Sheki is Azerbaijan’s true travel gem, a small city off on the forested slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Sheki is set in a picturesque mountain area rich in narrow gorges and green valleys, springs, purest rivers, water falls and mineral water springs framed by dense woods and alpine meadows. Not far from Sheki in one of the most beautiful and picturesque places of the country is the Markhal Resort. The city can boast many historical and architectural places of interest.
Best Time to Visit
The best times to visit Sheki for ideal weather are April to July and from August to November based on average temperature and humidity.
Top Places to Visit in Sheki
1. Djuma Mosque
Djuma Mosque (Khan’s mosque) was constructed in 1745-1750, near the market square. Directly in front of the mosque is a small cemetery. Gadzhi C he lebi, the ruler of Sheky (18th century) and his confidants were buried there. These tombs are topped by domes and gravestones with cut out lettering in Arabian language. The mosque, its minaret and the ancient cemetery today are protected by the state as important historical monuments.
2. Gileili Minaret
Gileili Minaret is a monument of the 16th – 17th centuries. It used to be a part of Gileili Mosque very well known in the city. But unfortunately, the mosque disappeared. Only the minaret, protected by the state, reminds of its existence. Gileili Minaret (built from burnt brick) can be seen in Kyulek hlin makhal of the cit y. It is the first and the highest minaret in Zakataly – a Sheki district.
3. New Sheki Fortress
A Sheki khan Gadzhi Chelebi (1743-1755) during his reign constructed a fortress in the northeast for defense purposes. The overall length of the fortification is about 1,300 meters, its southern height is about 8 m, the northern – 4 m. Thickness of the wall is over 2 meters. 21 towers were located along its length. From the north and the south the fortress was closed by arch gates.
Sheki was famous as the city of craftsmen and merchants. Merchants and traders from the countries of the Great Silk Way used to gather there. Therefore, a great attention was paid to construction of caravanserais. So in the 18th – 19th centuries 5 big caravanserais were active in Sheki. Only two of them have survived. The Upper and the Lower built in the 18th century. Even then the craftsmen tried to provide worthy service to lodgers. Caravan serais were built with a view of all convenience and safety of merchants and their goods. In Sheki caravanserais merchants stored their goods in cellars , traded on the first floor, and lived on the second.