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Traces of the Past


The Old City of Baku,  Azerbaijan,  April 2017

Baku’s Old City, or Inner City, dates back to at least the 12th century and possibly earlier. Wandering the streets within the walls, reveals the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, the Maiden Tower, old mosques, caravanserais, bath houses and the remains of an old Christian church.

In 2000, the area was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.  However, just three years later, UNESCO placed the Old City on the List of World Heritage in Danger, referencing earthquake damage and poor conservation and restoration work.

The good news is that in 2009, Azerbaijan received praise for its renewed preservation efforts and the Old City was removed from the endangered list.

The new city, or Outer City, started its life in the early nineteenth century and is now growing at high speed and at great heights.  Just look upwards as you wander the ancient streets and the outside is readily visible.



Copyright Debbie Smyth, 9 April 2017

Posted as part of B&W Sunday

9 replies »

  1. So interesting! We met a young man from Azerbaijan while visiting our daughter and grandson in upstate NY. He had been befriended by her Turkish husband since they share a regional and language similarity. I imagine the Christian church ruins are older than the mosques. That seems to be the history of that region.


  2. Debbie, how did you happen to go to Azerbaijan? I visited my daughter a few years ago when she was working in Kyrgyzstan. She lived in Bishkek but we toured the countryside.


  3. Great juxtaposition in this photo, Debbie. The souvenir shop looks like a tiny mosque too (without minaret) Thank you so much for this entry.


  4. What a superb photo, Debs! I especially like the bath house(?) in the foreground. It reminds me of the tiny church in Krakow’s Rynek Glowny. You do make Baku look an enticing place. 🙂


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