Islamic Architecture

The Muslim conquest of Caucasian Albania and Atropatena (a state that originally appeared in South Azerbaijan following the collapse of Alexander Macedon’s empire in 323 B.C.E.) by 705 C.E. transformed ancient Azerbaijan, both culturally and architecturally. The majority of Caucasian Albanians and Atropatenians became Muslim and thus gave rise to the modern Azerbaijani nation. Azerbaijani cities adopted new Islamic styles of architecture that would dominate the landscape for over a millennium. Scholars have identified two principal schools of Azerbaijani architecture in the early Islamic period, as follows: the Nakhchivan School and the Shirvan School.
Sheki Khan Palace
Sheki Khan Palace Sheki Province,
Azerbaijan, built 1761-62.

Built by the ruler of Sheki Khanate, a medieval Azerbaijani kingdom, this palace was constructed without a single nail or adhesive. The palace’s facade is painted with scenes of hunting and war, as well as with intricate geometrical designs. The palace windows are made of colored glass, and the multi-colored mosaic at the center of the palace contains thousands of glass pieces, up to 5,000 per square meter. The Sheki Khan Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

AZERBAIJANI Architecture

Old City BakuModern Azerbaijan is both a dynamic, progressive nation and an ancient civilization with vibrant traditions and culture. Nowhere is this combination of old and new more evident than in Azerbaijan’s built environment. For example, the architecture of Azerbaijan’s capital city, Baku, beautifully showcases this legacy. While Baku’s office buildings, apartment complexes, and glass skyscrapers mirror modern European design, ”Old City” Baku, known as  Icheri sheher,  features medieval Islamic domes, minarets, and ancient stone walls.

Azerbaijani Radio Hour

The Voice of the Karabakh Foundation, October 2, 2011. Access any of the shows of the Azerbaijani Radio Hour: The Voice of the Karabakh Foundation at