The historic city of Sheki in Azerbaijan has been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List of cultural sites during its 43rd meeting. Located at a five-hour drive from the capital, Baku, and at the foot of the Greater Caucasus mountains, Sheki is home to the palace and summer home of the Sheki Khans, which also got the “enhanced protection” status inscribed on it. The city had been on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in Need of Urgent Safeguarding since October 24, 2001, and has finally been recognised by the committee.
The Palace, built in 1762 by Huseyn Khan, is surrounded by scores of charming chinar trees within the Khan’s fortress at the top of this Silk Road city. Florian Sengstschmid, CEO of Azerbaijan Tourism Board, said, “We are honoured that the historic centre of Sheki and the palace have made it to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Receiving this recognition will help us showcase Azerbaijan’s rich heritage, distinctive culture and unique history to the world along with the story of the country’s legacy. The city of Sheki is one of Azerbaijan’s most-picturesque towns, filled with cobbled streets and medieval architecture. As for the palace, travellers are fascinated by the craftsmanship and is one of Azerbaijan’s most prized pieces of historical architecture.”
The ancient art of Shebeke that Azerbaijan craftsmen are famous for can be seen throughout the city especially on the windows of the Sheki Palace.