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World Heritage in Azerbaijan

Built on a site inhabited since the Palaeolithic period, the Walled City of Baku reveals evidence of Zoroastrian, Sasanian, Arabic, Persian, Shirvani, Ottoman, and Russian presence in cultural continuity. The Inner City (Icheri Sheher) has preserved much of its 12th-century defensive walls. The 12th-century Maiden Tower (Giz Galasy) is built over earlier structures dating from the 7th to 6th centuries BC, and the 15th-century Shirvanshahs' Palace is one of the pearls of Azerbaijan's architecture.

Rising from the south shore of the Apsheron Peninsular at the western edge of the Caspian Sea, the Walled City of Baku was founded on a site inhabited since the Palaeolithic period. The city reveals, along with the dominant Azerbaijani element, evidence of Zoroastrian, Sassanian, Arabic, Persian, Shirvani, Ottoman, and Russian presence in cultural continuity. The inner city (Icherisheher) has preserved much of its 12th-century defensive walls, which define the character of the property. The most ancient monument of Icherisheher is the Maiden Tower – symbol of the city of Baku. Some evidence suggests that the construction of the Tower might have been as early as the 7th-6th centuries BC. Another monument of universal value, one of the pearls of Azerbaijan's architecture is the 12th- to 15th-century Shirvanshahs' Palace, located at the highest point of Icherisheher.

Within the Palace complex are the Divankhana (reception hall) or, as some researchers believe, the Tomb of Shah, the residential building of Shirvanshahs, the remains of Key-Kubad Mosque, the Tomb of Seyid Yahya Bakuvi, Murad’s Gate (the only monument of the 16th century), the Tomb of Shirvanshahs’ Family, the Shah Mosque and the Palace bath-house. Earlier monuments of Icherisheher include the Mohammed Mosque, together with the adjacent minaret built in 1078, and remains of the 9th- to 10th-century mosque near the Maiden Tower.

There are also numerous historical-architectural monuments of the medieval period such as caravanserais, hamams (bath-houses), mosques and residential buildings of the 18th to 20th centuries located within the property.

The magnificence of Icherisheher lies in the combination of its distinct architectural monuments and its historically composed architectural spatial planning with original street views, which have merged into a single entity to reflect its long history and the melding of cultures that have influenced its development over the past nine centuries. Icherisheher is still a living, vibrant city with residential areas housing local communities.

Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape covers three areas of a plateau of rocky boulders rising out of the semi-desert of central Azerbaijan, with an outstanding collection of more than 6,000 rock engravings bearing testimony to 40,000 years of rock art. The site also features the remains of inhabited caves, settlements and burials, all reflecting an intensive human use by the inhabitants of the area during the wet period that followed the last Ice Age, from the Upper Paleolithic to the Middle Ages. The site, which covers an area of 537 ha, is part of the larger protected Gobustan Reservation.

Gobustan has outstanding universal value for the quality and density of its rock art engravings, for the substantial evidence the collection of rock art images presents for hunting, fauna, flora and lifestyles in pre-historic times and for the cultural continuity between prehistoric and mediaeval times that the site reflects.