This place, known as "Gala" or simply "Old City" among the people, is the most valuable pearl of Baku, as well as historical and architectural reserve. Icherisheher, which operates as a museum under open sky, was built on the shape of amphitheater in a 22 hectare area. Located on a small hill on the shores of the Caspian Sea, the city is surrounded by fortress walls with a height of 8-10 meters and a width of 3.5 meters and trenches.
The settlement in the territory of Icherisheher, which was erected for centuries by the hard hills of the Caspian Sea, began in the Bronze Age. It is believed that natural oil and salt reserves in the area, as well as the location of the area in a favorable position on the seafront attracted others to the city.
The city has local structures. Since the archaeological point of view has not been studied, this is not exactly known as the settlement or fortification.
During the archaeological excavations, the cube belonging to the III-I centuries BC, the clay pottery of the IV-I centuries BC, the Iron Curls, celestial figure belonging to the Iron Age and the ancient columns of the pillars allow us to identify time when Icherisheher formed as a city.
From the first century BC, Baku was already a small, but perfect port city. In the VIII-IX centuries, crafts and trade developed in the Icheri Sheher.
After the collapse of the Shamakhi city in the 12th century because of a strong earthquake Shirvanshah Akhsitan I moved the capital to Baku. After this relocation, the turning point in the life of Icheri Sheher begins.
During Shirvanshah's rule, many construction works are being carried out in Baku and the city was developing. In the twelfth century, the city's defense system was strengthened by building fortress walls.
Construction of the Shirvanshahs Palace in the XV century greatly increased the role of the city as a public-political and cultural center. Generally, the highest development phase of Baku is in the XV century.
After the end of the 19th and early 20th century, the city was expanding after the oil boom, and people began to dwell in the outside of Icheri Sheher. The concept of "Icheri Sheher" only appears after the formation of the outer city.
The fortress walls of Icheri Sheher were restored for the first time in 1952-1957. In 1977, the city was granted the status of historic-architectural reserve. In 1985 it was declared the Icheri Sheher State Historical-Architectural Reserve.
In December 2000, Icheri Sheher along with the Maiden Tower and the Shirvanshahs’ Palace, was included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.
On February 10, 2005, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on the establishment of Icherisheher State Historical-Architectural Reserve under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The Charter of the State Department of the Historical and Architectural Reserve of Icherisher under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan was approved by a Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on May 16, 2007, and the Department has been operating since that time. The Department was established with the aim to develop a unique management system, combining the functions and powers of central and local executive authorities in order to preserve and maintain the monuments located within Icherisheher and the entire architectural and urban complex for future generations.
At present, historical monuments in Icheri Sheher are divided into three parts: universal, national and local significance.
The famous architectural monuments of Icheri Sheher - Maiden Tower, Fortress walls, Shirvanshahs Palace Complex, Mohammed Mosque, Multania, Bukhara and Small Caravanserai, mosques, caravanserais, baths, museums and other architectural monuments have a special place in the pearl of human culture with its originality and incomparable beauty.
According to research conducted by "TripAdvisor", one of the world's most prestigious tourism online portals, the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku, was one of the best tourist destinations in the 2014 and categorized as one of Rising Tourist Areas. The Maiden Tower, the Shirvanshahs Palace Complex and the Icheri Sheher, in general, are awarded with the "Excellence Certificate" of the TripAdvisor every year over the past four years, and maintain leadership in Azerbaijan as the most exciting tourist destination for tourists.
The Icheri Sheher is a lively history with over 1,300 residents in the area, and a unique infrastructure. The existence of people here makes it even more complex for Icherisheher. These people transmit the spirit of the ancient city and national traditions from generation to generation, and our national-moral values are preserved as our historical and cultural monuments.
From the moment entering Icheri Sheher, the person feels the different aura of this unique and mysterious place and is loaded with positive energy. The hot-tempered life of the capital, which is filled with noise, mobility, and intense emotions of people in a few steps away, is replaced by an instantaneous medieval atmosphere. The streets, which witnessed the millennium history, are opening up many secrets to you without breaking the magic of the calmness. Emotions are changing in every step, and the mysterious combination of ancient and modernity is impressing the person.