Highlights: Shaki Khan Palace, Shaki Caravanserai, Home of the Shaki Khan, Church of Kish, Shaki Museum of History and Local Lore, and etc.
Set in a picturesque mountain area 380 km (235 m) from Baku, Shaki is not only surrounded by beautiful scenery, it’s a beautiful village itself. The most famous sight in Shaki is the Shaki Khans Palace, featuring incredible craftsmanship and built without using a single nail.
Archaeological data show that Shaki 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.
Shaki is a major crafts center. Here, you can buy jewelry and engravings made by local artists. Shaki has its own theater, a historical museum, and the house museum of the famous writer and philosopher M. F. Ahundov.
Shaki was famous as a city of craftsmen and merchants. Traders from all of the countries along the Silk Road used to gather in Shaki, so great attention was paid to the construction of caravanserais. Through the 18th and 19th centuries, 5 big caravanserais were active in Shaki 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.