Azerbaijan – Sheki Kahn’s Palace

Azerbaijan – Sheki Kahn’s Palace

To return to Azerbaijan was a delight, a country I have fallen in love with. So much culture, so much genuine friendship and way too much to see and do in one trip. This time I headed out of Baku and up to the North of the country and got to marvel in some truly incredible places. I shall start with a monument that made my jaw drop. Kahn’s Palace in the ancient city of Sheki.

DSC03680 B Azerbaijan   Sheki Kahns Palace

Truly one of those buildings that the beauty and inspiration cannot be reproduced in photo. The detail and the history is spellbinding and could have wandered for hours taking it all in. In the mid to late 1700s Sheki was the capital of the Sheki Khanate (kingdom) of Azerbaijan in the Caucuses, ruled by a khan (king). One must remember that this was only a small building, however the only one remaining of a huge complex comprising of residential buildings and a great winter palace. Built as the summer residence of Hussein-khan Mushtad (the grandson of Gadzhi Chelebi).

An amazing fact about the palace is that not one drop of glue or a single nail was used to put it together. Making this fact even more incredible are the windows coloured yellow, red and blue demand a closer inspection and makes. The light coming in is mesmerising and perfect. Individual windows with each square metre consisting of 14,000 little pieces of hand crafted wood and over 5000 pieces of coloured glass.

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DSC03684 Azerbaijan   Sheki Kahns Palace

Inside there are 6 rooms, each with their different original purpose and intricate design. Not one inch is missed with fine detail. The ground floor has a grand reception room, a rainbow of colours hits you immediately. Thousand upon thousands of images, floral to symbols of culture. Even when you look up the mind goes into awe with the shapes and detail. Mirrors perfectly placed to capture the coloured light coming in.

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DSC03702 Azerbaijan   Sheki Kahns Palace

Each room is decorated very differently from each other. Upstairs on the first floor the rooms are seperated side by side, one for the King and one for the Queen. These were mainly used for reception and guest hosting purposes. Again the wall paintings catch you spellbound. Realising this was mid eighteenth century made the whole thing more magnificent.

DSC03710 Azerbaijan   Sheki Kahns Palace

DSC03737 Azerbaijan   Sheki Kahns Palace

Pomegranates adorn many of the pictures. Of course when in Azerbaijan I had come to see this fruit daily as juice and the seeds with my meals. Fresh and in abundance. Of course used in pictures like this it is a symbol of abundance and fertility.

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DSC03697 Azerbaijan   Sheki Kahns Palace

The main central room has a central banner of pictures running all around the room. Battle scenes are the main. Each face, of which there are thousands of people, is unique and not one actual person depicted. Closer inspection reveals the great attention to detail again.

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DSC03727 Azerbaijan   Sheki Kahns Palace

Once there was water rushing down through the area producing natural springs that would have made these fountains run naturally. I was trying hard to imaging the room full with people. The colours in full glory and the sound of water flowing. Must have been quite a place to be.

DSC03729 Azerbaijan   Sheki Kahns Palace

DSC03728 Azerbaijan   Sheki Kahns Palace

Today I must thank a most tremendous guide that went out of her way to explain all about the palace and the paintings within to me. Zamina Rasuloya (below) had all the patience in the world (thank you) as I wanted to find out more and more icon smile Azerbaijan   Sheki Kahns Palace

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DSC03741 Azerbaijan   Sheki Kahns Palace

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DSC03746 Azerbaijan   Sheki Kahns Palace

Looking at the palace from the front you cannot miss the great big sycamore trees just in front to the left and right. Dating back as old as approx 1530 they have enabled the palace to stay standing through wind, storm and earthquakes.

DSC03743 Azerbaijan   Sheki Kahns Palace

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About Paul Steele

Founder of and avid hiker, climber and trekker. Never liking to sit still and always seeking new adventures around the world. Sharing personal views here and tweeting live via @paul_steele


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27 Responses to "Azerbaijan – Sheki Kahn’s Palace"

  1. TaraGoldsmith (@PrivateDayTrips)  January 16, 2014 at 17:52

    It’s amazing place. Central Asia is on my bucket list. Thanks for beautiful photos.

    • Paul Steele  January 16, 2014 at 20:26

      Tara hi :) amazing to see with your own eyes believe me.. thank you

  2. Alina  August 13, 2013 at 07:37

    Wonderful article & photos (well done for convincing them to let you take them!)! Feels like being there again…

  3. Corinne  March 24, 2013 at 06:06

    Paul. Since teaching the sweetest Azerbaijan families in Turkey it’s been on my list, and everytime I see one of your posts, I want it more. Great shots!

    • Paul Steele  March 25, 2013 at 15:08

      Hi Corinne.. I can’t help myself from keep going back now I have seen what it is like :) thx

  4. Edna  February 22, 2013 at 10:31

    Nice shots – I’d love to know how you got the photos! I went to Sheki in October 2012 and they told me I wasn’t allowed to take any inside the palace. I’m very jealous – the interior is beautiful and I wish I could have captured some shots as well!


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