The capital of Azerbaijan Baku has numerous historical and architectural monuments dating to various historical epochs.
The Walled City of Baku is the ancient historical core of Baku. In 2000 the Old City of Baku, including the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and Maiden Tower, became the first location in Azerbaijan to be classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The Walled City of Baku or Icheri Sheher hosts over 50 historical and architectural monuments from various eras. The Palace of the Shirvanshahs, the Maiden Tower and Synyg Gala (the Broken Tower) are among the monuments which survived until present day. The Palace of Shirvanshahs is one of the pearls of Azerbaijani architecture. It was built in the beginning of the 15th century. It includes a historical complex, the palace, a divankhana, the Shirvanshah’s room, a palace mosque with minarets, bath house, a room of Seyid Yahya Bakuvi, and the Western divankhana monuments, which were built during a later stage.
Azerbaijan’s architectural monument the Maiden Tower is located in the south-western part of the Walled City of Baku or Icheri Sheher. The tower was built in two stages. Its bottom part with a height of 13.7 meters is dated by most experts to the 6th–7th centuries BC. The Maiden Tower has a total height of 29.7 meters, with a diameter of 16.5 meters. The wall thickness in the bottom part is 5 meters, reducing to 4 meters at the top.
Another interesting sight in Baku is the Ateshgah temple, situated in south-western part of the Surakhani settlement in the Absheron peninsula, 30 km away from Baku. Ateshgah is a fire temple, built in the 17th-18th centuries. The temple’s central stone shrine is located on a natural gas pocket. The present structure was built approximately in 1713 AD, and the building of the central stone shrine was funded by merchant Kanchanagaran in 1810.
One of the most ancient and exciting monuments of Baku is Gobustan, famous around the world for its rock carvings.Gobustan is very rich in archeological monuments; the reserve has more than 6,000 rock engravings dating back between 5,000 and 40,000 years. The site also features the remains of inhabited caves, settlements and burials, all reflecting an intensive human use by the inhabitants of the area during the wet period that followed the last Ice Age, from the Upper Paleolithic to the Middle Ages.