It will be evening by the water
For years, centuries you were silent
Reveal the words from darkness,
It's time, it's time, whisper, tell me -
Planet listens in silence.
These lines of Azerbaijani poet devoted to the symbol of Azerbaijan - architectural monument, magnificent building, shrouded in legends - Maiden`s Tower ("Maiden Tower"). Its name "Maiden" means impregnable, unconquered, that is, the tower was never captured by the enemy.
Date of construction of this architectural structure is unknown: a slab with inscription, located on the outside top of the tower dates from the XII century, but the tower was built in two phases, the first phase supposedly took place in the time interval from I to X century.
There are many legends, surrounding the tower appearance. According to the most common legend, Shah fell in love with his own daughter and wanted to marry her. The girl wanted to her father to wait – she hoped that he would change his mind and asked him to build a tower. When the tower was built, and the father has not changed his decision, the girl climbed the tower and threw herself down to the sea.
Another legend says that when the invaders came to the city, the fire burning on top of the tower, turned into a maiden. And in the city appeared a beautiful girl, armed with a sword. She made her way into the camp of enemies, seduced and killed their leader. The army retreated. But the girl, after returning to the city, said that she fell in love with an enemy leader and took her own life by the same sword. At the same moment the image of a fiery maiden vanished over the tower.
There is also no reliable information about the purpose of the tower. In the XII century Maiden's Tower was the main stronghold of the Baku fortress, one of the most powerful fortresses of Shirvanshah and was part of the defensive system of Baku. But later studies disproved all the assumptions about the defensive purpose of the tower. The shape, internal structure and location of the tower – all is unsuitable for defensive purposes.
In the period from XVIII to XIX century Maiden's Tower was used as a lighthouse. Later, because of the growth of the city, lights of the lighthouse began to merge with the night lights of the city, and the lighthouse was moved to the island Nargin.
In 1964 the Maiden Tower became a museum, and in 2000 joined the list of UNESCO World Heritage.