Mardakan Quadrangular Tower
Quadrangular castle of Mardakan – a castle that played an essential role in Azerbaijan history during the 13th and 14th centuries. The Quadrangular Tower is bigger than the Round Tower, being 22 m in height. It built in the 14th century and it has 5 floors. Its purpose was defensive. Next to the castle there is a Tuba-Shakha mosque. It hosts a permanent exhibition about the towers and fortifications of the Absharan peninsula.
In the XI-XIII centuries in connection with the consolidation of the Shirvanshahs in the territory of the Apsheron a great construction work carried out. Among the buildings of that time the towers and castles hold a special place. They served as reliable strongholds for the feudal lords in the intestine wars. Also as shelters and places of defense during the foreign invasions. Particularly this question keenly raised in the XII century, In this century Absheron exposed to the attacks of the Russian buccaneers from the sea. Thus, in 1175 Shirvanshah Akhistan I repulsed several raids of the Russian army, who attacked on 73 vessels. Located along the entire Apsheron Peninsula the towers not designed for long stay in them. Unlike the West European castles of the same period the Apsheron castles did not have wide inner courtyards with habitable rooms and office buildings. Such kinds of buildings situated beyond the fortress walls. The towers served just as temporary shelters for the feudal lords and their vassals during the attacks and for a passive defense.
Defense System of Absheron Towers
All the towers of Apsheron comprised the unified system of defense. In the XVII-XVIII centuries the towers played the role of a signal. While the enemy approached, oil burnt on top of the towers and in this way, the population warned against the danger. The towers of Apsheron have a lot of similar features. All the means of defense of the towers are concentrated on the upper square. Being placed on it the riflemen sheltered themselves by a stepped parapet with melons. The slot-like narrow openings widened inside on all the tiers of the tower except the ground floor, served mainly for lighting and ventilation. Their sizes did not allow using them for military actions; the zone for defeating extremely limited. The primitive sewage lines – posts and wells with water also point to the fact that these towers served as temporary living quarters during the siege. Better preserved towers are in Ramana, Nardaran and two – in Mardakan, but the towers in Bilgah, Shagan and Gala are in ruins. Towers also existed in the settlements of Mashtagha, Shuvalan, Keshla, Hovsan, Buzovna and others. Thus, there were about 30 towers in the villages of Apsheron. The Quadrangular tower in Mardakan was erected in the XVI century. The dimension of the inner courtyard is 28X25m. The tower is 22 m high and has 5 tiers.