The Eastern Portal

The ensemble of the palace constructions also includes the portal of Eastern Gates, the so-called “Murad’s Gate” which stands alone. It was erected within the walls of the citadel rather later than all the other constructions of the complex during the seizure of Baku by the Turks in the XIV century. The gates were named by them in honour of Soltan Murad III.

By its general style and artistic composition the eastern portal bears the spirit of the portals of Divankhana and the burial-vault. However, in it one can see the features of the fall of the art of construction, the poorer quality of the stones, the destruction of the purity of the style of the Azerbaijani ornamental art.

The builder of the portal was an architect, Master Amir-shah Vayankukhi by name, an inhabitant of a suburb near Tabriz. The upper part of the portal is decorated with a construction inscription in Arabic, “(Great) Ulu Rajab-baba-Bakuyi ordered to construct this noble building in the period of the fairest and greatest Soltan - Murad in 994. (1585-86). Rosettes with vegetable ornaments are set on both sides of the inscription. In the lower part of the portal there is a deep bay formed of stalactite semi-cupola. Unlike the other portals in the courtyard, this portal has a wide lancet entrance doorway resembling a gate. Most probably this construction functioned as an entrance into the building which either did not survive or had never been erected at all. This can be seen from the text of the inscription, which mentions the construction of a building – as an “imarat” (a palace), but not as a gate.

The architect tried to preserve the unity of the ensemble, but anyway could not avoid the impact of the collapse, which took place in the architecture of the period full of military actions.