This is Baku Tours – Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan, is home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites that highlight the rich history and culture of the region. Here are some of the UNESCO heritage sites in Baku that are worth visiting during your trip.
The Walled City of Baku
Also known as the Old City, this ancient fortress is located in the heart of Baku and is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Visitors can explore the narrow streets and alleyways, visit historical landmarks such as the Maiden Tower and Palace of the Shirvanshahs, and enjoy stunning views of the city from the city walls.
Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape
Located on the outskirts of Baku, the Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape is a unique site that showcases the prehistoric rock art of the region. Visitors can see thousands of petroglyphs, cave paintings, and ancient artifacts that provide insight into the lives of early humans in Azerbaijan.
The Inner City of Baku with the Shirvanshah’s Palace and Maiden Tower: This complex of historical monuments in the heart of Baku is a must-visit for anyone interested in the rich cultural heritage of the region. The complex includes the Maiden Tower, a 12th-century fortress, and the Shirvanshah’s Palace, a stunning example of medieval Islamic architecture.
The Palace of the Shirvanshahs
The Palace of the Shirvanshahs is one of the most impressive architectural monuments in Baku and is located in the Old City, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This palace complex was the residence of the Shirvanshahs, who ruled the Shirvan region from the 9th to the 16th century.
The palace complex consists of several buildings, including a main palace, a mosque, a bathhouse, a mausoleum, and a courtyard. The main palace was built in the 15th century by Shirvanshah Khalilullah I and includes a throne room, a banquet hall, and a mosque.
The palace’s exterior is decorated with intricate brickwork and tile work, while the interior is adorned with ornate carvings, paintings, and mosaic tiles. Visitors can explore the palace’s various rooms, including the Shah’s throne room, which features a beautifully decorated ceiling with a carved wooden chandelier.
One of the most striking features of the Palace of the Shirvanshahs is the Divankhana, which is an open-air courtyard surrounded by a colonnade. This was the place where the Shirvanshahs held their public audiences and conducted official business.
The palace’s mosque, which was built in the 1440s, is also a beautiful example of medieval Islamic architecture. It features a central dome, arched entranceways, and intricate geometric designs on the walls and ceiling.
Visitors to Baku should definitely add a visit to the Palace of the Shirvanshahs to their itinerary, as it provides a fascinating glimpse into Azerbaijan’s rich history and culture.
The Heydar Aliyev Center
The Heydar Aliyev Center is a contemporary architectural masterpiece located in Baku, Azerbaijan. It was designed by the renowned architect Zaha Hadid and named after Heydar Aliyev, the former president of Azerbaijan.
The center was built in 2012 and serves as a cultural center, museum, and concert hall. Its unique, fluid design is meant to represent the merging of past and present, as well as traditional and modern architecture.
The exterior of the Heydar Aliyev Center is made up of smooth, white curves that flow seamlessly together, creating a sense of movement and fluidity. The building is completely devoid of sharp angles or corners, giving it a soft, organic feel.
Inside the center, visitors can explore a variety of galleries and exhibition spaces that showcase Azerbaijani art and culture. The center also houses a library, a conference hall, and a 1000-seat auditorium that hosts concerts, theatrical performances, and other cultural events.
One of the most notable features of the Heydar Aliyev Center is the rooftop terrace, which offers stunning views of the city of Baku. The terrace is accessible via a series of ramps that wind up the side of the building, allowing visitors to take in the breathtaking scenery as they ascend.
The Heydar Aliyev Center is not only a cultural landmark in Baku, but it has also become a symbol of Azerbaijan’s modernity and progressive outlook. Its striking design and impressive array of cultural offerings make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Baku.
The Ateshgah of Baku
The Ateshgah of Baku, also known as the Fire Temple of Baku, is a unique cultural and religious monument located in the Surakhani district of Baku, Azerbaijan. It was originally built in the 17th century as a Hindu temple, but it later became a Zoroastrian place of worship and then a Muslim shrine.
The temple’s most distinctive feature is its central courtyard, which contains a rectangular stone pavilion with a large altar inside. The pavilion is surrounded by a series of small rooms and cells, where pilgrims and priests would live and worship.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Ateshgah of Baku is the fact that it is built over a natural gas vent, which has been burning continuously for centuries. This has given rise to legends that the temple was built on a site where Zoroastrian fire worshippers discovered a sacred flame.
Visitors to the Ateshgah of Baku can explore the temple complex and learn about its history and religious significance. The site also features a small museum that displays artifacts and exhibits related to the temple’s history and the various cultures and religions that have been associated with it over the centuries.
Today, the Ateshgah of Baku is considered to be an important cultural and historical site in Azerbaijan, attracting visitors from around the world who are interested in learning about the country’s rich religious and cultural heritage.
The Baku Boulevard
The Baku Boulevard, also known as the National Park of Azerbaijan, is a popular promenade and recreational area located along the Caspian Sea in Baku, Azerbaijan. The park covers an area of 100 hectares and is one of the oldest and longest parks in the world, stretching for over 3.5 kilometers along the coast.
The Baku Boulevard was originally established in the early 20th century and underwent a major renovation in 2009, which transformed it into a modern and attractive destination for both locals and tourists. The park features a wide variety of attractions and amenities, including playgrounds, fountains, cafes, restaurants, and concert halls.
One of the most notable attractions in the Baku Boulevard is the Baku Ferris Wheel, which stands at a height of 60 meters and offers panoramic views of the city and the sea. There are also several other rides and attractions in the park, including a small train, a mini golf course, and a zip line.
Visitors to the Baku Boulevard can also enjoy a leisurely walk or bike ride along the pedestrian and bike paths that run throughout the park, as well as take in the beautiful views of the Caspian Sea and the city’s skyline. The park is particularly popular in the evenings, when it comes alive with colorful lights and music.
Overall, the Baku Boulevard is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Baku, offering a fun and relaxing atmosphere that is perfect for families, couples, and solo travelers alike.
The Maiden Tower
The Maiden Tower is an iconic monument and one of the most recognizable landmarks in Baku, Azerbaijan. Located in the Old City (Icherisheher) of Baku, the tower stands at a height of 29 meters and dates back to the 12th century.
The origin and purpose of the Maiden Tower remains a mystery, but it is believed to have served as a watchtower, a fire beacon, or a defense fortification. The tower’s unique architectural features and intricate design have captured the imaginations of visitors for centuries.
The Maiden Tower consists of several levels, with a winding staircase leading up to a rooftop platform offering breathtaking views of Baku and the Caspian Sea. The tower’s walls are adorned with intricate carvings and inscriptions, and its interior features an interactive museum showcasing the history and culture of Azerbaijan.
The Maiden Tower is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular destination for tourists visiting Baku. Visitors can explore the tower’s interior and climb to the top for stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area. The tower is also illuminated at night, making it a popular spot for evening strolls and photo opportunities.
Overall, the Maiden Tower is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, and culture. Its unique design, rich history, and stunning views make it one of the most popular attractions in Baku.
In conclusion, Baku is a city rich in cultural heritage and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Whether you’re interested in ancient history, contemporary architecture, or stunning natural landscapes, Baku has something to offer for everyone. So, when planning your next Baku tour, be sure to include a visit to these amazing UNESCO heritage sites and enjoy your stay in one of the many comfortable Baku hotels. TIB