Shaki Khans’ Palace de­ter­mined to en­ter UNESCO World Her­itage List

Azer News - - Country Guide - By La­man Is­may­ilova

The Shaki Khans’ Palace and the his­tor­i­cal part of Azer­bai­jan’s Shaki city may be in­cluded in the UNESCO World Her­itage List.

The World Her­itage Com­mit­tee will con­sider the nom­i­na­tions of cul­tural sites at its 41st ses­sion sched­uled for July 2-12 in Krakow, Poland, Az­er­tac re­ported.

Sheki, be­ing one of the most an­cient cities of Azer­bai­jan, is called the ar­chi­tec­tural re­serve of the coun­try. Cir­cle shrine, Gel­ersen-Gor­ersen fortress (pic­ture), Shaki Juma, Omar Efendi mosques, Narin Gala and other build­ings are the most fa­vorite places for vis­i­tors to tour in the area.

Ashagi and Yukari car­a­vanserais built in the 18th cen­tury is an ex­otic venue for tourists. It is easy to es­cape sum­mer heat and city noise.

Mod­ern Sheki was ac­tu­ally re­built in 1772 af­ter the city was de­stroyed by mud streams - River Kish.

Sheki is also home to a num­ber of an­cient arts. Tin­ners, pot­ters, hat­ters and mu­si­cal in­stru­ment mak­ers are work­ing there. She­beke or­na­ment is one of the an­cient arts in Sheki, what made Sheki fa­mous around the world.

The palace of Shaki Khans re­mains one of the most pre­cious pearls of this unique city. The maples in the palace's yard are even older than build­ings there.

The Palace was built in 1797 by Muhammed Hasan Khan. The unique beauty of the Palace amazes with its mag­nif­i­cent in­te­rior and ex­te­rior.

Mea­sur­ing thirty-two me­ters by eight and a half me­ters on the ex­te­rior, the unique beauty two-sto­ried build­ing elon­gated on the north­south axis and cov­ered with a wooden hipped roof with long eaves.

The ba­sic ma­te­rial for the Palace con­struc­tion was raw bricks, river stones, plane trees and oaks. The most amaz­ing is that not a sin­gle nail or glue drop was used for the con­struc­tion! Ev­ery­thing is in place due to a spe­cial so­lu­tion the for­mula of which was lost for­ever.

There are only 6 rooms, 4 cor­ri­dors and 2 mir­rored bal­conies in the Palace. All the win­dows and doors of the palace were skill­fully as­sem­bled from pieces of wood and col­ored Vene­tian glass. So the light get­ting in­side the palace plays with all col­ors of a rain­bow.

The in­te­rior walls of the res­i­dence are cov­ered en­tirely with fres­coes painted at dif­fer­ent times dur­ing the eigh­teenth cen­tury.

Many of the them fea­ture flow­ers in vases, while a se­ries of paint­ings on the first floor halls de­pict hunt­ing and bat­tle scenes. Sig­na­tures on fres­coes list the names of artists Ali Kuli, Kur­ban Kuli and Mirza Ja­far from Shemaha, Usta Gam­bar from Shusha, and Ab­bas Kuli, who may also have been the ar­chi­tect of the sum­mer res­i­dence.

The rooms of the first floor were in­tended for or­di­nary vis­i­tors - they show the riches and power of khans. On the walls and ceil­ings there are trees, flow­ers, an­i­mals and birds the sym­bols of fer­til­ity and no­ble ori­gin.The sec­ond floor is di­vided into two parts - fe­male and male. The fe­male half is painted with flow­ers and oriental or­na­ments.

The male part was in­tended for vis­i­tors re­cep­tion. It is the rich­est room of the palace. The minia­tures on the walls show the mil­i­tary power of the khanate, its at­ti­tude to friends and en­e­mies. The room's ceil­ing is painted with im­ages of the khan's coat of arms and var­i­ous sym­bols.

The Shaki Khans' Palace has been re­peat­edly re­stored and to­day it is open for tourists in all its majesty and beauty.

The gems of Azer­bai­jani cul­ture, in­clud­ing the Icher­ishe­her (Old City), Maiden Tower and Shir­van­shah's palace was in­cluded in the UNESCO World Her­itage List in 2000, while since 2007 the Go­bus­tan Na­tional His­tor­i­cal-Artis­tic re­serve also listed among these her­itages.

UNESCO’s Her­itage list also in­cludes the Novruz hol­i­day, Azer­bai­jani mugham, na­tional ashig art, the na­tional car­pet, tra­di­tional Kala­gayi head­wear and na­tional mu­si­cal in­stru­ment “tar.”

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