The Palace Mosque
The Palace Mosque is situated in the lower court of the complex. The laconicism of its prismatic volumes, completed with two slightly pointed cupolas, is shaded by a well-proportioned vertical line of the minaret rising above in the north-eastern corner of the building. There are 2 chapels for prayers in the mosque: a hall of a large size for men and a hall of a small size for women, also a couple of small subsidiary rooms where one can climb up the winding stone staircase. All these apartments are inscribed into a rectangle of the scheme out of which only the women’s chapel is distinguished with a slight protuberance.
Three entrances lead to the mosque. The northern entrance is the main one emphasised by a portal. On both sides of the portal there are half-circular bays which were designated for shoes, as according to the Islamic belief the mosque should not be entered with shoes on and without performing the ceremony of ablution. The ablution process was performed in the northern part of the court behind the portal passage to the lower court where there is a well and a small swimming pool on a lofty square.
In the east on the part of the middle court there is a second entrance leading to the mosque which is marked with a more modest portal; in the west the entrance aperture is not distinguished by anything.
Four big clay jugs with their narrow necks turned into the hall are walled in the upper corners of the central hall of the mosque. On the one hand, this gives an excellent resonance, for the jugs serve as an original microphone; on the other hand it is a constructive-engineering anti-seismic method, giving a big steadiness to the building lowering the centre of gravity by lightening the upper part.
In the butt-end of the southern wall of the central hall of the mosque there is a modestly decorated mehrab with a shallow bay covered with a lancet semi-cupola. There are bays of different shapes and designations in the mosque. They served as the storehouse of the prayer carpets, lamps, the books of the holy Koran and beads.
The windows are taken in stone bars-patterns (shabakas) which give a special beauty to this modest building from the point of view of an architectural decoration.
The minaret of the mosque rises 22 m high. There is an inscription laid under the stalactite belt of the minaret which reads, “The greatest Soltan Khalil-Ullah I ordered to build this minaret. May God exalt the days of his governing and reign. The year of 845” (1441-1442). The small balcony (sharafa) of the minaret had previously been made of stone, but in 1723 when Baku was exposed to the Russian troops’ bombing, the shell destroyed part of the minaret. Later in our times the small balcony was restored and made of iron.