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Activities in Baku

(English) The Azer-Ilme Ltd

Sorry, this entry is only available in Amerikan İngilizcesi. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.

The Azer-Ilme Ltd. has been established in order to revive and enable the further development of the traditional Azerbaijani carpet-weaving art which has materially and spiritually enriched the world culture with its unique examples of carpets. At the same time Azer-Ilme Ltd. contributes to the popularization of this unique art through its carpet sales organised worldwide. The company commenced its activity in 1996.
Azer-Ilme Ltd. carries out the following important tasks: manufacturing high-quality carpets, restoring damaged examples and reviving the artistic traditions of Azerbaijani carpet weaving. Besides these activities, the company popularizes this amazing Azerbaijani traditional art by means of carpet sales organized all over the world. Nowadays our carpets adorn many museum and private collections in the world.
Today the enterprise has branches in such historic centres of Azerbaijani carpet weaving art as Nardaran, Bina, Hokumali in the Baku zone, Kurdamir in Shirvan and mountainous Lerik in the south. The company has become famous not only within Azerbaijan, but throughout the world for its careful approach to the preservation of national carpet-weaving traditions that have formed over many centuries.
Azer Ilme Ltd. develops artistic and technical traditions of carpets woven by national carpetweavers in Gazakh, Borchali, Goycha, Zangezur, Agbaba, Derechichek, Pashali, Jalaloglu,Hamamli, Sharur, Dereleyaz, Derbent, Tabriz, Ardebil, Sarab and other historical territories of Azerbaijan. At the same time, alongside with preservation of national traditions, carpets, produced in Azer Ilme in conformity with modern artistic style and technological characteristics, meet international standards.
Besides carpet production, Azer-Ilme provides for high quality of its carpets that meet current international standards from the point of view of artistic execution and technological parameters.
Carpets woven from silk and wool by professional weavers from Azer-Ilme workshops are notable for their fine weave, high knot density, unique compositions and bright colours. Wool yarn woven in Quba, Shirvan and Baku with application of traditional techniques, and silk yarn produced in Sheki are skeined and transported to
dye workshops.

