In 2008, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation created the Qala Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum Complex in the open air to preserve the monuments in the territory of the Qala State History and Ethnography Museum and enrich the Preserve by bringing in archaeological finds discovered in Absheron. On October 10, 2008, President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva attended the inauguration of the museum complex.
Petroglyphs covering the period from the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. to the Middle Ages, gavaldash (tambourine stone), ceramics, domestic and adornment items, weapons and coins, conserved remnants of an ancient residential complex etc. found in the Absheron peninsula were placed at the Complex.
Following the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s initiative, the Absheron Archaeological Expedition of the Archaeology and Ethnography Institute under the National Academy of Science of Azerbaijan have carried out excavation works here during the years of 2010-2011. As a result of the excavations, various finds related to the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C., as well as 14th and 15th centuries were discovered. At the Qala Complex, on-rock and under-rock habitats, petroglyphs, ancient foundations, primitive wall remnants related to the Bronze Age, two underground tunnels leading to the Caspian Sea and Baku city related to the 10-14th and 10-15th centuries and a tendir related to the 18th century are demonstrated. Mainly human and animal figures, various fragments engraved on the rocks here.
The Qala Fortress related to the 10-14th centuries includes a tower and a stronghold. Used for surveillance and defence, the tower related to the 10-14th century is 13.8 meters tall. Golden coins, remnants of a golden bracelet and ceramic samples related to the 10-16th centuries are displayed in a stronghold related to the 16-17th centuries.
This accomplished project contributes to turning our country to one of the tourist places, in addition to preserving Azerbaijan’s historical past.
In 2011, the Qala Information Centre, the Ethno-Ecological Centre and the Qala Antiques Museum created in the territory of the Qala Museum Complex, and a caravanserai-restaurant started to function.
Through the Qala Information Centre, tourists and visitors may receive detailed information of the museums located in the Preserve’s territory, and electro-busses and bikes may rented here.
In the Qala Festival held with support from the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in 2010, handicrafts of artisans immortalizing traditions of textile, pottery and coppersmithery were demonstrated, master classes organized for children, representatives of young generation given opportunity to become acquainted with our old household and ethnographic traditions. Interest shown towards the Festival stimulated the idea of creating the Ethno-Ecological Centre. All conditions have been created at the Ethno-Ecological Centre to ensure children’s rest, learning our nation’s old history and culture, mastering various types of old popular art, as well as holding various events.
Created in the territory of the Museum Complex, the ground floor of the caravanserai-restaurant is functioning as a cafe, the first floor as a restaurant. 14 rooms (7 open and 7 closed) in the Oriental style have created in the caravanserai restaurant’s backyard.
Conditions have created in the territory of the Museum Complex for the movement of physically disabled people, security cameras installed, a parking lot in a 35 sq.m.-area and a garage for electro-cars were built.