Administration of State Historical-Architectural Reserve Icherisheher under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan
There is a museum complex in Icherisheher comprised of «Maiden Tower», «the Palace of the Shirvanshahs», the Museum of Archeological and Ethnography Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Azerbaĳ an, the Museum of Miniature Books, the House museum of Kamil Aliyev, and the House museum of Vagif Mustafazade. You can also visit various exhibition halls and galleries where you can discover and purchase beautiful pieces of handcrafted art from various artists, sculptors and masters of handicraft.
The Maiden Tower
The Maiden Tower is located in the southeastern part of the walled city of Baku. This monument is in the form of a giant cylinder which is 28 meters in height. The thickness of the tower walls is 5 meters at the base and 4 meters on the top floor. The tower has 8 arches which divide it into 8 floors. The extraordinary shape of the monument evidences its antiquity. Some researchers suggest that the monument was a place for fire-worship and they attribute it to the VIIIth -VIIth century BC. It is certain that the monument played a significant role in the fortification of Icherisheher and it was incorporated into the common defense complex of the Shirvanshahs.
The Shirvanshahs’ Palace
The medieval Shirvanshahs’ Palace Complex is located on one of the hills in Icherisheher. The foundation of the Palace was laid in the XIIth century and the construction was completed in the XVth century. The Palace consists of three internal courtyards at different levels. The Palace and the Mausoleum of Shirvanshah Farruh Yaser (the Divankhana) are in the upper courtyard while the palace mosque and the Shirvanshahs’ mausoleum are in the lower courtyard. The mausoleum was built by order of Shirvanshah Khalilullah for his son and mother. The Hamam and the ovdan (storage lake) are located in the lower courtyard. The three courtyards together form the complete complex surrounded by the fortress walls. The single monument in the complex attributed to XVIth century is the “Murad Entrance.” The inscription on its surface states that it was built in honor of Sultan III Murad in 994 Hegira (1585-86 AD).
The “Bayil Stones” are also kept in the Shirvanshahs’ Palace Complex. These stone slabs are covered with inscriptions and images and are the remains of the Bayil Castle which was a defense fortress of the Shirvanshahs. The stone slabs are of various sizes:0,73x0,30m; 0,73x0,45m; 0,71x0,25m; 0,66x0,35, and are 13-15 cm thick. The slabs were discovered as a result of archeological excavations done around the fortress building. According to the dates inscribed on them, these stone slabs can be attributed to the XIIth century.
Museum of Archeology and Ethnography
Here you can see significant archeological monuments attributed to various periods including the time before Christ and the Middle Ages. In addition, you can also become familiar with various cultures, expositions and artifacts which are displayed here.
Museum of Miniature Books
The Museum of Miniature Books, the only privately owned museum of this kind in the world, opened in Icherisheher on April 23, 2002. Mrs. Zarifa Salahova, the museum founder, has collected more than 6,000 miniature books for 27 years. At present, 4,350 miniature books published in 62 countries are on display in the museum. The first miniature book purchased by Mrs. Salahova in 1982 was the book of fables of Ivan Krylov, published in 1835. The works of the Azerbaĳani prominent classical poets - Nizami, Fizuli and Nasimi are exhibited in this museum. You can also find a miniature Koran and other religious books, in addition to miniature work by such international authors as Jack London, Honore de Balzac Gustave Flaubert, etc. The collection of Mrs. Salahova is constantly expanding with new miniature editions from all over the world.
Address: 67 Birinji Gesr str., Icherisheher.
Phone: (+994 12) 492-94-64
The House Museum of Vagif Mustafazade
Vagif Mustafazade (1940- 1979) is a outstanding Azerbaijani jazz composer and pianist. The music of Vagif Mustafazade continues to captivate the audiences with its uniqueness, virtuosic technique and with its distinctive and harmonic language. Mustafazade was the first musician who applied an Azerbaĳani music style in jazz compositions as well as in synthesized mugam. Not only was he was a pioneer of Azerbaĳani jazz, creating his own unique jazz pieces and musical adaptations, he was also a well known author of symphonic and chamber music.
The House Museum was established in 1989 and there are more than 1,214 artifacts from Mustafazade’s life which include artwork, household articles and his personal belongings, as well as photos, posters, gramophone records and documents related to his life. The 70th anniversary of Vaqif Mustafazade was celebrated in 2010 and many events were organized for the celebration.
Address: 4 Vagif Mustafazade Lane, Icherisheher.
Phone: (+994 12) 492 17 92
The House Museum of Kamil Aliyev
It is impossible to express the uniqueness of the Azerbaijani carpets with words! The riot of colours, the motives rich of ornaments, and unique mixture of themes are all hallmarks of the detailed, long time work of Azerbaĳani carpet makers. In an Azerbaijani home, carpets are always in plain view, whether displayed on a floor, hung on a wall, given as a dowry, inherited or given as a gift for a special occasion. Carpets are also presented as gifts to diplomats and heads of state. Exactly the carpets of this kind were weaked by Kamil Aliyev (1921-2005). The mainest merits of Kamil Aliyev are using the innovative Azerbaĳani traditions of decorative and applied arts to create a realistic portrait genre in carpet weaving art. He was one of the first Azerbaĳani artists to depict portraits of famous people on carpets. The House-museum of Kamil Aliyev is situated in a four-storeyed stone building where the artist lived only for 11 months before his death at the age of 83. The museum displays 127 of Aliyev’s carpets as well as some works that were never completed.
Address: 18 Gulle str., Icherisheher.
Phone: (+994 50 ) 212 43 57