Trip TO Azerbaijan – Magnific Land of Fire!Trip TO Azerbaijan – Magnific Land of Fire!

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Trip TO Azerbaijan – Magnific Land of Fire!Trip TO Azerbaijan – Magnific Land of Fire!
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Activities in Sheki

KIsh church

Christian church in the Kish village

Alongside with the fame of Sheki for its mosques, it is also one of the regions where once a Christian church in Caucasian Albania was very mighty. In this regard, we recommend you to visit the oldest church in the Caucasus while visiting Sheki. The church is located in Maflar quarter of the village Kish Sheki. The reminders of the walls enclosing the area of the church in some places have preserved. As the wall is long and almost as big as Maflar quarter gives opportunity to say that it was one of the influential churches with great importance. The church tower, the top of the hall adjacent to the tower is built from the large, hewn stones. The history of the church belongs to I-V centuries. The village of Kish is situated at the foot of the mountains surrounding of which is covered with green forests, in the lap of charming nature. Although the history of the church said to belong to I-V centuries during the archaeological excavations carried out and around it the graves from the Bronze were discovered. And this allows us to say that the church is also used as a temple before the Christianity by the local people. Today the temple of Kish is also functions as a museum. As mentioned above, buying tickets for 2 manats you can get an opportunity to watch the exhibits in the church and the interiors of the church as well.

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Underground bath in Sheki

As for bathes we recommend you to see the historical monument the Underground bath as it called among the local people. The other bath is called the bath of creek and is a memory from the nineteenth century. Though the bath of creek is protected by the state as a monument as it is in poor condition to it is not possible to look it from inside.

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Mosque of Omar Effendi

One of the mosques to be seen is the mosque of Omar Effendi of the nineteenth century. Although the plaque on it indicates that its history goes back to the nineteenth century, most of the poeple of Sheki say it to be belong to XVIII century. Its facade of burnt brick is immediately attracts attention. The bricks in the facade come forward as a ledge, forming thin arches create inter – window sections with the window tops and brick and stone masonry rows alternating each other.

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Sheki Juma mosque

Many mosques and baths Sheki remain to this day. When viewed from above, first of all the mosque minarets that seen from the historic areas of the city attracts the attention of people. One of this mosques is Sheki Juma mosque. The mosque belongs to XVIII-XIX centuries. The mosque has been built of burnt bricks. The structure of the mosque consists of arched and columned hall. Dividing into sections by means of stones and trees enabled to cover passage in the building. When you look from the high places towards the city (especially in spring and summer) the mosque with minaret of up to 28, 5 meters in the background low houses and greenery brings a new charms to the beauty of Sheki. As the sharafa completing the mosque’s minaret has been worked out very well this increases the beauty of mosque. If you see inside the mosque you will see its simplicity. The two-storeyed mosque was built in the form of n.

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Ancient Albanian temple

Besides the Khan’s garden and the Palace of Shaki Khans you will see one more old building in the castle. This is an ancient Albanian temple that belongs to I-V centuries. The people of Sheki call this temple as the Circular temple. The historians say different things about the history of this building. It is believed that the foundation of the temple was laid before the eighth century. It was the second phase of the spread of Christianity in Caucasian Albania. According to some historical sources, the temple was renovated during Dervish Muhammad and Chalabi Khan.
Currently the temple and its courtyard is open to tourists. There also operates Shaki People Applied Art Museum here. The tourists will have access to information about popular crafts that survived from the oldest times till nowadays and craftsmen well-known in Sheki city in this museum. The museum consists of 4 exhibit halls. The examples of material culture discovered during archaeological excavations carried out in Shaki are displayed in the 1st hall. You will get a chance to see different type of pottery, jewelery, weapons and so on. The second hall is the main hall. You will get a chance to see works of craft such as pottery, carpentry, takalduz, coppersmith, shabaka, architecture, hatting in the hall dedicated to the general craft section. The third hall is dedicated to national costumes, traditional musical instruments, the sericulture. Finally, samples of shelves, niches, mattresses, chests, spinning wheel, wool combs and so on. which are located in the houses of Sheki in accordance with the traditions are demonstrated in the fourth hall called as Sheki room. It is said in the museum that, there are more than 500 exhibit items.

