The Maiden Tower, located in Old City, is one of Azerbaijan’s first UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and a tower shrouded in mystery.
First, the date of when the tower was built is debated. Some historians believe it was built in the 14th century, other historians believe as far back as the 4th century.
The purpose of the Maiden Tower is unclear. Was it a guard tower, temple or observatory? Was a maiden actually kept there?
As we approached the tower, we walked past the domes of a hammam, an Azerbaijan public bath.
Statue near the entrance:
Looking up at the tower:
You had to purchase tickets to walk up, into the interior of the tower. We decided not to, as we were tired, hungry and chilled to the bone as a result of the damp, cool weather we were not dressed for.
Within the middle of the tight, circular entrance of the tower is a spiral staircase. There, those who bought tickets walked up to view more of the tower and the museum.
In this entrance area, is a write up about the tower:
If Michael and I had bought tickets to walk up into the tower, watched the presentations of theories about the tower’s purpose, I wonder what theory I would have bought into?
I like the idea of the tower as a temple…..
Why? Because adjacent to the tower is the pagan temple called Bazar Square!
This pagan temple dates back to the 12th century and is believed to have once been a place of pilgrimage.
It was here, within the temple’s arcade I found my first evidence of local art, besides carpet making! So far on our walk, I had been unsuccessful finding paintings by local artists of Old City. Sadly, entrance into the temple was not allowed and I could not take a closer look at the paintings leaning against the ancient walls.