Showing posts with label Azerbaijan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Azerbaijan. Show all posts

Monday, 9 May 2016

The Maiden Tower of Baku, Azerbaijan

The Maiden Tower, also called “Giz Galasi” is located in the old city of Baku in Azerbaijan. The Maiden Tower is a historic monuments listed in 2001 under the UNESCO World Heritage list of Historical Monuments. The Maiden Tower is a prominent Baku landmark, a much loved symbol of the city looms dark and enigmatic, is shrouded in mystery, why it was built for or even how it acquired its name Maiden Tower. Therefore, no written sources/evidence survives that record its construction or original function. It is as cultural property, built in the 12th century (although some sources state the 5th century as the start of its construction) as part of the walled city just close to Shirvanshah’s Palace. The Maiden Tower is most distinctive national emblems of Azerbaijan’s, featured on Azeri currency notes and official letterheads. There’s museum inside Maiden Tower, showing historic evolution of the Baku city. Thus, the magnificent view from top takes in the alleys and minarets of the old city, the Baku Boulevard, the De Gaulle house, wide vista of the Baku Bay and sea shore lines of the Caspian Sea. 

The Khan of Baku, has threw his daughter or sister (not confirmed) threw herself off its top to her death came to be incarcerated by her brother. Moreover, it is also believed that to escape from the ignominy of incarceration, she jumped to her death from the top of the tower. The Maiden Tower has mystique and hoary history was used as an astronomical observatory from the time of this reconstruction, due to the fact that 30 hewed stone protuberances on the tower's lower section and the 31 protuberances on the upper section, linked with a stone belt, correlate to the days of the month. As per 1962-63 excavations, the archaeological found ground floor was built on a large rock sloping towards the sea, along with wooden girders each 14 meters high at the foundation of the tower. 

The Maiden Tower is Baku’s most distinguished landmark, most majestic mysterious monument, constructed alongside a natural oil well. The tower is 8 story structure heights are 97 feet and 54 meters base can easily accommodate 200 people. The wall thickness varies to 3.2 to 4.2 meters; all floors are connected by staircase which abuts the circular wall. Another theory indicates, that tower was built for astronomical purpose, as tower main faces east side pointing to the sunrises and door faces towards southeast. The archaeologists suggests, the interior and exterior surface is diamond shaped, cut seen as a decorative feature. Historians have also agreed that, The Maiden Tower was built for defensive purpose, or may be for lookout post, or a fire beacon.  The word “Maiden” is also found in the names of the other towers in the territory of Azerbaijan and perhaps it means “unsubdued”, “impregnable”. 

A 21 meter deep water well has been discovered on the 2nd floor of the tower, interpreted as rainwater harvesting structure, pluming seen running down from the niches of the tower into the well was meant as a supply source. The tower and city walls were badly damaged in an earthquake in 2,000 which were not properly restored due to lack of efforts by the national authorities to conserve this cultural heritage. UNESCO listed the property under the List of World Heritage in Danger from 2004 to 2009. Therefore, due to urban development pressure, makes authorities evolved a Conservation Master Plan to conserve the property eventually removed the “in danger” tag by UNESCO in 2009. 

There’re many Azerbaijani poems & plays indicates, that legendary tale of the King willing to force his daughter to marry a man she doesn’t love. Even though, many stories tell, that ruler actually wants to marry with her daughter. Anyway which she escapes by requesting her father to build a tower for her, and when tower was finished. When the tower completed it, he had still not changed his mind. Then she decided to commit suicide by jumping from the top of it. As of 2011, the tower also participates in "Earth Hour," a campaign against climate change in which large buildings "go dark" for an hour to draw awareness to the cause. The tower’s unusual construction is impossible to miss the mighty Maiden Tower when visiting Baku. These days the tower is still proudly standing in the old Town of Baku.  

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The Mud Volcanoes of Azerbaijan

In 2001 in Azerbaijan, the ground start to move in an unusual way seems some supernatural powers trying to get out of the ground. This is extremely happened in unexpected way, when a massive explosion causes a huge flame coming from the three hundred meters high hillside. The massive flame surrounded by dense black smoke, and heap of mud was being thrown into the air.  Bubbling and belching away like witches’ cauldrons, mud volcanoes are one of nature’s more murky oddities. So, Azerbaijan is the first place in the world for the amount of mud volcanoes, local people call them “yanardagh” (burning mountain), and other kind of mud volcanoes is found out in wells. It is believed, that volcanoes start to erupt in this territory about 25 million years ago. 

This is known as "mud volcanoes" and they’ve formed in places where pockets of underground gas have found a feeble spot in the earth where they can force their way to the surface. What had taken place was an eruption, not one of magma. Mud volcanoes are not caused by magma, rather than being hot, but can be very cold often just above freezing. Mud volcanoes are also known as “sedimentary volcanoes” never grow to the size of normal volcano topping out at about 10 KM in diameter and 700 meters in height. NASA Geologists are studying Mars planet, concluded that mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan are alike to uplands of the planet for their structure. Since, 1810 more than 200 eruptions have recorded in Azerbaijan is accompanied by massive explosions and underground rumble. Hence, gasses come out from the deepest layers of the earth and abruptly ignite. 

