Azerbaijan is situated in one of the most ancient regions of the world and with Breeze travel you can experience the history of Azerbaijan by joining our tours to the directions below which are the most historical places of Land of Fire.
Baku and Absheron
Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape
Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape covers three areas of a plateau of rocky boulders rising out of the semi-desert of central Azerbaijan. An outstanding collection of more than 6,000 rock engravings bearing testimony to 40,000 years of rock art. The site also features the remains of inhabited caves, settlements and burials. All reflecting an intensive human use by the inhabitants of the area during the wet period that followed the last Ice Age, from the Upper Paleolithic to the Middle Ages. The site, which covers an area of 537 ha, part of the larger protected Gobustan Reservation.
Long time ago the sea waves licked these mountains. Then abandoned them leaving characteristic relief traces on the polished rocks.
Archeologist found in the 30s of the 20th century more than 6 thousand of these unusual drawings (on 1,000 rocks) . Along with them ancient primitive dwellings – caves and sites – and more than 100 thousand objects of material culture .
Except for the ancient drawings a remarkable Latin inscription found at the foot of Mount Beyuk-dash in Gobustan. It dated 1st century AD and testifies about the Roman armies stay near Baku .
Qala Fortress related to the 10-14th centuries includes a tower and a stronghold. Used for
surveillance and defense, the tower related to the 10-14th century is 13.8 meters tall. Golden coins, remnants of a golden bracelet and ceramic samples related to the 10-16th centuries are displayed in a stronghold related to the 16-17th centuries.
This accomplished project contributes to turning our country to one of the tourist places, in addition to preserving Azerbaijan’s historical past.
In the XI-XIII centuries in connection with the consolidation of the Shirvanshahs in the territory of the Apsheron a great construction work carried out. Among the buildings of that time the towers and castles hold a special place. They served as reliable strongholds for the feudal lords in the intestine wars. Also as shelters and places of defense during the foreign invasions. Particularly this question keenly raised in the XII century, In this century Absheron exposed to the attacks of the Russian buccaneers from the sea. Thus, in 1175 Shirvanshah Akhistan I repulsed several raids of the Russian army, who attacked on 73 vessels.
In ancient times, Baku was one of the most densely populated cities not only in the Southern Caucasus but also in the Middle East. The favorable climate, natural and geographical conditions, abundance of natural resources, and its location along world trade routes facilitated the economic development of Baku. The mild climate, fertile soil, and rich water resources were basic factors for the economic development that started from the beginning of the century. In the beginning of the Greco-Roman era, geographer Claudius Ptolemy (70-147AD) mentioned Baku as Baruka or Gaytara among 28 towns in the territory of Albania in his work “Geography.” The recognition of Baku as a “sacred” land of fire has played a significant role in its history. Christianity, idolatry and fire worship spread here before the Arabian conquest and their shrines existed in various parts of Azerbaijan. Ancient Baku was also one of the main holy places of fire-worship. Sources also contain information that Baku was invaded in 624 AD by Byzantine Emperor Iracly (610- 641 AD) and that many sacred monuments were destroyed during the invasion. Icherisheher is an entity with its own fate.
Shirvanshah`s Palace Complex is a jewel in the crown of Azerbaijani architecture. Palace erected there in the 15 th century (when Shirvan residence moved from Shemakha to Baku ).
The complex comprises the two-storey palace building, the tomb, the mosque, the divankhane, the Mausoleum of Seiid Yakhya Bakuvi, the bath house, the East Portal and Murad’s Gate .
When looking at the Palace from far offshore you will clearly notice that it descends stepwise from Baku Hill top. The Palace Complex’s three main structures occupy three levels. The well-shaped buildings crowned by domes, decorated by unique drawings made in fine and deep carvings. The magnificent masonry – all these together delight the eyes of those who come there in order to admire the Middle Age craftsmen’s work.
The Maiden Tower
The most majestic ,mysterious and beautiful monument of Baku is Gyz Galasy – the Maiden Tower rising in the south-eastern part of the fortress of Ichari Shahar. This building of the Azerbaijani architecture does not have any analogues in the East. There are numerous debates on the date of construction and purpose of this monument, at present it attracts the attention, most of all for its unparalleled form.
