Palace of Shaki Khans

Aug 4, 2018 0 comments

The city of Shaki in northern Azerbaijan is situated more than 300 km from Baku—too far away for most tourists to make the trip, but is home to the most valuable monument to the Shaki khanate which ruled over the country for more than 75 years in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Shaki was the capital of the Shaki khanate, whose seat of power was in the Palace of Shaki Khans, which was also the summer residence of Shaki Khans. The Palace, known for its magnificent interior and exterior decorated with frescoes and exquisite stained glass work, was built in 1762 by Muhammed Hasan Khan during his first tenure as a ruler.


Palace of Sheki Khans. Photo credit: Elena Odareeva/

The palace is a two story brick masonry structure covered with a wooden hipped roof with long eaves. The exterior is decorated with dark blue, turquoise and ochre tiles in geometric patterns and the murals are colored with tempera. The interior walls of the residence are covered with frescoes depicting scenes of hunting and war as well as intricate geometrical and vegetative patterns. Large portions of the facade, including the entire southern elevations of the central halls on both floors, are covered by a mosaic of colored glass set in a wooden latticework. These beautiful intricate panels are known as shebeke, and are traditionally assembled without nails or glue. As many as 5,000 glass pieces were set per square meter.

Along with its pool and plane trees, the summer residence is the only remaining structure from the larger palatial complex inside the Sheki Khans' Fortress, which once included a winter palace, residences for the Khan's family and servants' quarters.


Photo credit: Alizada Studios /


Photo credit: Elena Odareeva /


Photo credit: Rita Willaert/Flickr


Photo credit: Rita Willaert/Flickr


Photo credit: Rita Willaert/Flickr


Photo credit: Alex Marakhovets /


Photo credit: knovakov/

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