The walled city of Baku - learning > World Heritages > The walled city of Baku


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時間的にアレな事態になってしまいました。 が、何とか形として残さねばと思い、城塞都市バクー、その中でも特にMaiden Towerについての 情報をここに残す。 By Schott

Pre-reading Questions:
1. What country is The walled city of Baku in?
2. What sea was The maiden tower faced?

The walled city of Baku,Azerbaijan

Inscribed :2000 Criteria:iv

Brief description:
The Walled City of Baku represents an outstanding and rare example of an historic urban ensemble and architecture with influence from Zoroastrian, Sassanian, Arabic, Persian, Shirvani, Ottoman, and Russian cultures.

Reading Passage
Maiden Tower. Azerbaijanis are incredibly proud of this monument that is shrouded in mystery and legend even though scholars and historians are unable to speak with absolute authority about its origins.


  About 12th century, Maiden Tower which was built into the walled defense system of Baku. There have been many fluctuations of the sea level of the Caspian Sea. It's totally possible that the sea lapped at the tower in the past although today it is about one block away.

The heavy structure of the Maiden Tower is anchored to a rock that slopes into the sea. The structure is 16-16.5 meters in diameter and rises eight levels to tower above all the buildings of the old "Inner City" of Baku. Its architectural plan, seemingly so simple, consists of walls which at the base are extraordinarily thick, beginning at five meters in depth and gradually narrowing to four meters at the top. On the southern side of the cylindrical-shaped tower are relatively narrow niches about the height of a man through which the sun enters to illuminate the inner chambers. Rather curiously, there appears to be an external door that opens out to nowhere from the fourth floor. There is even a slot for a wooden spar, which seems to have served as a door-lock. But why on the fourth floor?
Legends Many legends surround the Maiden Tower. Most of them center around the word-"Maiden." A young girl, according to most versions, ordered the tower to be built and then either locked herself in, or threw herself from its heights into the sea below. As the level of the Caspian Sea has experienced cycles of fluctuation-rising and falling-over the centuries, there is a strong possibility that at one time, the waves did lap at the Tower although today the sea is about a block away although it is getting closer and closer again.
According to one of the most popular legends, it was a king, himself the girl's father,who fell in love with her and wanted to marry her. But the girl tried to delay her father's advances by begging him to build the tower and wait until it was completed. When he completed it, he had still not changed his mind. That's when she leaped into the sea. Culturally speaking, specialists believe that the fact that the story depicts a father wanting to marry his daughter probably indicates that the legend predates Islam. Prior to the occupation of Islamic rule in the 7th and 8th century, experts believe that power was transferred via female lineage in the region that now is known as Azerbaijan. To maintain these dynasties, it is believed that sometimes ritualistic marriages were arranged between brothers and sisters, and even fathers and daughters. It is this practice that may be reflected in these legends that surrounds the Maiden Tower.

Baku, sometimes known as Baky or Baki, is the capital and the largest city of Azerbaijan. It is located on the southern shore of the Apsheron Peninsula. Modern Baku consists of three parts: the Old Town, the boomtown and the Soviet-built town. Population (January 1, 2003 census) About 3 million people live in metropolitan area. The layout of the oil-rich city is rectangular, only in the oldest part of the city within the fortress walls the streets are crooked and narrow. The boomtown, south of the old city, was built after massive petroleum exploitation began nearly a century ago and has interesting beaux-arts architecture. Fine arts, history and literature museums are located there, all housed in the mansions of pre-Revolutionary millionaires.
 The name Baku is widely believed to be derived from the old Persian names of the city Badu-kube, meaning "city where the wind blows", or Baghkuh, meaning "Mount of God". Arabic sources refer the city as Baku, Bakukh, Bakuya, and Bakuye, all of which seem to come from the original Persian name.

なぜ私がアゼルバイジャンを調べたのか? それはナゴルノ・カラバフ紛争に興味があり、以前からアゼルバイジャンという国を知っていたからである。 調べるのであらば興味がある国に越したことはないということで、 今回このようなサイトを作成するに至った訳だ。イスラムとキリストという二大宗教が戦争の理由として挙げられている。 実に悲しいことであるが、双方共に、キリストや、アッラーが間違いなく殺戮など望んでいないことをいつか悟ってもらいたい。 と言っても、私は傍観者に過ぎない。前線で血を流す兵士達や、その家族が、憎しみに支配されないことを祈ることが関の山だ。









Web Sites

Wikipedia The walled city of Baku
Wikipedia Maiden tower
Azerbaijan international > World Heritages > The walled city of Baku Copyright(C) 2007, SHEJapan, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

by Schott, Aoyama Gakuin College of Economics

© 2007