There are numerous thoughts about functional purpose and date of construction of the Maiden Tower. This tower called a temple of fire worshippers, defensive tower, observatory, Zoroastrian hut and so on.
The Temple of Fire – Ateshgah – is an authentic Azerbaijani exotic. It is well-known practically all over the world. It is located 30 km from the center of Baku in the suburb of Surakhany. This territory is such unique natural phenomenon as burning natural gas outlets (underground gas coming onto surface contacts oxygen and lights up). The temple in its present state constructed in the 17th-18th centuries. Temple built by the Baku-based Hindu community related to Sikhs.
After the introduction of Islam, Zoroastrian temple destroyed. Many Zoroastrians left to India and continued their worship there. But in the 15th -17th centuries the Hindu-fire worshippers who came to Absheron with trading caravans began to make pilgrimages to Surakhany. The Indian merchants started erection of the temple. The earliest temple part dates to 1713. The latest – the central temple-altar built with the support of merchant Kanchangar in 1810. During the 18th century chapels, cells, a caravanserai added to the central part of the temple. One can find carved inscriptions in Indian lettering there.
There are many historical monuments here. There are Juma Mosque and its madrasah, Sheikh Ibrahim Mausoleum, Gizil Hajily, Ozan, Bala Bagbanly, Sherefkhanly and Shahseven Mosques, Great Bridge and Small Bridge built on the Ganjachay (XII century), caravanserai and complex of buildings, Imamzade with blue cupola of glazed brick, very beautiful ancient City bathhouses (bathhouses are available now) here. Guests are recommended to visit Nizami Ganjavi Mausoleum located in the entry of city. The city’s history museum and the academy museum tell about the path of historical development of the Ganja. This area has a rich natural, cultural and historical heritage. Ganja presents a lot of ancient architectural monuments that have reached us from the depth of the history. Many historical monuments have been perished irrevocably. But those which were at least partially saved are of great historical and scientific value. City of the ancient culture Gandja has preserved the beautiful face of the city with many monuments of architecture. Attractions ensemble Sheikh Bahaaddina ~. 1. Xataikii ~ The main thing historic ensemble of Ganja (Juma -mechet (Shah Abbas mosque), madrassas and Chёkyak-hammam), designed by a well-known in the East scholar and architect Sheikh Bahaaddina, during the reign of Shah Abbas. Previously, in the place where now is the ensemble was the market square.
There are many ancient historical monuments: mosque of Albanians, Ganja Gates (X-XI c.), Palace “Dar-us-Soltan” (XII c.), towers, medrese, bath-house, Caravansaray, Imam-zade Complex (XVI c.), Djuma Mosque (1606).
Shaki has always played a significant role in in the art and architecture of Azerbaijan. Numerous historical monuments of medieval architecture that have reached us from the depth of the history remained in the vicinity of Sheki. They include fortresses, watch towers, churches and ruins of monasteries dated to the period of Caucasian Albania. The church in the village of Kish derived to (2nd-4th centuries) built by St. Elias and considered one of the earliest Christian constructions on the Caucasus region. Presently, the church is being reсonstructured and reorganized into a museum. In the town, you’ll see old brick houses, shaded streets, weeping willow trees and canals carrying spring water. The majestic Palace of Sheki Khans, located in the city fortress, takes a special place with its magnificent wall paintings and colorful windows’ mosaic. The Palace of Sheki Khans is a rare example of combination of folk architecture (wood engraving) with the traditions of Oriental palace architecture (varnished and wall paintings). With their magnitude, the Ashaghi and Yukhary caravanserai (18th century) evidence the advancement of trade in the Middle Ages. Near Sheki, on the west bank of the Kish River remained ruins of the ancient fortress “Gelersen-Gorersen” (come and you will see); the name suggests that the defenders of the fortress were confident in its unassailability and in their determination not to let the enemies pass. In 1805 Sheki Khanate became a part of Russia and ceased its existence as a khanate. In 1819 Sheki was ruled by a Tsarist commandant and by the Tsar’s decree the province of Nuha was established in the region.
