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Bail Castle in Baku

Bail Castle, Baku

Bail Castle also known as Sabail Castle, Shakhri Saba, Shakhri Nau, the underwater city, the “Bail Stones” is shrouded in legends. It is not surprising, because this unusual castle is under water, 350 meters from the shore.
The castle was built by Shirvanshah Fariburz III on a rocky island in the Bail Bay in 1235. It served as a defense sea fortress, as there was a danger of enemy attacks from the sea. At the same time it was used as the residence of the Shirvanshahs.
The structure’s foundation outline is the same as the island’s shoreline. The building is surrounded by a stonewall of about two meters thickness with four round corner towers and eleven semicircular bastions on the rocky island in the Baku bay. The upper part of the castle is decorated with inscriptions in Arabic and Farsi as well as images of human faces and fantasy animals. The pictures are unique, since for the first time the decoration of a Muslim monument included images of people and animals.
In 1306, because of the disastrous earthquake it sunk into the water. In the beginning of the 14th century the building was completely flooded by the waters of the Caspian Sea. In 1723, when the water level of the Caspian Sea lowered, the top of the tower was clearly seen. Now, again it disappeared under the water.

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