Nardaran Sarayi
Nardaran, Azerbaijan

The Summer Residence of the Shirvan Shahs is located about twenty-five kilometers to the north of their capital at Baku, and two kilometers inland from the Caspian Coast, on the Apsheron Peninsula. Originally thought to have been founded in the thirteen or fourteenth century, it is now established that the summer palace was built later in the fifteenth century. It is a square residential kiosk (qasr), set in a garden with a pool and two fountains and surrounded by service structures.

The kiosk is centered on a square domed hall, extended with a deep, vaulted iwan on each side. It is entered from a grand arched portal facing north, which opens into the northern iwan. The south, east and west iwans have smaller rectangular doorways to the exterior, each crowned by a window and framed with two small niches. Windows along the rim of the pointed central dome bring additional light into the four-iwan central hall.

Four square rooms occupy the kiosk's corners; the two southern rooms are roofed with octagonal domes, while the northern rooms have semi-spherical domes. They are entered from doorways on the side walls of the iwans and have windows pierced at two levels.

The kiosk is constructed of cut stone, typical of monuments of the Shirvan Shahi period, and of fortified structures of the Aspheron Peninsula.


Gink, Karoly and Ilona Turanszky. 1979. Azerbaijan: Mosques, Turrets, Palaces. Budapest: Corvina Kiado, 51.

Hillenbrand, Robert. 1994. Islamic Architecture: Form, Function and Meaning. Edinburgh: Edunburg University Press, 427-428, 583.

Useinov, Mikael A., L.S. Bretanitskii and A.V. Salamzada. 1963. Istoriia Arkhitektury Azerbaidzhana. Moscow: Gosstroiizdat, 208-210.

Fatullayev, S.S. and R.S. Babasov. 2005. "Memarliq". Maison d'Azerbaidjan Website.;section=4;section2=4. [Accessed November 2, 2005]

Nardaran, Azerbaijan
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15th c.
Style Periods
Variant Names
Nardaran Palace
Summer residence of the Shirvan Shahs
Building Usages