Qabala is one of the most ancient cities of Azerbaijan. One of the first mentioned written sources about Kabala dated to the 1 century of the 1st century Greek and Roman (Pliny). Archaeological findings suggest that the city has an ancient history and were inhabited already in times the Late Stone Age.However, the information in ancient sources and archaeological found around the city allow scientists to roughly determine the date of foundation of Kabala around 2000 years old. Throughout its history, Kabala sways between foreign domination and independence. The city was repeatedly attacked, destroyed to the ground and robbed. In this regard, most of the surviving monuments of architecture dates back to the XVI-XIX BB. From the IV century BC The V century BC Cabal was relatively as important political, economic and commercial center. In the 60s BC Roman legion attacked the city, but could not capture it. Azerbaijani city of Gabala, over 600 years it was the center of Caucasian Albania, and then it became part of the state of Shirvanshahs and Sheki khanate, in successive order. In the XVIII century on the territory of Gabala there was little feudal education – Qutqashen Sultanate, which soon became a member of Sheki khanate and managed Naib appointed Sheki Khans.
In the middle of the XIII century as a result of continuous Mongolian invasions the city lost its former importance and the inhabitants gradually abandoned him. The district has a lot of monuments that have survived from ancient times. Mound Kabalaka, capital of the state of Caucasian Albania, is 20 km to the north- east of the city of Gabala. There are only fragments of the majestic fortifications of the ancient city, which is mentioned by Strabo, Pliny and Ptolemy, one of the oldest cities in the country, it is already mentioned in the context at the end of V century B.C T (that is almost 900 years old) was the capital of Azerbaijan – the Caucasian Albania.
The first quarter of Lahij Aragird was founded in III-IV centuries. Curiously, the city has a water supply system and sewage system, which is almost one and a half thousand years.Each quarter is divided into streets, dead-ends, each with its own spring, a mill, a bath, a mosque and a madrasa. Lahij village founded in the IV century and is a historical and architectural reserve, included in the international tourist route “Great Silk Road”. In the historical sources of different periods, it is referred to as “Al-Abkhazia,” “Landzhan”, “Al-Aydzhan”; “Layidzhan”. Lahij became famous as a center of ancient craftsmanship. In XVIII-XIX centuries was one of the main centers of production of copper utensils and weapons. Lahij is famous machetes, made of Damascus steel. In the middle of the XIX century, more than 200 craft workshops operated in the settlement. Here 127 types of art was developed. Lahıc carpets and metalwork fetched high prices in the bazaars of Baghdad. The population was around 15,000 until WWII, when the privations of war led many to starve or flee across the mountains: the road wasn’t built until the 1960s.Now Lahij is a historical and architectural monument, protected by the state and appearance of the settlement preserved in its original form.
Present Shamakhi district is the center of the ancient Shirvan, the former state of Shirvanshahs, a historical area of Azerbaijan. The name of the town was first mentioned by the ancient Greek geographer Ptolemy in the 2nd century. In the IX century Shamakhi became the capital of the State of Shirvanshahs’ and was an important cultural and trading center
Historical sights of the region include Dzhuma Mosque (8th-19th centuries), the mausoleums of Pirmardakan (13th-14th centuries), and Shakhandan (17th century), a complex of seven mausoleums named Eddi Gumbez (18th century), remainders of the legendary fortress Kalai-Bugurt near a mountain village of the same name – the fortress looks somehow attached to a steep rock.
Mausoleum Yeddi-Gumbyaz name translates as monument of seven domes [Azeri. yeddi-seven, gümbəz- dome]. Before beginning XX century in this place were seven mausoleums. They were ordered to build for himself and his family by last Shamakhi Khan Mustafa in the end of the XVIII century. An earthquake in 1902 destroyed almost all the tombs, menhirs (high tombstones) lopsided. Mausoleum , where buried the Shah and his wife survived.