CULTURE


Underground tunnels in Icharishahar, a historical core of Baku

Baku, May 6, AZERTAC

There used to be several underground tunnels beneath the Icharishahar, also known as the Inner city, which is the historical core of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.

Several of these were constructed in the 15th century by the Shirvanshahs to serve as escape routes from the palace complex.

One of such underground tunnels was built by an Inner city merchant Gatir Haji Zeynalabdin at the beginning of the twentieth century to connect two of his residencies—one that used to stand where the Encyclopedia Building is now, and the other on what is now Aziz Aliyev Street. Haji wanted his family to be able to move easily between both houses, which were approximately one hundred meters apart and separated by the citadel wall.

In the early 20th century, most of the owners of these grand residences that included tunnels either fled the city or were killed. Their houses were usually subdivided into many smaller apartments and the tunnels simply forgotten until the 1970s when archaeological work began in the Old City.

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