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Old City

  


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Old city is also called among the people as Tower. This ancient settlement is a valuable cultural heritage of Azerbaijan. Currently, it is both the residential district, as well as historical and architectural complex.
Old City complex was laid down on the shores of the Caspian Sea, situated on a low hill. Living center was encircled with wall of 8-10 meters in height and 3.5 m in width. The area covers a territory of 22 hectares. The city that was built in the form of an amphitheater on the highest hill looks at the sea from below, and from the upper part it was surrounded by the Caucasus Mountains. Together with three-layered walls, Maiden Tower and other fortification devices the city looks like as if a whole strong defense fortress. Likewise other cities of the Middle Ages all buildings inside of Tower wall (Shahristan) had an importance of defense from tactical and strategic point of views. The structure of the plan of the city reminds a real labyrinth from viewpoints of battle tactics and military advantage.  
Old City is the most ancient settlements of the East. According to archaeologists, the area was settled in the Bronze period. Till XIX century Icheri sheher meant self Baku with a settlement of few thousand people. Old City as a whole is an example of an urban culture. The three monuments here the Maiden Tower, the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, Mohammed mosque is of world and 28 monuments are of the country importance. 
Historical reserve at the same time is residential settlement, too. 1300 families live here.
Old city consists of some quarters combining the general features from historic view point (Agsalvarlılar, Gemichiler, Arabachılar, Hamamchılar, Juhud Zeynallar (Jewish district), Seyidler, etc.). Entry to the ancient city was from Shamakhy (XII century) and Salyan gates. Few underground passages were found here in different times. 
 In 1977, Old City complex was received a historical and architectural reserve status, and together with Shirvanshah\'s Palace and Maiden Tower in December 2000, was included in the UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage list.



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