Baku Fortress (Azerbaijan)
Like all ancient fortresses, the Baku fortress was built to defend the city rich in development by foreign invaders.
The city, built on a high hill, in the form of an amphitheater, is exposed to the sea at the bottom, and surrounded by the mountains of the Caucasus at the top. With its triple row of walls, the Maiden Tower and other fortification facilities, The Old City appeared to be an impressive stronghold.
Like other medieval cities, all the buildings within the fortress walls of Icheri Sheher were defensive in nature in terms of tactical and strategic functions. The urban model of the city suggested a real labyrinth. The large squares and wide streets gradually narrowed and shrank in a geometric design that allowed the full involvement of the residents in defensive activities.
Today, the walls of the old fortress of the city of Baku to allow the medieval image conservation of the historic center, with its numerous alleys, roads that wind and the flavor of an oriental city.
Fortresses have passed many centuries fulfilling their historical functions. solid walls, huge towers were not only the means of security, but also symbolized dignity and magnificence of the city.
Some of them were razed to the ground, but others might endure the trials and survived. Now they are admiring for their stability, sustainability and uniqueness.
Baku, the largest city on the coast of the Caspian Sea, like all other ancient cities has its unique architecture.
There are old cities without fortresses, towers and other fortifications. It 'clear why the ancient people associated with the concept of a city with fortresses, both in Azerbaijan and Central Asia, the concepts `` `` fortress`` and city`` often meant the same notion.
The age of the city of Baku, as the age of the most ancient cities of Azerbaijan is unknown. Researchers consider Baku to be one of the cities that Ptolemy noticed in the ancient city Albany list. According to the inscriptions, Baku was said to be born in the period of the reign of Shirvanshah Manuchehr III (12th century), but there is no doubt that Baku had more ancient defensive works even before that period.
Fortress Baku - Icheri Sheher (downtown or Old Town) - it was surrounded by single walls along the coast and double wall in all other places. The walls, in turn, have been closed from the outside by deep, wide ditches. In fact, today`s Icheri Sheher is a medieval inner city of Baku.
The outer walls of the fortress of Baku have reached the sea, stretched for 30 meters and forming an artificial abyss. That`s why the ships could anchor in the port of Baku in the vicinity of the fortress walls.
How Abdurrashid Bakuvi, Azerbaijani geographical scientist wrote: `` Now the sea water washes the walls of Baku. The sea had flooded some fortress towers and is very close to a mosque. The city has two very firm and strong fortresses. The sea is too close to the largest of the forts. The fort itself was inaccessible for Tatars.``
Ovliya Chelebi, the famous medieval traveler, in his description indicates that while his visit to Baku in 1656, the inner fortress located outside the fortress city.
According to Fuad Akhundov, head of Political Studies of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan, Baku initially was surrounded by two walls. The inner wall is almost completely preserved. E 'was built by Manuchekhr II.
The construction of the fortress walls - very high on the outside and inside quite low - as well as the construction of underground roads and passages show that, while the construction of Baku old masters used the relief peculiarities and local rocks very effectively . All these factors have improved the conditions of the field and the safety of the fortress defenders and gave the opportunity for the materials to savings and construction work.
The outer wall was much lower in height, and was installed by the local governor, Zufuqar-Khan in 1608-1609. A deep moat surrounded the walls and was filled by ground water in times of danger.
The khanate of Baku was annexed to the Russian Empire in 1806. The walls have been used for the last defense in 1826.
At the start of oil exploitation in the industrial 1870`s, Baku grew rapidly. In 1859, the city's population barely exceeded 13,500 inhabitants, most of whom lived within the old city walls.
At the end of that most of the 19th century gate was built near the northern gate of the Baku fortress. Now it called Gosha Gala Gapysy (dual port). These ports are different from all other ports of Azerbaijani architecture with their plastic arts high and fabulous ornaments.
In 1903, there were 143,000 the Baku citizens, and in 1913, the `` black gold`` had increased the population of more than 214,000.
The small medieval fortress was, of course, too small to hold all these people. Therefore, the outer walls was taken down in 1884, along with the wall on the side of the old town facing the sea. The stones of this wall were used to restructure the inner wall.