The Old Capital
DISTANCE FROM BAKU – 135 KM.
Shemakha is an ancient city of Azerbaijan founded in the V century BC. In XI-XVI centuries it was a capital of the kingdom of Shirvan and a residence of Shirvanshahs. Shemakha was one of the most beautiful cities in the East. From the middle of XVIII century it was the center of Shemakhan Khanate. Shamakha, for so long the capital and trade centre of north-western Azerbaijan, is now a surprisingly small town with little to show for its historical prowess. The distinctive double hill around which the old town was dramatically set is still there, but the remains of the impenetrable Gulustan Castle have finally been defeated by time and are quietly crumbling into memories along with the scars of endless invaders and earthquakes. The low-rise homes are pleasant enough when viewed from Yeddi Gumbaz mausoleum across the valley, but the grand central mosque is the only architectural attraction in the town itself. Shemakha district is interesting not only for its rich nature but for an ancient history as well. Despite the numerous earthquakes in Shemakha there are many historical monuments still preserved: the Juma mosque with two minarets (743rd year), the mausoleum Shahihandan (XV century), the tomb of Shirvan Khans – mausoleum Yeddi Gumbez (Seven Domes) (XVIII-XIX centuries), the mausoleum “Diri-Baba” built in 1402, the ruins of the Gulistan citadel (XI-XIII centuries). The list of sights of the Shemakha can be continued.