Sheki is set in a picturesque mountain area rich in narrow gorges and green valleys, springs, purest rivers, water falls and mineral water springs framed by dense woods and alpine meadows. Not far from Sheki in one of the most beautiful and picturesque places of the country is the Markhal Resort.
Archeological data testify that the city can be considered one of the oldest settlements in the Caucasus ; many finds on its territory are dated as old as 2,500 years.
The Palace of Shaki Khans
Arguably the most visible landmark of Shaki, The Palace of Shaki Khans was a summer residence of Shaki Khans, Constructed in 1762 without a single nail is one of the most marvelous monuments of its epoch. Displayed within the palace are Azerbaijani Khanate-era artifacts, as well as displays of the art scene, considered to be among the finest in the world.
Measuring thirty-two meters by eight and a half meters on the exterior, the palace is a two-story brick masonry structure elongated on the north-south axis and covered with a wooden hipped roof with long eaves. The layout of both floors is identical; three rectangular rooms are placed in a row, separated by narrow, south-facing iwans that provide access to the rooms. So beautiful the Palace is, that NazimHIkmet , a Turkish poet, wrote: "If there will be no other building in Azerbaijan it will be enough to show Khan Palace to the world".
4 km from Sheki on the bank of the river Kish one can see the picturesque ruins of for "Gelersen-gerersen" Fortress. The fortress stands on the top of mount Garatepe. Presumably its foundation was laid in the 15th century by the ruler of Sheki. For many years the fortress protected approaches to the city from foreign aggressors. It was superbly reinforced with several lines of thick walls. The impregnability of this fortress was even mentioned in written sources.
The name of the fortress can be translated as "You come -you'll see". The whole period of the city's history is connected with it. In the 18th century when Sheki was attacked by Iranian ruler Nadirshakh , the ruler of Sheki, GadzhiChelebi, refused to surrender. Enraged Nadirshakh wanted to find out his hiding place. GadzhiChelebireplied : "You come - you'll see". The story tells that in 1744 Nadirshakh with his huge army approached the fortress, but could not take it by storm and was forced to retreat. It was then when the fortress got its name "Gelersen- gerersen".Today the fortress is a must for every tourist coming to Sheki. The ruins possess especially mysterious air about them in twilight. You are under the impression of being a part of that restless medieval time. On the territory of the fortress there are many deep bottomless wells. Some people say they were used as traps for enemies. There is also a version that under the fortress there is an underground passage in case of flight.