The Maiden Tower is the symbol of Azerbaijan, a monumental building shrouded in legend.
Its name is "Maiden" means impregnable, unconquerable, i.e. the tower was never captured by the enemy. The date of construction of this architectural structure is unknown: the slab with an inscription located on the outside top of the tower dates back to the XII century, but the tower was constructed in two phases and the first phase allegedly could have taken place between the I and the X century.
There are many legends about how the tower appeared. According to the most popular legend, a Shah fell in love with his own daughter and wanted to marry her. Wanting to buy time to talk her father out of it, the girl asked him first to build a tower. When the tower was built, the father had not changed his mind, so the girl climbed the tower and threw herself into the sea.
Another legend says that when invaders came to the city, the fire that burned on the top of the tower, turned into a maiden. And in the city, a beautiful girl appeared, and she was armed with a sword. She sneaked into the camp of the enemies, seduced their leader and killed him. The army retreated. But she returned to the city and said she had fallen in love with the leader of the enemy, so she took her own life with the same sword. At the same moment, the image of a fiery maiden above the tower disappeared.
As for the destination of the tower, there is no reliable information either. In the XII century, the Maiden Tower was the main stronghold of the Baku fortress, one of the most powerful fortresses of the Shirvanshakhs. It was part of the defensive system of Baku. But later research of the tower denied all speculation about its defensive purpose. Its shape, internal structure and location are not suitable for defensive purposes.
From the XVIII to XIX century, the Maiden Tower was used as a lighthouse. Later, in connection with the growth of the city, the lights of the lighthouse began to merge with the night lights of the city, and the lighthouse was moved to Nargin Island.
In 1964, the Maiden Tower became a museum, and in 2000 joined the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.