Shirvanshahs Palace Complex

(English) Shirvanshahs Palace Complex

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Complex of Shirvanshahs Palace was the last residence of the rulers of Shirvan State with the history of thousand years. At medieval times this state was the most powerful state in Azerbaijan. While in the south of Azerbaijan old and new feudal states replaced each other, in its north the borders of Shirvan state stretched up to Derbend, the south of Daghistan. In the historical literature the history of Shirvanshahs’ state is divided into four periods: the first Shirvanshahs, Mazyadids, Kesranids and Derbendis. In the historical literature there is little information about the first Shirvanshah dynasty. Mazyadids dynasty was founded by Heysam ibn Khalid in 861. Mazyadids dynasty of Arabic origin assimilated into local nobility and gradually turned into Kesranids dynasty being local for its traditions and way of life. Shirvanshahs Manichohr, Akhsitan, Fariburz were wise and well-educated rulers from Kesranids dynasty. The last ruler of this dynasty was Shirvanshah Hushenge ibn Kavus. As he had no heir to the thrown, after his death in 1382, feudal lords of Shirvan elected his distinct relative Sheikh Ibrahim as the new Shirvanshah. Sheikh Ibrahim was a poor, but well-known feudal lord from Sheki. As his ancestor had been the ruler of Derbend, Sheikh Ibrahim founded the new Shirvanshahs dynasty of Derbendi. Sheikh Ibrahim ruled in very uneasy period linked with the wars of Emir Timur in Near East. In this period Emir Timur and Tokhtamish khan of the Golden Horde fought for the seizure of Azerbaijan, which had advantageous geographical position and rich natural resources. Campaigns of Timur and Tokhtamish of the Golden Horde that fought against each other passed through Shirvan and inflicted serious damages and losses to the country. Being a wise ruler and smart diplomat, Shirvanshah Ibrahim I took the side of Timur, the most powerful ruler of that period. In 1386 Emir Timur started to plan a new campaign against Tokhtamish khan. He made a military camp in Barda. Shirvanshah Ibrahim I convened his divan. Members of the divan recommended him to launch a war against Emir Timur. However,Shirvanshah Ibrahim I refused and told that he wouldn’t make his soldiers target to the sharp swords and arrows of enemy and he didn’t want his people to be trampled under feet of horses of enemy. Shirvanshah Ibrahim I stated that he would go to the military camp of Emir Timur and suggest him to be his vassal. Emir Timur would either accept his offer or behead him. Shirvanshah Ibrahim I went to military camp of Timur with various expensive gifts and in every possible way expressed his humility. Although he took all gifts in 9 pieces, the number of slaves was eight. When Emir Timur asked the reason, Shirvanshah Ibrahim I told that he was the nineth slave. Emir Timur liked his grand gesture so much that he recognized the independence of Shirvan state and entrusted him the protection of the northern borders of the country. In 1405 after the death of Timur the empire created by him collapsed. Shirvanshah Ibrahim I making use of the situation achieved the independence of Shirvan state. Sheikh Ibrahim I, who tried to expand the territory of Shirvan state, could unite the other lands of Azerbaijan – Ganja, Karabakh. Thanks to his diplomatic skills and military talent, for thirty five years of reign Sheikh Ibrahim could not only manage to keep Shirvan independent and strengthen its power, but he could also expand the territory of the country.
The first capital of Shirvanshahs’ state was the city of Shamakhi. After the devastating earthquake that took place in Shamakhi in 1197, Shirvanshah moved the capital to Baku. However, long before the earthquake, during the reign of Shirvanshah Manuchohr III (1120-1160) the fortress walls of old Baku were built.
In the written sources there is little information about Shirvanshahs’ state with thousand year history. The rich archive and manuscripts of Shirvanshahs were plundered during the war with Safavids state taken place in 1500. One can obtain information about social-political and cultural life of Shirvanshahs’ state, its administrative structure, its tax policy and kinds of tax and about other important issues from epigraphic sources. According to these documents, in the Shirvanshahs’ state after the ruler the second position was the chief commander, the third was the position of sadr. Close relative of Shirvanshahs (brother or cousin) usually held the position of chief commander. During the reign of Shirvanshah Sheikh Ibrahim I, his brother Sheikh Bahlul was the chief commander of Shirvan state. Emir Tahmuras, the son of Sheikh Bahlul held the position of chief commander during the rule of Shirvanshah Khalilullah I, the son of Sheikh Ibrahim. As usual, the highest priests held the position of sadr. Sheikh-ul-Islams, imams, seyids, akhunds and other religious figures, scientists participated in state meetings and played the main role in making decisions on important state issues. The only manuscript of document written by Shirvanshah Farrukh Yasar, which has come down to our days, confirms this fact. In 1474 when Shirvanshah Farrukh Yasar appointed his son Shamkhal ruler in Mahmudabad, Qustasb region and Salyan, he told him not to make a decision without the participation of religious figures. He wrote that religious figures were the columns of the state and they could not keep peoples under obedience without the help of priests.
During the reign of Shirvanshah Manuchohr III (1120-1160) and his son Akhsitan I (1160-1197) Shirvan state flourished and strengthened, intensive renovation and construction works were carried out, cities and castles were built, military fortifications and public houses were restored.
In the XII century and the first half of the XIII century there happened economical, political and cultural development in Shirvan state. In this period Baku was the capital of Shirvanshahs’ state. Military-strategical significance of Baku and Absheron peninsular in the defence of the northern borders of Shirvan increased. Baku also developed as a port city. Sabail castle, fortress walls, Shirvanshahs’ Palace are clear proof of this development.
Shirvanshahs’ state lost its independence under Mongols. Numismatic materials related to the second half of the XIII century confirm this fact. Only the name of Munkakaan was minted on coins. During the reign of Sheikh Ibrahim I (1382-1417), Khalilullah I (1417-1462), Farrukh Yasar (1462-1500) military fortifications of Derbend, Akhti, Tsakhur were restored, Farrukhiyye medrese was built in Jame (mosque) komplex of Derbend. Shirvanshahs could keep independence till 1538. On coins minted during the reign of Sheikh Ibrahim II his name is used with the title “Sultan”. In 1538 Shirvanshahs’ state was united to Safavids state.
The Complex of Shirvanshahs’ Palace was erected on one of the highest points of Icherisheher, in a densely populated area. The construction work was not confined to the single architectural plan. However, taking into consideration the purpose of each building of the Complex, the masters could place them in order of importance and could create a beautiful scenery. If you look carefully, you can see that the buildings don’t contrast each other, on the contrary, they complete each other.The constructions of the Complex occupy 1 hectare area. Because of rough relief of its area, the territory of the Complex was divided into three courtyards with the level difference of 5-6meters. The constructions of the Complex are located in these three courtyards. Here you can observe the division of the area according to the functional purpose.
The upper courtyard, where Dwelling house and Mausoleum of Farrukh Yassar are located, is called ceremonial yard.

