Winter 2000 (8.4)
Baku's Old City Listed as World Heritage Site
Photo: View of the Shirvanshah Palace located inside
Baku's Old City, (Ichari Shahar). The Old City was recently named
to UNESCO's World Heritage List of important cultural and natural
landmarks. Photo from the roof of the Italian Embassy. Photo:
2000, UNESCO's (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization) World Heritage Committee added Baku's ancient Inner
City (Ichari Shahar) to its World Heritage List. So far, this
honor has been extended to 690 historical and natural sites that
are important to the world's heritage, such as the Great Wall
in China, the Acropolis in Athens, and America's Yosemite National
According to UNESCO's Web site, Baku's Walled City was chosen
because it illustrates significant stages in human history: "Built
on a site that has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Era,
the Walled City of Baku reveals evidence of Zoroastrian, Sassanian,
Arabic, Persian, Shirvani, Ottoman, and Russian presence in cultural
continuity. The Inner City (Ichari Shahar) has preserved much
of its 12th-century defensive walls. The 12th-century Maiden's
Tower (Giz Galasi) 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 Azerbaijani architecture."
To help preserve this historic site for future generations, Azerbaijan
is now eligible to apply for assistance from the World Heritage
Fund. It may receive help with conservation and management of
the site, training, technical cooperation and assistance with
educational, information and promotional activities. In 1999,
Georgia received $35,000 for the Study and Development of its
Mtskheta Heritage and Tourist Master Plan.
The money for the World Heritage Fund comes from voluntary contributions
and 1 percent of each member's UNESCO dues. Azerbaijan ratified
UNESCO's Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural
and Natural Heritage on December 16, 1993. By signing this Convention,
the country pledged to preserve the historical sites situated
on its territory.
(8.4) Winter 2000.
© Azerbaijan International 2000. All rights reserved.
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