If you are visiting Baku, you will surely notice the MaidenTower – one of the most emblematic sights of Azerbaijan, rising near the shore of the Caspian Sea.
The Maiden Tower is located in the Old City Baku (Icheri Shekher) and I strongly recommend that you visit this cultural and historical monument for two main reasons:
- first of all, you will learn a lot about the city and the mysterious stories surrounding the Tower;
- and second of all, you will experience the beautiful view from the top of the Tower. (Read the post Best Views in Baku HERE.)
Today, I look forward to sharing with you 15 curious facts about the Maiden Tower which I learned after visiting this impressive landmark. Here they are:
15 Curious Facts about the Maiden Tower, Baku, Azerbaijan
- The Maiden Tower is the symbol of Azerbaijan’s capital – Baku.
- Nobody knows exactly when it was built and what its function was. A guard tower? An ancient temple? An observatory?
- The Maiden Tower is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
- The different theories about the purpose of the Tower are displayed inside of the building using modern interactive technology.
- The Maiden Tower functions as a museum since 1960s.
- Before the 1960s restoration there were no floors inside the Tower – only the top platform.
- During the reconstruction works (2009-2013) alternative nests were provided for the common swifts that are used to building their nests between the stones of the Tower. 150 nests were left intact.
- Some researchers claim that it was a religious building for rituals and ceremonies, built in 8th century BC by local tribes worshiping fire and the sun.
- The walls of the Maiden Tower are 5 metres thick, and its height is 28 metres on the northern side and 31 metres on the southern side.
- There’s a stone-cased water well inside the Tower with a total depth of more than 21 metres.
- The Maiden Tower is one of the oldest buildings in Baku.
- There’re numerous legends associated with the name of the Tower. Here’s one of them:
- Another name of the Maiden Tower, found in past documents was “Khunsar”, meaning “Light”, “Sun” –> “Sun Tower”.
- There’s a Maiden Tower International Festival that celebrates cultural diversity and raises awareness about the importance of preserving our natural heritage.
- From a bird’s-eye view, the Tower resembles the shape of a “buta” – a symbol of fire, light and sun.
Have you visited the Maiden Tower or any other sights in Baku? Share your impressions in the comments section below.