About sight: Icheri Sheher (Inner Town)

In Azerbaijan language «Icheri Sheher» means «inner city», that is a city within the fortified walls. As any important medieval town, Baku, after it became the capital Baku Khanate in 15 century, was encircled by a strong fortified wall.

This wall, as well as the inner town (Icheri Sheher), is still in a very good condition. In 2012 Eurovision Song Contest was held in Baku and it offered a strong inducement to reconstruction of Icheri Sheher, as a historic center. There was reconstructed almost every detail creating the medieval authenticity of the old quarter. Asphalt was replaced by paving blocks, buildings and fortified wall were restored to their original appearance. Undoubtedly, all these alterations made the main sight of Baku, the old quarter Icheri Sheher, more attractive for tourists.

The symbol of Baku, the Maiden Tower, is located within Icheri Sheher on the Oilmen`s Avenue. You should start your tour of the Old Baku from this tourist attraction. Nearby there is a beautiful building called the Palace of Mukhtarov. You must climb up onto the viewing platform of the maiden Tower from where you can see Icheri Sheher in all its beauty and medieval authenticity.

Around the tower there are diggings of ancient baths and buildings dating back to the period of Shirvanshahs (Haji Gaib Hammam, 15 century), and leading to the heart of the quarter is perhaps the most picturesque street of Icheri Sheher – Asef Zeynalli Street. Most souvenir shops where you can buy Azerbaijanian or Iranian carpets and a great number of other oriental things are on this street. There are many mosques and simply beautiful buildings with Baku-specific second floor balconies on the Street of Asef Zeynalli.

If turn to the right and go uphill, you can see another important historic site of Baku – the Palace of Shirvanshahs, the rulers of Baku Khanate. By all means you have to just wander around the streets of Icheri Sheher, to see the old buildings with added balconies. But it would be desirable to take a map with you, so that not to get lost as the character of the actor Mironov did it in the Soviet film “The Diamond Arm”, which was shot just there.

The famous scene where the other main character of the same film fall down with a cry «Damn it» was shot on Malaya Krepostnaya Street (Small Fortress Street), going along the western Small Fortress Wall at the Governor`s Garden. All houses and the «smugglers` apothecary» have remained intact. 

You must come here as this section of the fortified wall is considered as the most picturesque. You should have a walk on it and admire beautiful houses within Icheri Sheher and the Governor`s Garden and the Nagorny Park outside the walls of the Old Town.

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