Paired Fortress Gates, Baku

Paired Fortress Gates, Baku

The Paired Fortress Gates of Baku, also known as the Gates of Shah Abbas or the Shamakhi Gates (named so for being part of the ancient caravan route from Shamakhi), is the ancient entrance to the Fortress of Baku, in its northern wall.

The first set of the gates was built in the 12th century by the order of Manuchohr III, when the Baku Fortress was still under construction. The second gate, known as the Gates of Zulfugar Khan, appeared in the 17th century, under the reign of Shah I Abbas, by the order of Zulfugar Khan.

Despite the “age gap”, the dimensions and shapes of both entries are almost identical. To ensure protection from enemy attacks, mazgals (embrasures) and mashikuls (battlements) were placed along the entire length of the wall, including the gates.

In 1796, Baku Khan Huseyngulu surrendered the city and handed over the fortress key to the Russians. After the capture, in 1883, during demolition of the second row of the Fortress walls, they decided to move Zulfugar gate to the Shamakhi gate, and so the relocation was completed in 1886. Until the end of the 19th century, the Paired Gates were the only entrance/exit to/from the Fortress.

Over the years, the gates have undergone three rounds of restoration works: first in 1864; the second time, under the Soviet rule, in 1952-1957; and most recently in 2018-2019.

Today, the gates are a prominent tourist sight, situated next to the tourist information center. The long, brick section of the wall to the east of the gates is regularly painted with various scenes, sometimes serious and sometimes whimsical in nature. A row of shops appears during daylight hours and numerous restaurants are located nearby.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

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Paired Fortress Gates on Map

Sight Name: Paired Fortress Gates
Sight Location: Baku, Azerbaijan (See walking tours in Baku)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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