Shirvanshahs’ family tomb
Shirvanshahs’ family tomb is a rectangular building topped with hexagonal cupola. The exterior of the cupola is decorated with distinct polygonal stars. In the past, hollows (star shaped hollows) on the smooth exteriors of the cupola were filled with light-blue glazed tiles. Unfortunately, they were not preserved on the cupola. But, remnants of those tiles were discovered in the territory of the Palace during the archaeological excavation works. The entrance of the Memorial tomb is in the form of the richly ornamented portal. Ornaments carved on the portal are composed of leaves and petals of oleander. This portal is one of the most beautiful models in Azerbaijan architecture. The portal’s arch is as deep as the portal in Farrukh Yassar’s mausoleum. The ribbed semi-cupola of the portal is rested upon four rows of stalactites. At the top of the portal there are two inscriptions written in nash script. The first inscription is the dictum from the 12th sura of Koran: “Allah, the holiest and highest”, said, “on that day Allah will forgive you, because Allah is the most merciful”. The inscription below is a hadissa: “The Prophet said – may Allah be blessed and greeted – You will certainly see your Lord with your own eyes”. On the tymphons of the portal there are two medallions of tear-drop shape. It is wrongly considered that the architect carved his own name inside these medallions. In fact, the inscription written here runs: “Thanks to the God for the gifts that gives us”. The inscription over the entrance informs about the functional purpose of the building: “The Highest Sultan the Great Shirvanshah, the namesake of the Prophet, protection of Islam, Khalilullah I, – may his reign and power be immortalized by Allah, – ordered to build this sacred burial vault for his mother and son,- may Allah bless them”. 839 hijri (1435/36). At the sharp point of arch there is one hexagonal medallion with the name of Imam Ali repeated twelve times. The burial hall with the cupola is in center of the building. In the right and left corners of the hall there are two small rooms,which were intended for molla. According to the inscription over the entrance, it is obvious that the tomb was built for mother and son of the Shirvanshah Khalilullah I. However, the other members of the Shirvanshahs family were buried here. According to some versions, in 1500-1501 years when the troops of Safavids occupied Baku, Shah Ismail Khatai destroyed all the graves in the Shirvanshahs’ family tomb in revenge of his grandfather Sheykh Juneid and father Sheykh Heydar. However, as a result of the archaeological works, it was found out that, Shah Ismayl Khatai had destroyed only the tomb stones. According to the divan written by poet Badr Shirvany, who lived in the Shirvanshahs’ Palace in XIV-XV centuries, the members of the Shirvanshahs’ family buried here are: Khalilullah I, his mother Bika khanum, his sons – Farrukh Yamin, Sheykh Saleh, Emir Bahram, Ibrahim and Khalilullah’s cousin, Chief Commander of Shirvanshahs’ Army, Emir Tahmuras. The tomb stone of Emir Tahmuras is displayed in the exhibition opposite the Maiden Tower (Khanegah or Market Square).