Palace of the Shirvanshahs
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Palace of the Shirvanshahs information
This sandstone palace complex was the seat of northeastern Azerbaijan’s ruling dynasty during the Middle Ages. Mostly 15th century in essence, it was painstakingly (over)restored in 2003.
Enter via the main ceremonial courtyard. A small gateway on the left leads into the courtyard of the 1428 Divan Xanə , an open-sided, octagonal rotunda where Shirvanshah Khalilullah I once assembled his court: a decidedly small court it would seem, judging from the structure’s diminutive size.
Entered through a towering if plain portal are the main palace apartments (Saray binası) whose renovation has almost amounted to full-scale rebuilding. Inside is a collection of old coins, pots, sepia photos, paintings and crafts, mostly unlabelled.
Down one level, around the so-called Dervish’s Mausoleum , are many carved stone blocks inscribed with Arabic calligraphy, animal figures and human faces. These Bayıl Stones were recovered in the 1950s from the 13th-century ruins of Sabayil Qala, a castle that once stood on an island that’s now submerged near Baku’s southern Bayıl Peninsula.
The next level down includes the small cubic Shah Mosque , a stone minaret, and the Mausoleum of the Shirvanshahs , where calligraphic carvings grace the portal gateway.