Sheki is an ancient city in the Caucasus
The city of Sheki is located 380 km west of Baku, near the Georgian border. Sheki is located in a picturesque mountainous area, cut by narrow gorges and green valleys, with many springs, clean rivers, waterfalls and mineral springs, framed by dense forests and alpine meadows. Next to Sheki, in one of the most beautiful and picturesque places of the country, is the health resort of Marhal.
Archaeological evidence suggests that the city can be considered one of the oldest settlements in the Caucasus, many finds on its territory are more than 2500 years old.
The city has many historical and architectural attractions, but the pride of ancient Sheki is the majestic Royal Palace of Sheki Khans, built in the XVIII century without a single nail (!) With luxurious wall paintings and openwork windows, in a stone citadel. Also interesting is the fortress Gemsen-Geresen (VIII-IX c.), Near the city, numerous caravanserais, the Shekihanovs' house, the Juma mosque (the 18th century), the minaret of the Gileilin mosque (XVIII century), medieval baths.
Sheki is a large handicraft center. Here you can buy jewelry and engraved products of local craftsmen. In Sheki there is a theater, a historical museum, a house-museum of the Azerbaijani writer and philosopher MF Akhundov.
A lot of unique historical monuments have been preserved in the vicinity of Sheki. These are the towers of the kyumbazi (18th century) in Kutkashen, the Sumug fortress and the mosque (18th century) in Ilisu, the fortress and the mausoleum of Kish, the fortress in Juhari-Chardahlar (4th century BC - V century BC). e.), a tower and a temple in Orta-Zeyzit, a mausoleum in Babaratma, a fortress in Kakha (XVI century), ruins of the fortress of Shamil near Zagatala.
Sheki has long been famous as a city of craftsmen, artisans and traders. Merchants and merchants from the countries of the Great Silk Road came here from all sides. Therefore, the construction of caravanserais was given special attention. So in the XVIII - XIX centuries in Sheki there were 5 large caravanserais. Up to now, two of them have reached: the Upper and Lower ones, built in the 18th century. Even then, the masters sought to provide decent service to the guests. And caravan-sheds were built taking into account all conveniences for traders and the safety of their goods. In Sheki caravan-sheds, merchants put their goods in the basement, traded on the first floor, and lived on the second floor.
The scale of the caravanserais is eloquently told by their area: the upper one - 6000 sq. M. m., Lower - 8000 sq.m. The height is about 14 m. In each caravanserai there are more than 200 rooms. By tradition, the caravanserais had a gate with two or even four sides. When they were closed, the caravanserais turned into an impregnable fortress.
The upper caravanserai is now used for its intended purpose, functions as a hotel complex.
Juma Mosque, Sheki
Juma Mosque (Khan Mosque) - built in 1745-1750, near the market square. Right in front of the mosque is a small cemetery. Here Haji Celebi - ruler of Sheki (XVIII century) and his entourage are buried. These graves are crowned with domes and tombstones, with a carved letter in Arabic. The mosque itself, its minaret and the ancient cemetery are now protected by the state as important historical monuments.
Minaret Gileili, Sheki
Minaret Gileili - a monument of the XVI-XVII centuries. When he was part of the Gileilin Mosque, very famous in the city. But the mosque, unfortunately, was badly damaged. In memory of it there was only a minaret, protected today by the state. Minaret Gileil (built of baked brick), you can see in the Kuelehlin mahal of the city. It is the first and highest minaret in the area of Sheki - Zagatala.
In Sheki there is a very well preserved bath (hamam) of the XIX century. It is built in the style of a traditional bathhouse: that is, it consists of two large halls, one intended for undressing and the other - directly for washing, with a heated floor.
New Sheki Fortress
Sheki han Haji Celebi (1743-1755) built a fortress in the north-east for the defense of the city. The total length of the fortress wall is about 1300 meters, the height is about 8 meters in the south and 4 meters in the north. The wall thickness is more than 2 meters. Along it along the entire length of the route, there were 21 defensive towers. From the north and south the fortress was closed by an arched gate. The wall and towers of the fortress were badly damaged. But in 1958-1963 the fortress was restored and restored
Surroundings of Sheki
Babaratma-piri is a small mausoleum located near the town of Sheki. It is located on the territory of the old cemetery near the village of Taza-kent. This place is very revered by pilgrims. It is believed that it can cure many ailments. Near the mausoleum there is a small mosque.
The fortress of Sumug (Ilisu)
In the highland village of Ilisu (the vicinity of Sheki) the Sumug fortress was preserved - one of the battle towers of the last or the sultan of Denmark, Daniyal-bek, the brave associate of Sheikh Shamil.
According to legend, this quadrangular tower was built at the place of execution of the concubines of the local khan who betrayed him. Then, Sumug became one of the watch towers of Daniyal-bek. Once Bek was an officer of the tsarist army. But then he raised an uprising against the tsar and went to his sworn enemy, Sheikh Shamil, becoming his naiba. However, it was not possible to preserve the territory of Shamil and his people. In August 1859 the last row of fortifications, subject to Daniyal-bek, surrendered. The fortress Sumug is known to millions of people, thanks to the film "Do not be afraid, I'm with you".
Palace of Sheki Khans