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Sheki Castle

While visiting the Sheki Castle where the Palace of Sheki Khans is located you will have an opportunity to see some ancient monuments. One of these monuments is the castle itself. We know from history that the population of Sheki during the attacks of the foreign invaders were leaving the city, finding refuge in the nearby castles. For example, the world-famous military leader, Nadir Shah Afshar while attacking Sheki Haji Chalabi Khan, took refuge and defended in the fortress of Gelersen-in-Gorersen a few kilometers outside of the city. Nadir Shah who reckoned with inaccessibility of the castle, was forced to return back, giving the title of Khan to Haji Chalabi. However, during the time when the khanate developed the part of Naringala of the city is started to be enclosed with castle walls. In general, the medieval cities of Azerbaijan consisted of three parts. The first part was Naringala where shahs and khans live with their families and relatives, the next was shahristan, the state-owned enterprises was located here, in the last part called as rabbat craftsmen and merchants were inhabited. Usually after Naringala, also the shahristan was enclosed in castle walls. But in Shaki only Naringala had been strengthened with walls. In 1765 they started to build walls around the city. With the overflow of the river Kish, this ancient city is almost totally destroyed in 1772. Some people moved to other places, some of them were transferred to the city laid out in a new place. When you visit Shaki you will get a chance to see those walls. The total length of the walls from the outside is 1300 metres, the height in the Northern part is 4 metres, in the Southern part is 8 metres. The thickness of the walls is 2.2 metres. There are two arched gates, 21 security towers and more than 1000 embrasures in the Northern and Southern part of the castle.

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Caravanserai in Sheki

Caravanserais in Sheki, are one of the places you’ve to see. They say there were 5 caravanserai in Sheki. But today, only two of them are in good condition and have come to our times. These are on the road leading to the castle in Sheki. Currently, though in the Lower caravanserai restoration works are carried out it is closed to tourists. This caravanserai belongs to XIX century. It has a nice style in terms of its architecture. The caravanserai which is a little bit bigger than the caravanserai located near it according to the total area is of 12 meters high in the part facing the street, 10 meters high in the east and west side. The caravanserai which covers an area of 8,000 square meters has four entrance doors and 242 rooms. When you look at the architectural style of the caravanserai the unique architectural style of the Sheki architects is clearly manifested. The main front of the caravanserai is facing into the river of Gurjana. When you go up to that river you will come across with a few bridges referred to the XVIII-XIX centuries. The facade of the Lower caravanserai is characterized by horizontal parts which divide the wall of the caravanserai into 3 tiers with the window arches are distinguished for their form. When you enter into the yard surrounded by arched toured you will see a pool in the centre. During the construction of caravanserai everything is taken into account for the convenience of traders from distant countries. Gate opens to passengers and merchants with hospitality by night by closing turned into invincible castle. Today, tourists who visit caravanserais while watching them can see clearly this feature from inside and outside.
When you go from the Lower caravanserai towards the castle you will see the second caravanserai called as Upper caravanserai and dated back to the eighteenth century. While you visit Sheki you should definitely see this caravanserai. The Upper Caravanserai is currently operating as a hotel. Its area is 6000 square meters. The caravanserais of Sheki, were very nicely built from the architectural point of view. The traditional architecture of Sheki is clearly observed in their construction. The use of burnt brick with river stones resulted in the creation of one of the masterpieces of Sheki architecture. This caravanserai has very beautiful architectural structure. Thus, merchants living in here can keep their property in the basement. They made trade on the first floor and lived on the second floor. There are more than 300 rooms here. The caravanserai is in the rectangular form with pools located in the centre of courtyard. The ceiling of gates from inside are arched domes built of bricks. The richly decorated arch of the main entrance which is considered one of the biggest arched domes built of bricks in the Middle East is built in the corner of the building on the level of the third floor because of a gradient of relief. The doors of caravanserai are closed at night and became inaccessible like a small fortress. There is a bridge on the opposite side of the caravanserai which belongs to XVII century.