The largest mud volcanos in the world are Boyuk Khanizadah and Turaghai both in Azerbaijan. These volcanoes often show off as happened in 2001. It is thought, more than 1000 volcanoes are known to exist in the world and some of 400 are exist in the coastal area of Azerbaijan. However, every twenty years or so, these mud volcanoes ignites deep below the surface and make a massive explosion. Moreover mud volcanoes are closely associated with hydrocarbon and petrochemical stores underground, henceforth the gas trying to escape to the surface. Therefore lava, mud and liquid erupted by mud volcanoes are perfectly used as a raw material in chemical and construction industries and in pharmacology.

Normally mud volcanoes are not dangerous to people, because they’re far outside the city. It is estimated that more than 2000 sheep and six shepherds were killed by a mud volcano in Bozdagh, Azerbaijan. Furthermore, there’s silver lining to having a country covered in mud volcanoes. Few of them gas leaks are continuously on fire, shooting small everlasting flames into the air and some are strongly connected to the appearance of the Zoroastrian religion in Azerbaijan over two thousand years ago. Moreover the greatest mud volcano in the territory of Azerbaijan was added into the Guinness World Records in September 5, 2004. 

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Kachaghakaberd, A Top Fortress Amazes Everybody With its Majestic Beauty

Kachaghakaberd is a mountain-top fortress in the Martakert Province of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic within Azerbaijan, where it lies in the Tartar Rayon. Kachaghakaberd is translated from Armenian as magpie's fortress, a combination of the words kachaghak, designating the bird “magpie” and “berd” meaning fortress. First time it was mentioned in the 8-th century when defending against Arab invasion. It is called magpie fortress, because it was an inaccessible place, and only magpies could reach to the top of the mountain. The bare, whitish rock is like a massive heavenly stone deep in forest, and which amazes everybody with its majestic beauty becomes more poetic when looks at the whitish stone with fortress rising out of completely green forests and reaching the blue of the sky. It seemed that the nature itself took care for Kachaghakaberd fort to be impregnable.

Kachaghakaberd was an asylum for the inhabitants of the nearest villages for centuries. According to some legends that Spram princess with her daughter overcame a hard way to reach Kachaghakaberd and found there a shelter after her husband`s death. The fortress was a significant fortification of the medieval Armenian Principality of Khachen that flourished in the High Middle Ages and is situated at over 1700 meters height. Moreover it is beautifully surrounded by vertical limestone cliffs with the heights of 50 to 60 meters, has a hard-to-reach entrance from the southern side of the fortress. During its prime historical chronicles no one could ever storm the fortress, as the parts of the defensive walls remain standing. The fortress territory actually occupies a large area, though it seems very small. Therefore, several rooms, secret passages cut into the cliffs, gun slots, and distinct "loopholes" for throwing stones at enemies are inside its territory. The problem of water supply was overcome by a distinctive method: two rock-cut reservoirs to store rain and melt-water are in the center of the fortress; hence fresh water was brought from a spring at the foot of the mountain. When you look from the top of the “Kachaghakaberd” hill there is a pleasing panoramic view opens to the mountains covered with thick woods and the river Tartar running beneath.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Yana Dar The Burning Mountain of Azerbiaijan

 Azerbaijan is a great tourist destination and famous for its rich cultural history with a unique cuisine, ancient monuments, modern architecture, and mud volcanoes. The most famous volcano is Yanar Dag, also called “Burning Mountain”. It’s a true fact, that the mountain has been burning for as long as anyone can remember, and the fire isn't showing signs of going out any time soon. Marco Polo visited Persian City of Baku in the 13th Century, and he mentioned several mysterious flames found in the various places of Abseron Peninsula. These fires contributed Azerbaijan the moniker "Land of Fire. And even after 5 centuries Marco Polo and French writer Alexandre Dumas witnessed natural flames in a mysterious fire temple. It is easy to understand that how these natural flames must have amazed and terrified people in history, and it doesn’t come as a wonder that the natural fires of Azerbaijan are considered to have played a crucial part in the creation of Zoroastrianism a mystical faith, centered on ceremonial fire cults, which appeared in the region somewhere 2,000 years ago.

The natural flames of Azerbaijan can be attributed to its massive gas reserves. When exploitation of these reserves started, most of the natural fires burned out, due to a reduction in underground pressure. Of the natural fires that burn today in Azerbaijan, Yanar Dağ is arguably the most impressive. A 10m long wall of fire, that never extinguishes, is burning incessantly alongside the edge of the hill, which naturally is at its most remarkable especially at night, when tourists and locals see the fire from a nearby teahouse. The air around this open fireplace is always thick with the smell of gas. The considerable Absheron wind, twisting the flames into bizarre shapes, adds to the mystery of the region. Tongues of fire also upsurge from the surface of the streams situated around the hill. These streams are called Yanar Bulaq, or “Burning Spring”. Yanar Dag has no seepage of mud or liquid, so the fire always burns. Local lore states that it was a shepherd that accidentally ignited the fire in the 1950s by tossing a cigarette and that it has burnt ever since.