President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva became acquainted with the restoration and conservation works being carried out at Icherisheher State History and Architecture Reserve, June 29.
The restoration and conservation works in Icherisheher - which was entered on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage List and testifies to Azerbaijani people’s old and rich history - following the initiative of First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, covered also the Twin Fortress Gates.
Last repair of these gates was performed during 1956-1957. The observations carried out by specialists two years before discovered cracks and deformations both inside and outside of the monument. Restoration and reinforcement work on the Twin Fortress Gates and part of the fortress walls adjoining Aziz Aliyev street were carried out during 2018-2019. As a result of the works done, the masonry work of the arched passages of these gates were reinforced, paths and steps leading up to the guard’s tower and the “Fighter’s Path” passing through this part of the fortress wall were restored.
The President and the First Lady were given information about the works done this year and those expected to be carried out the next year at Icherisheher State History and Architecture Reserve.
It was noted that a child entertainment and sports ground was created here. Establishment of a traditional art centre called “Art and Craftsmanship” is planned in a building used as a subsidiary area adjoining “Bukhara” Caravanserai, a monument related to the 15th century, in Icherisheher. The primary objective of establishing such a centre in the capital is to bring numerous talented artisans who are working and creating in Azerbaijan together, to arrange the sale and exhibition of their handicrafts, and build a single place to hold master classes. Moreover, creation of the exhibition gallery “Icherisheher” is planned.
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva were given information about the Project “IstedArt”, which has been held since 2018 following the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s initiative.
It was mentioned that the project covers 10 boarding schools for children with inferior health condition and those deprived of parental protection located in Baku city, as well as surrounding settlements and villages, and children and juveniles of the Rehabilitation Centre for Children with Down Syndrome. So far, 154 talented children and juveniles participated in the project. Currently, preparations are underway for the 5th season of the project. 23 children have been involved in the next phase.
Then, President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva viewed the underground hammam discovered near the Twin Fortress Gates during the archaeological diggings carried out in 2016.
According to the information given, restoration and conservation works on the hammam were carried out in the course of two years. A considerable number of archaeological finds were unearthed during the works performed here. Altogether, 85 artefacts were discovered in the hammam. As with all Eastern hammams, part of this hammam too was built underground, while the other half situated over ground in order to maintain necessary temperature regime. Therefore, it was warm in winter, and cool in summer inside the hammam. As in all other hammams, this hammam too had its own boiler house.
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva viewed the boiler house.
One of the key points here is that there are underground paths. There were a few hammams in Icherisheher. Shirvanshahs’ Palace, Gasym Bey, Hajji Bani, “Yeralty”, Agha Mikayil and Agha Zeynal hammams are among the monuments in Icherisheher that have been preserved to date.
The House of Baku Khans or Baku Khan’s Palace Complex in Icherisheher, related to the 17-18th centuries, are also located near the Twin Fortress Gates. Until 1806, following rulers of the Khanate used this complex as a residence. It includes dwelling houses, Khan’s Garden, Underground Hammam, a reservoir related to the Middle Ages, remnants of a pottery, water purification system, and Khan’s Mosque. Restoration and conservation, as well as improvement works started here in September 2018.
There are on the territory also “Baggal” souvenir and traditional craftsmanship examples exhibition and sale gallery, a Book House, and a café where national dishes are served.
A beautiful park has been laid out around the Baku Khan’s Palace Complex. This park will, without a doubt, be one of the most favourite places for the capital residents, as well as visitors of the city.
With its significant place in the history of Baku city, the Baku Khan’s Palace will be presented to the public in the near future, after the basic reconstruction, conservation and restoration works are completed. Here will be showcased Baku’s history to a vast masses of visitors, by being revived in a contemporary, dynamic and digital format. Feature-historical and animation films reflecting our historical past will be presented at the museum, in rooms allocated according to individual subjects, using audio-guides and the virtual reality technology. Works are continuing at the moment on the project, and its opening is scheduled for the end of 2020. Works being carried out here are performed with financial support from “Pasha Holding”.
The building of the Khan’s Mosque, a part of the Baku Khan’s Palace Complex, has been used by the Icherisheher Traditional Art Centre. The centre was founded in 2012, following the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. A new showroom of the national brand “DASTAN”, combining four different decorative applied art types, including ceramics, batik, jewellery, wood and decorative painting, as well as a single area to hold master classes by the Icherisheher Traditional Art Centre, and sale and exhibition of handicrafts were created in the centre’s building.
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva gave their instructions regarding the works to be done in Icherisheher, setting necessary tasks.