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Palace of Sheki Khans

Such a title can be found in any tourist guide. The most important places to be seen while you visit a certain city. What are interesting places the tourists may see first of all while visiting Shaki? Such a city with ancient history and rich culture is very rich in terms of places to be seen. The most famous and beautiful place among them is Palace of Sheki Khans. That is why the first place to be visited by you in your first days in Sheki must be this palace.
During a tour in Palace of Sheki Khans though the guides say that the palace was built by Haji Chalabi khan – the founder of the khanate for his grandson Husein khan, but it is known that the palace was constructed in the years of 1761-1762 i.e. a couple of years after the death of Haji Chalabi khan. As Husein khan wrote poems with the nickname of Mushtag the palace is also known as the Mansion of Mushtag. The Palace of Khans, which has come to our times is a part of a large palace complex. This palace was a summer palace of Sheki khans and comprised of 6 rooms, 4 corridors, 2 mirrored balconies. The both storeys of the palace are of the same structure. There is a large saloon in the centre and side rooms adjoining to corridors.
The most interesting thing is that there are windows and doors in the palace with shabaka which consist of glasses in different colours inserted into wooden pieces divided into the smallest geometric figures which has no analogues in the world. Each square metre of these shabakas consist of 5000 and in more complex parts 14000 shabakas. One of the originalities of the palace is that no nails and glue is used in its construction. Though the names of some masters and muralists who worked the images on the wall of the palace are written in some rooms, the researchers concluded that the creator of this palace was the master Abbasgulu. The patterns in the rooms of the palace are divided into four: geometrical and plants patterns, and the patterns with a plot and images of birds. The patterns are colourful and the golden colour is skilfully used in the Palace of Sheki Khans. Being one of the most prominent monuments of Azerbaijan architecture and art of painting the Palace is located inside of the castle. There are two trees in the yard of the Palace their age is calculated from the year of 1530. These trees are called khan tree among the people. The Palace of Sheki Khans is included in the List of World Heritage is considered as a part of the world cultural heritage.

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Yukhari Caravanserai in Sheki

When you go from the Lower caravanserai towards the castle you will see the second caravanserai called as Upper caravanserai and dated back to the eighteenth century. While you visit Sheki you should definitely see this caravanserai. The Upper (Yukhari) Caravanserai is currently operating as a hotel. Its area is 6000 square meters. The caravanserais of Sheki, were very nicely built from the architectural point of view. The traditional architecture of Sheki is clearly observed in their construction. The use of burnt brick with river stones resulted in the creation of one of the masterpieces of Sheki architecture. This caravanserai has very beautiful architectural structure. Thus, merchants living in here can keep their property in the basement. They made trade on the first floor and lived on the second floor. There are more than 300 rooms here. The caravanserai is in the rectangular form with pools located in the centre of courtyard. The ceiling of gates from inside are arched domes built of bricks. The richly decorated arch of the main entrance which is considered one of the biggest arched domes built of bricks in the Middle East is built in the corner of the building on the level of the third floor because of a gradient of relief. The doors of caravanserai are closed at night and became inaccessible like a small fortress. There is a bridge on the opposite side of the caravanserai which belongs to XVII century.

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Gelersen-Gorersen fortress

Though today there is no writing on the church, but according to rumors, there was a writing on that belonged to XIII century, in which said that the church had been built by the Elysee. As the Albanian Christian Church has been cancelled by order of the Russian Emperor in 1834 at that time the writing was erased.
There is another magnificent monuments near to Kish village. This is tower, which is a bastion fortification called Gelersen-Goreresen in historical sources. They say that Nadir Shah Afshar who came to power after the collapse of the Safavid Empire while attacking to these places invaded Sheki province and appointed a person named Malik Najaf here as a ruler. but after a period the local people complained to Nadir Shah of the heavy taxes imposed on the townspeople by Malik Najaf. At this time, winning the respect of the people and being from the former ruler of Sheki Darvish Mohammad`s generation Haji Chalabi Khan appointed by Nadir Shah as an assistant of Malik Najaf. After a while, Malik Najaf again begin to increase taxes illegally, beginning to public persecution and then the population rebelled under the leadership of Haji Chalabi. When Nadir Shah’s army came up to Shaki to suppress the revolt Haji Chalabi with the townspeople took refuge in the castle, located on a nearby mountain and which is inaccessible. In response to the letter of Nadir of giving up Chalabi responds: Gelersen-Gorersen (You will come and see). Although Nadir Shah’s army came towards the castle tower and besieged it, but it cannot defeat the defenders of the castle and recognizing Haji Chalabi as a Khan re-appoint him to the post of the ruler of Sheki. Although today the castle is in ruins, but it still maintains the usual splendor.
Besides, as the castle of Gelersen-Gorersen is located on a mountain with forest of charming beauty the roads leading to it are a bit difficult. Therefore, the castle as a fortified fortress always preserved and saved the people of Shaki from foreign invaders.
By visiting this monument in Sheki, in the castle which has been an obvious example of bloody wars and the struggle against the invaders that took place in the first half of the eighteenth century you will feel yourself as if you have fallen in that period. If you visit to the castle in the months of May to August you will feel yourself as if as being in ruins of the legendary castle.

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