerbaijan classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in December 2000.
Icherisheher is the pearl of the national cultural heritage and a source of pride for every Azerbaijani. This unique historic ensemble contains hundreds of historical monuments, four of which are of world importance. Strolling along the souvenir shops, sellers will spread colorful carpets in front of you, allowing try on national hats.
Only here, inside the ancient walls of the Old City you can feel the touch of history, admire the ancient architecture and listen to local legends ... But once you raise your head everything changes: the city of the future is rising outside the old town with huge futuristic glass and concrete buildings of bizarre shapes and designs.
It’s easy to spend a whole day exploring this medieval walled village, walking through the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, a sandstone palace complex that was the home of northeastern Azerbaijan’s ruling dynasty, and the tapering Maiden’s Tower, which is
Baku’s foremost architectural icon of millennia old.
The symbol of Baku -- the Maiden Tower is also located there. When it comes to determining the date of the Tower, some suggest that it was constructed in between the 4th and 6th centuries AD others have speculated it was built somewhere in between the 11th and 12th centuries. The Tower rises to a height of 29.5 meters and has a diameter of 16.5 meters.
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.
Overall, Icherisheher accommodates the most ancient buildings of the city, preserving some of the oldest structures in the Middle East region, relating to the VII-VI centuries BC.