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Between the Inner and Outer City, Baku, Azerbaijan | by Ferry Vermeer
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Between the Inner and Outer City, Baku, Azerbaijan

Two issues have been resolved, my friends. The hotel manager that stole my photo from the souq of Fez erased it from his website. My thesis is going well but I really had to determine my first post-graduate destination. I'll be in Brazil in november. Whooo!! I'm going to study the architecture of the brilliant Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer - of course. What else??

 

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 annexed by the Russian Empire, there were 500 households and 707 shops, and a population of 7,000 in the Old City (then the only neighbourhood of Baku). Between 1807-1811, 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 neighbourhoods 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.

 

Baku was divided into two sections: Ichari Shahar and Bayir Shahar. The Inner City was the main part. Those who lived in the Inner City were considered natives of Baku. They were in close proximity to everything: the bazaar, craftsmen's workshops and mosques. There was even a church there, as well as a military barracks built during the Russian occupation. Residents who lived inside the walls considered themselves to be superior to those outside and often referred to them as the "barefooted people of the Outer City".

 

With the arrival of Russians the traditional architectural look of the Old City changed. Many European buildings were constructed during the 19th century and early 20th century, using styles such as Baroque and Gothic.

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old City, Baku

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Taken on July 29, 2009