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The Maiden's Tower (Kyz Kalasy)

 
Build: 800-700 B.C.
Outer height: 32-35 meters (105-115 ft)
Inner height: 28 meters (92 ft)
Wall thickness: 5 - 4 meters (15-13 ft)
Number tiers: 8

As you slowly climb the spiral staircase leading up to the 8th tier of the tower, you can see interesting exhibits of wooden utensils and ancient arms, and listen to some of the legends about the tower. According to one of them the lower was built by one of the rulers of Shirvan at request of his daughter, for whom he harboured an incestuous love. She hoped that his passion would cool before the tower was finished but alas, her hope was in vain ... and she jumped info the sea from the tower.

There are loopholes in the lower walls and the whole structure is key-shaped. Controversy as to the purpose of the tower still continues today. It is generally accepted that the lower served a defensive purpose and that it was also a lighthouse. So deep is the spell of the remote past that you are ready to believe that a maiden of fire once saved the besieged city and any of the numerous other poetic legends that have been woven around this monument. Last investigation of Davud Ahundow shown that the Maiden's Tower is fire worshipper's temple.
When you have climbed to the fop of the tower you can look down at the so-called inner city within the fortress walls.
Davud Ahundow wrote, "... Geographical situation of the Apsheron peninsula, its isolation, lack of timber- abundance of high-quality stone had a great artistic and aesthetic influence on the architecture there. Sacred eternal fires burning in many Apsheron settlements attracted a lot of believers and pilgrims. A big settlement. built around one group of natural fires, as evidenced by a number of data, was gradually developing into a fortress - like town Albana-Albaku-Baku, the capital of sacred fires.


Reconstruction (D.Ahundow)

At the beginning of the 1st mil. B. C. in the vicinity of Apam Napata Temple there was raised an eight-storied towered temple (The Maiden's Tower), devoted to seven Gods, grandiose for those days: there were seven holy stories, wall recessed altars with seven-colored fires burning in honor of Pantheon Gods Akhura Mazda or Mitra."
(D.A.Ahundov. Arhitecture of Azerbaijan in the ancient times and early Middle Ages. Baku. 1986)
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