Set in a picturesque mountain area 380 km (235 m) from Baku, Sheki is not only surrounded by beautiful scenery, it’s a beautiful village itself. The most famous sight in Sheki is the Sheki Khans Palace, featuring incredible craftsmanship and built without using a single nail.Archaeological data show that Sheki has been inhabited for about 2,500 years, making it one of the oldest cities in the Caucasus. There are several architectural and archaeological places around the city, including the Gelersen-Gerersen Fortress (8th-9th centuries), numerous caravanserais, the Juma Mosque (18th century), the Gileilin Minaret (18th century), and medieval baths.Sheki is a major crafts center. Here, you can buy jewelry and engravings made by local artists. Sheki has its own theater, a historical museum, and the house museum of the famous writer and philosopher M. F. Ahundov.
1.Karvansarai- Sheki was famous as a city of craftsmen and merchants. Traders from all of the countries along the Silk Road used to gather in Sheki, so great attention was paid to the construction of caravanserais. Through the 18th and 19th centuries, 5 big caravanserais were active in Sheki to house all of the travelers passing through. Only two of them have survived. The Upper and Lower Caravanserais were built in the 18th century. The craftsmen who built these caravanserais tried their best to make them as comfortable as possible, giving plenty of space so that travelers could rest, store their goods, and trade with local residents. The cellars were used for storing goods, the first floor was for trading, and the second floor was where travelers and merchants would stay.The caravanserais were rather big: the Upper Caravanserai is 6,000 square meters, and the Lower one is 8,000 square meters. Each one had more than 200 rooms. According to traditional design, each caravanserai had two to four entrances, and when the doors closed, the caravanserais turned into fortresses. The Upper Caravanserai has been converted into a hotel, and the Lower one is currently being remodeled.
2.Sheki Khan Palace– Resting in the shade of 500-year-old plane trees at the top of Sheki, the lavishly decorated Palace of Sheki Khans is our most exquisite architectural monument of the khanate period. It was built in the late 18th century as the ruling Sheki Khan’s summer residence in the cool foothills of the Caucasus Mountains. The local rulers clearly had an eye for detail: the palace is laden with intricate details both inside and out, from sprawling frescoes to geometrically patterned tiles. The palace’s windows are also the best place to see one of Sheki’s signature crafts – shebeke, a technique of filling wooden lattices with thousands of pieces of coloured glass fitted together without glue or nails. Take a tour with one of the knowledgeable onsite guides who will help bring the place to life.
3. Albanian temple– Kish is one of the oldest villages in present-day Azerbaijan, and is well-known for a church here, during the period of Caucasian Albania. The current building of the temple of Saint Elisha was built in the 10-12th centuries. According to some scholars’ opinions, the church in Kish stands on the same place where St. Elisha founded his own church. That is why the temple in Kish is often referred to as one of the oldest spiritual centers in the Caucasus, since St. Elisha was the first patriarch of the Church of Caucasian Albania and an early Christian leader in the Caucasus. Radiocarbon dating of artifacts found under the church has confirmed that this has been a holy place for even longer than the current church has existed. It is interesting that one of the initiators of archeological excavations was the famous Norwegian traveller and ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl.