Gulistan Fortress, Shamakhi
Long time ago the Gulistan Fortress was a very powerful structure. Its walls, according to historians, surrounded Shirvan Dynasty Palace when Shamakhi was the capital city. The earliest finds are dated the 9th century. Thus, the age of the fortress is more than one thousand years.
This legendary Gulistan Fortress was last refuge of Shirvan Dynasty; in the Middle Ages it was repeatedly in the very center of fierce battles for Shirvan. Its walls and towers stood on the way of armies of Arabs, Seljuks, Mongols, and Ottomans. The territory of the fortress was surrounded by powerful walls with numerous round and quadrangular towers.
The winding ran from the lower part of the Gulistan Fortress to the citadel on top of the mountain surrounded by a continuous ring of powerful walls. The fortress has a long secret passage cut through the rock which is 2 m wide and 3 m high. The passage was dug for the purpose of escape. It led to the brook in the gorge. The passage has steps cut in the rock.
The fortress existed until the 16 th century. The structure suffered greatly from numerous earthquakes but its ruins have remained till now. They can be seen from far away as the evidence of rich historical past of the city