Touch Azerbaijan’s history at medieval Absheron town

By: Nigar Orujova

Azerbaijanis feel a sense of pride at their rich history. The history is not limited to the minds, legends, and books but widely spread around the country. This gives the tourists an opportunity to easily study Azerbaijani culture and traditions.

One of such places is Qala Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum Complex located near by the capital Baku in Absheron peninsula.

Absheron is an ancient settlement, which is proved by barrows, fire traces and tombs found there during archaeological excavations. Qala village is one of the oldest settlements in the northeast Absheron.

Created a few years ago, the Museum Complex in Qala preserves the antique monuments in the open air. Materials belonging to periods from the early Bronze Age to the ancient, the medieval, and right up to the 19th century, are preserved in the complex.

Here visitors get acquainted with archeological foundlings of in Absheron that were collected in the complex of 1.5 hectares, to illustrate a town built in medieval Absheron.

Petroglyphs covering the period from the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. to the Middle Ages, tambourine stone gavaldash, magnificent examples of ceramics, domestic and adornment items, weapons and coins, as well as conserved remnants of an ancient residential complex, all these “shoulders of history” are present here.

The excavations held in Qala in 2010-2011 found rock and under-rock habitats, petroglyphs, ancient foundations, primitive wall remnants related to the Bronze Age, two underground tunnels leading to the Caspian Sea and Baku city related to the 10-14th and 10-15th centuries, and a national oven tendir related to the 18th century.

Rock engravings here mainly present human and animal figures and various fragments of prehistoric life.

As a representative of an old period, the fortress of Qala is another attraction of the complex. It consists of a tower and a stronghold related to the 10-14th centuries. The 13.8 meters tall fortress was used for surveillance and defense. Golden coins, remnants of a golden bracelet and ceramic samples related to the 10-16th centuries are displayed in a stronghold related to the 16-17th centuries.

In total, the village of Gala hosts 216 monuments. There are five mosques, three baths, houses, agricultural buildings, graves, tombs, burial mounds and the remains of a fortress, etc.

Visitors may receive detailed information about the museums located in the territory at the Qala Information Centre, and rent electro-busses or bikes for more convenient tour.

Moreover, visitors can enjoy staying at a caravanserai-restaurant here, which is famous with its delicious cuisine and nice Oriental style.

The complex is also hosting various international, historic and art festivals that gather many tourists. Meanwhile, necessary conditions have been created for physically challenged history enthusiasts.

This is also an ideal place for children to learn something new about Azerbaijani history and its rich historic background to create colorful handicrafts.

The complex is a perfect place to touch history and learn something new in familiar scenery.