The quadrangular Mardakan Castle or the large Mardakan Fortress is one of the oldest fortresses in Absheron and the highest donjon (unlike other fortresses, the donjons are surrounded by walls not connected to the main fortress).

The height of the tower is 22 meters, the height of the surrounding walls is 7 meters. Its thickness is 2.1 meters from the bottom and 1.6 meters from the top. The fortification is divided into 5 tiers from the inside.

History of The Mardakan Castle

This fortress, located in the Mardakan settlement of Baku, was built in the XII century – 1187-1188 by Shirvanshah I Akhsitan. The fortress, erected in honour of Akhsita’s brilliant victory over the enemy, was used at various times for defensive purposes, as well as an observation post, and sometimes as a castle.

When entering the courtyard of the  Mardakan castle, first of all, the wells on the ground attract attention. These wells, which are about 2 meters deep, are mainly designed to store a variety of food products while taking refuge in the fortress during an enemy attack. In total, there are said to be more than 90 wells (including water wells) around and around the donjon at one time. In addition, there are ancient stone inscriptions, stone carvings and pottery in the yard.

It is possible to climb all the floors of the fortification by the traditional one-sided, spiral staircases – darkroom floors with dim light from narrow windows. Above the castle, you can see a large area – a few kilometres from the coast, neighbouring settlements, as well as part of the city.

There are also underground passages or paths to this reliable defence structure. On the first floor of the castle, it is possible to see a well leading to the underground, but, unfortunately, there are no conditions to go deep. To try this, you need to bring a flashlight, a ladder, or a rope. The underground road (or one of the roads) leads to the small Mardakan fortress.

It should be noted that the 15th century Tuba Shahi Mosque (1481-1482) and the 13th-14th century chest are located near the donjon.

mardakan castle

How to get to Mardakan Castle

Mardakan Castle is located in the Mardakan district, which has a 30 km distance from the city centre, You can reach the Mardakan by minibuses from various parts of the city.  It will cost around 10-15 AZN by taxi from the city centre.  If you prefer to go there by bus you Get:

  • Bus No 136 from Koroglu metro station;