Information from: Administration of State Historical-Architectural Reserve “Icherisheher” under Cabinet of Ministres of Azerbaijan


The Mahammad mosque

The Mahammad mosque was built on a fire worshippers’ temple in 1078-79. It is largely known as Broken fortress. It has interesting history. In 1723, the artillery of Peter the Great, on an offensive along the Caspian coast, opened cannon fire on Baku. The minaret of Baku’s oldest mosque was damaged in the attack. The Mahammad mosque has been called the Broken fortress since then. Abd ar-Rashid al-Bakuvi: “Countries monuments and information about Allah’s slaves” (14th century)

“This city has a special feature: wind blows here day and night. Sometimes the wind is so strong that it is impossible to walk. In winter, the wind throws horses and sheep into the sea because they can’t stand on their feet.” City of winds This is another name of the city. Baku has always been noted for Khazry (northerly wind). When it starts blowing, it lasts a week. When old Bakuvians want to find out whether someone is originally from Baku, they ask, “When is there winter in Baku?” If the person answers, “During Khazry”, there are no more doubts left.


National Museum of History of Azerbaijan

National Museum of History of Azerbaijan is 90 years old On June 15, 2010. The museum launched its activity under the name “Educational museum of native land-independence Museum” as the first state museum of Azerbaijan since June 1920. The cultural site which was called Azerbaijan USSR state Museum since 25 October of this year, became history-profile National Museum of History of Azerbaijan under Azerbaijan affiliate of Academy of Sciences Union as a result of reconstruction work since 1936. From establishment day the museum acting as cultural enlightenment and scientific research institution had engaged in exposition of material treasure ref­lecting history of Azerbaijani nation and its demonstration at exhibition and propagation, as well as, collection protection, investigation and publication. Over 300 thousand material monuments are protected in 11 funds and a rich library, the majority of which is consisted of rare books of the museum. The museum collection provides audience and investigator with opportunity to study history of the nation and explore any affair related with history.
Scientific research explored in the museum fulfils its main duty along with developing history in Azerbaijan. The results of different expeditions, valuable archaeological, ethnographic, numismatic, documentary and substantial materials achieved from intensive researches are testified in the exposition and peculiar and centuries-old civilization and history of Azerbaijan.
Eight scientific sections, including archaeology, ethnography and numismatics scientific fund department and a restoration lab function at the museum.
Presented album demonstrated only some parts of the collection of the museum.


Taza Pir Mosque

Taza Pir Mosque in Baku was built in 1914 under the patronage of Nabat Khanum Ashurbayova. In 1920, the Soviet government closed the mosque and it functioned as a cinema and a warehouse and since 1943 as a mosque. It was renovated in 2009.

The mosque serves as an official residence for the Caucasian Muslims Office.



Bibi-Heybat Mosque

Bibi-Heybat Mosque in Baku was built in the 13th century. It was destroyed by the Soviet government in 1936. It was restored in 1999 and renovated according to medieval plans in 2008.

The complex includes a mosque, tombs and graves of respected people (among them the grave of Ukeyma Khanum, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad). French writer Alexandre Dumas described the mosque as “the mosque of Fatima”.


National Flag Museum of Azerbaijan

Every year on 9 November, Azerbaijan celebrates the Day of the National Flag.

On November 9, 2010, on the National Flag Square in Baku, the National Flag Museum was opened and also a mast was built, which was (at the time of the opening) the highest in the world (entered in the Guinness Book of Records). The National Flag Square covers an area of ​​60 hectares. The height of the mast is 162 meters; the base has a diameter of 3.2 meters. The flag is 35 meters wide, 70 meters long; its total area is 2,450 m2, weight – 250 kg. National Flag Museum of Azerbaijan and  National Flag Square the highest flag in the world.


Icheri Sheher – the fortified old city of Baku

The fortified city of Baku (Icheri Sheher) with the Shirvanshah’s Palace and the Maiden Tower represents a compound with unique sights and medieval architecture. The city surrounded with well preserved walls whose area covers 21 hectares is the oldest part of Baku which was inhabited as early as in the Bronze Age. The Maiden Tower is a unique structure of an eight-storey cylindrical tower that rises to a height of 28 meters. The Shirvanshah’s Palace consists of a complex of palaces built during the rule of the Azerbaijan dynasty of Shirvanshah. It consists of the Palace, the Palace Mosque, the Burial-Vaults, the Palace Bath-House, Ovdan (a covered reservoir), Seyid Yahya Bakuvi’s mausoleum and Murad’s gate.

Icheri Seher also features Shemakha Gates, 3 bath houses, 4 caravanserais, 14 mosques including the Mosque of Mohammed (1078), market place, House of the Baku Khan and Donjon

Gobustan tour

Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape

The Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape (area of 3096 hectares) south of Baku features historical people campgrounds and 6000 rock drawings located in an area of ​​537 hectares. The oldest drawings date back to the Middle Stone Age. Most come from the Bronze Age. The drawings reflect the centuries-old experience of ancient tribes, their cult/religious and aesthetic views.

There is also a stone slab with a Roman inscription which dates to the first century and a unique Gaval-dash (tambourine stone). The stone produces pronounced rhythmic motives when tapped.


The Maiden`s Tower

Maiden`s Tower