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Old City (Baku)

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Old City or Inner City is the historical core of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The Old City is the most ancient part of Baku, which is surrounded by walls which were easily defended. In 2007, the Old City had a population of about 3000 people. In December 2000, the Old City of Baku, including the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and Maiden Tower, became the first location in Azerbaijan to be classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is widely accepted that the Old City, including its Maiden Tower, date at least to the 12th century, with some researchers contending that construction dates as far back as the 7th century. The question has not been completely settled.

During this medieval period of Baku, such monuments as the Synyg Gala Minaret (11th century), the fortress walls and towers (11th–12th centuries), the Maiden Tower, the Multani Caravanserai and Hajji Gayyib bathhouse (15th century), the Palace of the Shirvanshahs (15th–16th centuries), the Bukhara Caravanserai and Gasimbey bathhouse (16th century) were built.

In 1806, when Baku was occupied by the Russian Empire during the Russo-Persian War (1804–13), there were 500 households and 707 shops, and a population of 7,000 in the Old City (then the only neighborhood of Baku) whom were almost all ethnic Tats. Between 1807 and 1811, the city walls were repaired and the fortifications extended. The city had two gates: the Salyan Gates and the Shemakha Gates. The city was protected by dozens of cannons set on the walls. The port was re-opened for trade, and in 1809 a customs office was established.

It was during this period that Baku started to extend beyond the city walls, and new neighborhoods emerged. Thus the terms Inner City (Azerbaijani: İçəri Şəhər) and Outer City (Azerbaijani: Bayır Şəhər) came into use. Referring to the early Russian rule, Bakuvian actor Huseyngulu Sarabski wrote in his memoirs: Wikipedia

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An image from Old City (Baku)

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Old City (Baku) – Bing images

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