Things to do
The Maiden Tower
The Maiden Tower, a 12th-century monument, is located in the Old City of Baku. Along with the Shirvanshahs' Palace (dated to the 15th century); it forms a group of historic monuments. The Maiden Tower, described as megestic, houses a museum, which presents the story of the historical and cultural evolution of Baku city as a whole. Many mysteries and legends surround this historic monument. The view from the roof gives a wide glance around the alleys and minarets of the Old City, the Baku Boulevard, the De Gaulle house and of the Baku Bay. In recent years, the brazier on the top of the tower has been lit during the nights of the Novruz festival.
The Old City
The historical core of Baku is the Old City or the Inner City. The Old City is the most ancient part of Baku, which is surrounded by walls which were easily defended by the people within its walls of old times. The ongoing debate between researchers contends that the Inner City, along with its Maiden Tower, dates back as far as the 7th - 12th centuries. This city includes many monument as the Synyg Gala Minaret (11th century), the fortress walls and towers (11th–12th centuries), the Maiden Tower, the Multani Caravanserai and Hajji Gayyib bathhouse (15th century), the Palace of the Shirvanshahs (15th–16th centuries), the Bukhara Caravanserai and Gasimbey bathhouse (16th century).
Palace of the Shirvanshahs
The Palace of the Shirvanshahs, one of the pearls of Azerbaijan's architecture, is located in the Inner City of Baku. Together with the Maiden Tower, it forms an ensemble of historic monuments. The complex includes the main building of the palace, Divanhane, the burial-vaults, the shah's mosque with a minaret, Seyid Yahya Bakuvi's mausoleum (mausoleum of the dervish), south of the palace, a portal in the east, Murad's gate, a reservoir and the remnants of a bath house. There also used to be an ancient mosque, next to the mausoleum. Remains of the ruins are still present of the bath and the lamb, belonging to the west of the tomb. The palace was once surrounded by a wall with towers that used to serve as the inner stronghold of the Baku fortress. In 1964, the palace complex was taken under the protection of the state and declared as a museum-preserve.
Heydar Aliyev Center
The Heydar Aliyev Center is named after Heydar Aliyev, the first secretary of Soviet Azerbaijan. It was designed by an Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid and is for its distinctive flowing, curved style architecture. The Center contains an auditorium (a conference hall), a gallery hall and a museum.
The Bibi-Heybat Mosque, built in the 1990s, is a recreation of the mosque of the same name built by Shirvanshah Farrukhzad II Ibn Ahsitan II (13th Century). The historical mosque was completely destroyed by the Bolsheviks in 1936. Premises of the Mosque include the tomb of Ukeyma Khanum (a descendant of Muhammad). Today, it is the spiritual center for Muslims of the region and one of the major monuments of Islamic architecture in Baku, Azerbaijan.
It is locally known as "the mosque of Fatima", which is what Alexandre Dumas called it while describing the mosque during his visit in the 1840s.