While looking for information about Baku sightseeing, one of the first attractions that will draw your attention will surely be Shirvanshahs’ Palace. Important piece of Azerbaijani history – Shirvanhahs’ Palace was built in 15th century by Shirvanshah kingdom who ruled mostly in the current territory of Azerbaijan in 861 — 1538. Shirvanshahs literally means “the kings of Shirvan”. Shirvan was the main territory and the first capital’s name of the kingdom. After frequent earthquakes happening in Shamakha – second capital – the capital was moved to Baku.
Palace of the Shirvanshahs was officially announced a museum in 1964 and from that date it has been preserved by the government. Except being inscribed into UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES LIST together with the Maiden Tower in 2000, the Palace is also significant for its situation inside the Inner City (Icharishahar) behind the ancient fortress walls built by the same kingdom in 12thcentury, when the city became a capital. Thus, the architectural style of Inner City buildings and walls is very similar and exquisite, emphasizing the art of medieval Islamic civilization. The walls were built to defend the city residence against enemy warriors frequently attacking the cities of Shirvanshah kingdom.
The Palace itself was not built in a complex way, but rather new buildings were added up when there was need. It comprises of a palace building, two mosques, mausoleum of the king Khalilullah buried with his mother and sons, bath house (“hamam”), east gate (Murad’s Gate), stone friezes and Sufi philosopher and scientist Sayid Yahya Bakuvi’s mausoleum.